A popular US parenting author has come under a fire after penning an essay refusing to stop writing about her young daughter, despite the girl's pleas.
Chicago-based author Christie Tate writes almost solely about her personal life in publications the New York Times, Motherwell and the Chicago Tribune. Topics range from her wedding, relationship issues and how she parents her children.
- 'Motherhood is not a job' - Mark Richardson
- Inside the new movement of parents who regret having children
- Kiwi mummy blogger Abby Plested gets rid of dog to 'take stress out' of 'excellent life'
- Mummy blogger Constance Hall defends controversial post-birth photo
Now, Tate has sparked controversy on Twitter around parenting ethics and publishing laws with her latest essay for the Washington Post.
Entitled 'My daughter asked me to stop writing about motherhood. Here's why I can't do that', Tate writes that her nine-year-old daughter discovered many articles and images of herself after googling her mother's name, including accounts of toilet training and tantrums.
Tate wrote that she floundered when her daughter "demanded an explanation".
"I remember thinking that one day I would have to answer for my work. Yet when the day finally arrived, I had no response prepared," she wrote.
However, when her daughter asked if she could take the articles and photos down, Tate refused, saying it "was not possible".
"There was heavy sighing and a slammed door."
Tate said she researched what other parenting writers had done in the same situation.
"In most of the articles I found on this subject, the writers eventually gave up writing about their children when they reached a certain age... I respect that approach and understand why it works for many writers, but it's not a promise I can make," she wrote.
"Promising not to write about her anymore would mean shutting down a vital part of myself, which isn't necessarily good for me or her. As a mother, I'm not supposed to do anything that upsets my children or that makes them uncomfortable, certainly not for something as culturally devalued as my own creative labour."
Justifying her decision to continue writing about her daughter, Tate said she tried to come to a compromise.
"I have agreed to describe to her what I'm writing about, in advance of publication, and to keep the facts that involve her to a minimum," Tate explained.
"I'm not done exploring my motherhood in my writing. And sometimes my stories will be inextricably linked to her experiences."
Readers have taken to Twitter to express outrage over the essay, calling the mother "selfish" and "a narcissist".
"Christie Tate has shown that no matter how much pain her daughter is going through, monetising that pain is more important than actually doing what she can to help her daughter," one user wrote.
"And now your daughter will know that you are not to be trusted with secrets and personal details. Way to ruin mother daughter trust circle before she has even reached adolescence. I hope the content was worth it, Christie Tate," scorned another.