As much as I love displays of positivity—excitement, happiness, pride, and joy on social media—can you respect my wishes and forego posting pictures of my children and what’s going on in our lives?

Or, at minimum, ask me first?

Everyone has their own comfort level with what’s posted about them, their lives, and their children on social media. I don’t believe there’s any one right answer, but for me? I’m intentional about the visuals and the information I put out into the world on the internet of my kids and our life.

I promise I’m not just trying to dull your sparkle. There’s a method to my madness.

Yes, my writing centers around the fun and crazy of motherhood and family life with my husband and three littles.

That means I’m sharing our stuff with anyone who cares enough to take a read.

But I’m sharing with intention.

Corruption and evil run rampant in this world and no better place than the internet for predators to find, stalk, entice and make a move on the innocent and unsuspecting.

RELATED: Human Sex Trafficking Almost Claimed My Daughter

Thus the reason a lot of what I write has happened in the past (even though it’s written to be read as though events are happening in real-time). Folks don’t need to know my children’s names or exactly what day their birthday lands. They don’t need to know our schedule, when we are away from the house, or when my husband is out of town for work leaving me home alone with the kiddies for stretches of time. They don’t need a full, clear, straight-on photo of any of my children, lending access to every detail of their appearances.

I’m well educated in the details of human trafficking. I’ve read the horror stories of how children have been baited and lead astray from safety and into the hands of the wicked. News stories flood my feed weekly about child abductions.

While I’d like to hold the opinion that it would never happen to us and realize the odds are in our favor of maintaining safety for our home and family, I’m also not naive enough to latch on to it would never happen to us as a means of protection (or lack thereof).

Additionally, two of my three children are adopted. From foster care.

This means they were taken from their biological parents. Parents who were vehemently against giving them up (despite their lack of follow-through on a plan to have the children returned to their care). 

These are the same parents who were not in favor of having their parental rights terminated. Parents who wouldn’t have chosen adoption for their kids and sever their ties, not knowing when or IF they will ever see those children again. Parents who got a one-hour supervised visit to say goodbye, possibly forever, to children who were too young at the time to have any real memories of them.

This is not the choice those parents would have made even though their behaviors spoke otherwise.

I have no way of knowing what these parents are capable of, but I do know substance use has a way of leading folks down paths of destruction . . . often dragging others with them.

RELATED: How to Protect Your Children From Abuse

Even if we lived states away (and we don’t, we continue to reside in the same city to the best of my knowledge), social media ensures no distance is ever enough. No matter the privacy settings in place.

Thus the reason I am very selective about what information I share and when. I’m even more selective about the photos I choose to post.

When my children are an appropriate age, we can have a discussion and they can, at that time, choose for themselves what and how much to share on social media. My adopted kids can begin making a choice about whether or not they want to find and re-engage with their biological parents.

Until then, I’m going to be intentional and selective with social media. Every post, article, and picture well thought before publishing.

In an effort to preserve a touch of privacy and a lot of safety, I ask you to lock hands with me in this, and before posting about my children and our lives, check with me first.

I promise I’ll do everything I can to help you flood your feed with the goodness and excitement my family brings to your life.

And if the answer simply has to be no, please remember the memories made will still be special and held tight in our hearts and minds, social media aside.

Hilary Doyle

Hilary is a wife and mother of three living in Colorado. She enjoys projects (especially with her young kiddos), gardening, writing, reading and swinging a club on the golf course. Her education and work experience fall in the category of mental health but her heart is in her home - just as God intended. Follow her at SimplyWriteous.com.