• http://www.danajoywyzard.blogspot.com dana wyzard

    Think of all the things you’ve worried about that never happened…….then think of all the things you didn’t KNOW to worry about that DID happen…….So err on the side of caution and keep on worrying about how Leta will feel when she gets older, but realize how much has changed in your lifetime. By the time Leta gets to school, blogs will be a thing of the past like cavemen.

    But don’t get too complacent: their mothers will fill them in.

  • http://kiawestwood.blogspot.com Kia

    Heather, You are so frickin’ amazing. I can tell you that as a first time mother, and the first of my friends to have a baby, I (and my husband) don’t know jack about parenting. Your website definitely makes me feel like it’s totally fine to not know how to do it. This is such a wonderful entry. Usually I crack up at your posts, but I am sitting at work right now almost in tears. I love your blog and I hope that Leta grows up knowing how important it is to people like me.

    Love,
    Kia

    P.S. I can’t wait to get your book. You need to come to D.C. so we can hang out and you can sign my copy. SLC is too damn far away.

  • Memphislis

    Leta is getting more beautiful by the month. Her personality is really starting to shine through and I am so pleased that you are letting us watch her grow up.

  • Valentina

    This is so true!

    Keep going and screw Violent Acres.

  • http://www.woojum.com woojum

    I can tell you everything you never want to hear about child abuse because I see it and hear it 40 hours a week. For someone to call what you are doing child abuse is asinine.

    People need to lighten up.

  • http://lifeinthecapitalwithkids.blogspot.com/ Yvonne

    She is becoming such a beautiful person. Keep up the great work and I hope you continue to have fun loving that darling little girl.

  • http://tigerbug.blogspot.com Kate

    Thank you for this.
    Thank you for giving me the courage to do what I have been wanting to do for ages.
    I’d like to add that it’s not just a community of women- it’s a community of parents, of lovers, of artists, of professionals, of intellectuals, of people.
    (my husband reads religiously, too. We delight in the similarities we find in our lives, in raising our daughter and our cats. And more often than we’d like to admit, you show us something that we need to address, and your love inspires us to fight for our own. Thank you for doing it, and thank you for intelligently, gracefully, and lovingly standing up for doing so, as well.)
    You Rock.

  • JennC

    #435 – Jack (above)

    Dude, seriously? Shut the fuck up and go home. Yes, it is late and my tooth hurts, but that does not detract from the fact that you are a complete douche.

    God, Heather. I can not believe the shit you have to put up with…..

  • anna

    and for once i am nearly (nearly! thinking better im still really pissed!) thankful for all the negative feedback you get. im sure, you think about this subject anyway, without people reminding you. but with answering to the things they say to you, you shared your thoughts with us and i am pretty thankful for that. wonderful reflection on an interesting problem and i didnt see it yet from that point of view and im totally convinced. keep up the thinking and the writing and please share with us.

    and how the hell are you making money out of your child? you make money out of your writing. and how the fuck can someone, i forgot the number of the post, refer to your postnatal depression as a sorrow? even these some – very little – stupid comments of today followed me around when i was out on a walk, and i cannot imagine how it must be for you. you sound good and strong and i am sure, you will just get better and stronger.

  • http://carolynonline.blogspot.com carolyn

    Amen sister. Power to the people who aren’t afraid to admit when their four year old proclaims “ohmygoddamnitfuck” to the preschool teacher.

  • Lyndsey

    You are so right on about wanting to connect with other mothers out there. There are many times I feel like you must be peering into my window to see what my 4 year old daughter is doing and/or saying. Or maybe my daughter and yours are coconspirators in the attempt to make us totally crazy. My daughter is in the princess phase also and every morning she tries to convince me that princesses do not ever wear shorts, all articles of clothing must contain pink and purple, and her hair definitely does not need to be brushed today. Sometimes I even miss the Dora the Explorer days! She also freaks out if our 3 1/2 pound chihuahua looks at her while she’s eating. Then my husband and I endure the screaming of, “MOM!HE’S GONNA EAT MY SNACK!” and for the next ten minutes she is choking back tears while attempting to swallow. When I first came across your website and I noticed that you wrote monthly letters to Leta, I was jealous. Probably more upset with myself that I haven’t chronicled my daughter’s life at all and there are so many memories that have been lost because I was so wrapped up in the now insignificant things in life like, how much money is in the checking account. Thank you so much for sharing your family with us.

  • phillippa

    Most parents are proud of their children, but most of those children will never know just how much they were loved. Your anecdotes about life with Leta, both happy and difficult will be such a treasure to her later. Even more so that she’ll have a recap of day-to-day with her parents. Some of us hang onto our parents’ Red Cross cards and old cancelled rent checks, just so that we have ‘something.’ We ask questions of surviving our parent, of what the deceased one was like, only to be given vague answers. You’re giving Leta the world.

  • Jennifer

    It’s posts like these that make me proud to say “I have a friend in Utah and she has a hot husband!”.
    Except, you wouldn’t know that I think of you as my friend, nor would you think I have glorious dreams of your husband (HI JON!)
    But I do.
    Thank you for being open.
    Thank you for being honest.
    Thank you for still inspiring me to do what I want to do, no matter how scary it may seem.

    Jennifer

  • Lindylaine

    I have just found this blog through a link on another website… Its BRILLIANT!!!

    It is quite possible that your daughter will go through a stage where she feels embarrassed by your blog, but it will be a phase what will pass. I have a teenaged son and am looking forward to to the end of the “Mother is Uncool” phase! LOL

    There is nothing more important in the world than for a child to know that he/she is loved and your daughter can have no doubts on that score. You have created something that she can treasure forever…

    More Power to your Keyboard!

  • Morgan Suicide

    A friend of mine recommended your blog to me. I’ve been kind of skimming it on and off for the last couple of weeks, but this entry…

    this entry made me understand why my friend recommended this to me. This entry was, simply but, fucking wonderful.

    Thank you.

  • https://cubemonkkey.blogspot.com The Cube Monkey

    Are you kidding?!!! “Donkey Bellies” is hilarious! Just saying it is funny. hahaha
    As for the critics…they are just jealous, as I AM, that you are able to stay home and make enough money from the internet to sustain your family. Screw ‘em. =)

  • http://www.sharrock.net Daisy Sharrock

    Amen Sister. Not that I’m religious, but what you give to me in terms of solace and inspiration is unmeasurable. Please don’t ever stop.

  • http://legslife.blogspot.com lydia

    Wonderful. Thank you for standing up for all of us. Really.

  • jkopftwins

    There are few things more valuable, in getting through life day to day, than knowing you are not in it alone. And while it would be great to live near all you great women, it’s not possible — and so the Internet proves it can be used for something good, to connect people, to allow you and other moms to express your love for your kids, to acknowledge that, many days, we step back and think, Wow, how did we get here?, or wish we’d done things differently, or get to celebrate when we muddle our way through and things work out just fine in the end.

    And maybe, when Leta is doing that teenage break away from Mom, your love notes to her, and the tremendous response they generate, will help her realize that it wasn’t just Mom off in her own world — it was all of us, bloggers and vicarious readers, helping each other through the most testing and tremendous experiences.

  • http://dawnandjimmy.us/blog Dawn @ Coming to a Nursery Near You

    oh please – the people who are writing those ridiculous things? 1) they’re jealous because they haven’t figured out HOW to make money by doing this. 2) see #1.

    Truly, I think Leta and all of the other kids whose moms write to them and about them – by the time they get to the age where it’ll actually MATTER – will be so used to the idea of blogging and having moments of their lives shared with others, it’ll all be a non-event. My son already says “you’re going to put that on your blog, aren’t you?” lol

    Great job, Heather. You are a wonderful voice for all of us “MOMMY BLOGGERS” who are flipping off those critics. With both hands.

  • http://www.escapethedrain.wordp.com Anonymous

    Beautiful.

    Blogs like this give reality to the day to day struggles of raising a child, as well as the simple beauties children remind us to appreciate.

    Not having had any kids yet, it makes me look forward to the day I do have kids, yet prepares me to know that everything doesn’t go perfectly like in Mayberry (like on my own mother’s fantasy couch).

    Thank you for writing this and making it public.
    I am sure your daughter will thank you once she is old enough to understand the significance of your blogging journey.

  • http://www.damomma.com DaMomma

    Oh, those eyes, those eyes. What a beautiful little soul she has.

  • Sue

    Don’t let the critics get you down. You are a great writer and make me smile every time I read your posts. No, I don’t agree with all your points of view but I so enjoy reading them. I also enjoy being able to relate, as a mom and a wife. Keep it up! To me your blog is no different than reading a book, no one would complain about that, so the negative Nancy’s can just go……away!

  • Kat

    “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.”

  • Alex

    I love reading your blog and I don’t want to be labeled a troll just because I don’t 100% agree with you on this (no, keep reading, I do agree with you on 90%!). I do think that it’s okay to have some conflicted feelings about this and I am sure you are not always 100% okay with the idea as well.

    Maybe it’s because I’m a teenager and not a mom, but I do wonder how I would react if I were Leta logging onto dooce.com for the first time. Pre-teen girls can be really cruel to each other and there’s a lot on here that could be used against her, even if you do brush it off in this post you’ve written. People get teased for innocuous things that their tormentors also do all the time. I think you will take it more seriously when she’s in middle school.

    However, I also think that if she asked you to stop writing about her once she gets older, you would absolutely do it for her. Ultimately, I know you have great judgement and you and Jon have spent massive amounts of time thinking about and discussing this (far more than me!), so I am not really that worried. And it’s sort of a funny paradox since I am worried about the privacy of someone who I only know about because you have made that information publicly available.

    As from exploiting Leta for your personal gain, though, I think that’s bullshit. People visited this site before you had her and they would continue visit even if you decided to stop blogging about her if she ever told you that she wanted you to stop.

  • pattyhans

    I think the love letters you are writing to Leta are the most amazing gift you could give her. If I had the writing skills (and the technical skills)and the imagination to do something like that all those years ago when my daughters were growing up, I’d have been a copycat. There are a lot of negative people in the world – don’t let it get you down.

  • Hollie

    Preach it!! I’m not even a mother yet and people are already telling me how to raise my future children. You have the right idea, and thanks for passing it on to all of us out here.

  • michelle

    just to correct myself…I am comment #175..
    I cannot belive I made such a silly error..and I even read it three or a dozen times..
    I just don’t want to in any way be misunderstood. When I said that the good dosen’t even compare to the hardtimes..I meant that all the good times I get out of being a mother is well worth the hard times…The reward and happiness is well worth everything…I tell you one thing is for sure, no matter what the day, or mood…I smile every single day thanks to my children..and even though they try my patience..and how they do..I would never want to go through life without being a mother..
    raise your fists and be proud that we are woman…and extrodinary human beings.

  • Jessica

    I have read a lot of funny autobiographical books and novels written by educated women (and sometimes men) about their children and family lives. In today’s “new media” this website is no different than a series of novels written of your life experience. You are a fantastic writer Heather and the idea that this website amounts to exploitation and child abuse is ridiculous. I’m sad that you have to put up with people who bombard you with comments like that.

  • http://wickedstepmom.blogspot.com Wicked Stepmom

    953 comments?!?!?! Holy Motherofgod.

    Well, then let me be commenter 954 that asks if you are familiar of that quote about opinions and assholes? Yeah, I knew that you were. ;) Just remember to thank the trolls for helping you pay for that velvet Elvis painting you always wanted but could never afford until they visited your blog.

    As always, beautifully written.

  • http://thefishermansdaughter.blogspot.com TheFishermansDaughter

    A spontaneous haiku to hate

    Hey hater-ators
    spew all your hater-ation
    onto your small selves

  • http://lostinthought.net/blog/?p=602 Vicky

    Hear hear. I’ve already started writing about the life of my little boy, my doubts and joys as I prepare to be his mother. And he’s not even born yet. Will I write everything? No. Will I write about those things that pass through my head and make me wonder if I’m the only one? You bet I will. Because I don’t want others to feel alone with their lives. And hell, I KNOW I’m not the only one.

  • http://verygeorge.com GEORGE!

    I think her/her friends going back and reading this is no different than the typical Boone teasing I got whenever my friends come over/still come over.

    So she’ll just be getting used to the teasing at an earlier age, whenever she does read it.

  • Catie

    Hi. I’m new to this blog, although I found it a long time ago when I Googled some phrases about postpartum depression, I just became a regular reader last week. So anywho… I was reading all the complaints about your infamous ENEMA story regarding Leta, so I searched for “enema” and had to scroll a bit before I found it (you mention enemas allot, which gave me a chuckle). Anyway I think there is a big difference between saying “My kid needed an Enema”. And actually telling the story of how that actually went down. I’ve given a 2 year old an enema and was frightened by the idea of sharing that online, but when I read your post I was like, “Dude, what?”. You gave out ZERO information as far as I could tell. Unless there is some other mystery enema post I didn’t see. I’m a total privacy-crazed nut job myself and once … (shhhh!) I needed an enema. (Don’t tell anyone, OK?)

  • kidsmom

    1. Those eyes!

    2. If she doesn’t hate you for this, it will be something else. Might as well enjoy what you are doing and earn money for Cheerios, too. Makes you a better mother.

    3. I tell my kids to “put it on a list for the therapist that is in your future. It will save you the cost of exploratory interviews.”

  • Sharyn

    That. was a spot-on wonderful post. Bravo!

  • Jessica

    So I’m not sure…I may be a bit younger than the majority of this website’s readers. I’m twenty. I have no children. I’m still trying to figure out my own life and can barely comprehend the complexities of handling someone else’s, but you give me a lot of hope. I check Dooce EVERY day, and your stories make me so excited for the rest of my life, to be able to officially call myself a ‘woman’, and join the ranks of those who give up so much of their independent lives to strengthen somebody else’s.

    I don’t think you’re exploitative. I think maybe, as Leta grows, she may see the sharing of her stories as a bit of a sacrifice. She is giving something to the rest of us, and we’re grateful for it.

    But naturally I don’t know Leta like you do. So we’ll see. :)

  • Chrissie

    Bravo!

  • http://womenswork.typepad.com Jenn C.

    A-freaking-men.

  • http://thisthatmotherthing.blogspot.com Anita

    Heather–

    You are an amazing writer writing about motherhood. I don’t see this as any different from Erma Bombeck or Lynn Johnston, who writes For Better or Worse (the semi-autobiographical comic strip).

    The main diffrence is that the internet provides us with much quicker access and ding dongs the ability to respond too quickly.

    When I was grad student, my TA supervisor told me that 25% of the people are not going to like you whatever you do. Even now, when I teach, the bad reviews always upset me. However, I believe that like he said, it’s only 25% of the folks or less, who get pissed off no matter what. So I try not to listen to them.

    I hope you can learn not to listen to them either. I’m in the group that cheers for you and your family and your writing.

  • keagansmom

    Heather, I love reading your blog and Jon’s blog. I think you are very brave to write about your flaws. I’ve attempted a blog several times, but just can’t stick with it.
    Your monthly newsletters are wonderful and a beautiful record of Leta’s childhood. The fact that you share them with the world is even better-it’s nice knowing that someone else sometimes wants to kill their child (but not really) or has the same food issues with their child, etc.

    It’s not all rainbows and kittens with kids; sometimes it feels good to be validated. Leta will hate you when she’s older because it’s what we all did to our mothers. I had a bad childhood, some had much much worse, some much better.

    Why do people have a problem with your blog? Listen, do I wish I could make money doing what you do? You bet! Do I wish my husband was as completely HOT as Jon? Sometimes! Am I completely jealous sometimes of you & your life? Absolutely! But I also recognize you are a regular person, with the same problems and joys as me or anyone else. Why anybody would want to wish you ill, or accuse you of child abuse or any other absurdity, is completely beyond me. Are these haters even human? Exploiting Leta? CHILLAX PEOPLE!!!

    I only feel happiness, and, dare I say, love, for you, because you took a shitty time in your life (losing your job) and turned it into something wonderful-overcoming INCREDIBLE obstacles along the way-that takes some major ovaries, my friend.

    I think there is a special circle in hell for dooce-haters where the teabagging of sweaty goat balls is required, organic free range chickens eternally peck ankles, and endless Chucks balance objects on their heads. Keep on posting that hate mail, it gives the rest of us nice people something to laugh at.

    Happy Mother’s Day to you and all the Moms out there!

  • http://talesofmikkimoto.blogspot.com/ Becky

    Hear hear!

    I know I’m pumping my fist in the air for you and your beautiful words.
    As a Mother Blogger – THANK YOU HEATHER!

  • http://soaringwithmendedwings.blogspot.com Tammy

    I can think of many issues that we should be spending our time up in arms about other than one mother writing about her adoration (and frustrations!!) for her *gorgeous* daughter and pretty *hot* husband.

    Haters are so good at slamming you, they should really consider using their passion for GOOD NOT EVIL!

    Jealousy brings out the Ugly in people and there is a whole lot of Ugly in this world….Especially in your comment section!

    I’m just sayin’

    Keep on with your bad self.

    Tammy

  • Headlesschickie

    Wow. I just don’t get around much out here, because I was SHOCKED to hear every one of those accusations. And I bet you’ve really been hearing and defending it with all these interviews and articles lately!

    Times they are a-changin’, and people don’t deal well with change. I’m thinking this will be one great big non-issue when our children stumble into puberty…Much like they won’t be getting tattoos because that’s what everyone’s parents have. They’ll all have a mommy blog about them to hide. And when they date, and get serious, maybe they will share the safely guarded web address.

    I agree you are a pioneer in standing up for motherhood as important and beautiful and entertaining enough to turn into literature! LOVED the post, needless to say!

  • AP

    I’ve gotta say – this whole thing about children being exploited by these blogs is just ridiculous.

    You mothers who make money off your blogs – you are not making money because you’re children are adorable (which they are) or because the things they do are interesting and cute (which they are), but because you are talented writers and storytellers. You are making money off of YOUR talents, not off the talents of your kids. There are plenty of people with adorable kids who make no money from their blogs because they don’t have the writing/storytelling talent.

    It’s just like famous singers and poets – they don’t make money because their lovers or children are particularly interesting, but because they write songs and poetry well. Making money off of your OWN talents is not in any way any kind of child abuse or exploitation. Come on lame-o people, really.

  • http://injennifershead.com Jennifer

    Everyone should read this. It is beautiful. The newsletters and various updates about your daughter are the main reason I come here everyday. Not because I’m stalking you, but it helps me not to feel alone in some of the ways I feel as a mother. The sharks, yes, that is absolutely true and does not diminish motherly love in the least. Thank you so much for what you do. It must be so hard to have so much of your personal life on display to the world. I respect your bravery.

  • http://desertjade-paradise.blogspot.com/ Lisa

    What you have given Leta is a wonderful gift. She is lucky to have you for her mom, and I know someday she will be proud that she got to be a part of the web site that supportted her family.

    My mom has a bunch of journals she kept when I was a baby, and she says I can’t read them until I have my own. I am really looking forward to those words…

  • http://www.kenspeckleletterpress.com marian

    I think what’s happening right now is a redefinition of the concept of privacy. We’ve always thought we could hide certain things from each other, pretend to be something we are not, keep all the secrets behind closed doors.

    The internet changed that, and despite the fact that I both started and stopped writing about my family during my son’s teenage years because I felt I had to respect his privacy, it may be that I was protecting myself, or being fearful myself, rather than protecting him. I’m not sure. Your post makes me want to really look at that.

    Although at this point I don’t feel that I can open my life the way you have opened yours, I do feel that you’ve done mothers everywhere a great service and you’ve done it with a pure heart. It’s that sense that you are willing to stand firmly behind everything you do and take both the rewards and the punishment that makes you what you are.

  • http://www.omarphillips.net omar

    As always, this is an excellent post.

    I will say that I always feel nervous about meeting somebody who knows more about me than I know about them. For that reason, I wouldn’t personally write as much about my kids as you do about yours, because I wouldn’t want to put my kids into a position that I wouldn’t like being in myself.

    That said, this is your site, that is your family, and you can do whatever you want! I don’t get why so many people would bother voicing their anger over something they could so easily avoid. But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, because as Kanye West (roughly) said, “there’ll always be haters, that’s the way it is. Hater [men] marry hater [women] and have hater kids.”

    And even though I wouldn’t do what you do, that doesn’t stop me from enjoying what you do, as well as supporting the medium through which you do it. You’re not so much an inspiration to me as a parent, but you’re a HUGE inspiration to me as a blogger. Rock on.

  • Liz

    I’ve been reading you EVERY DAY for four years. Thank you for being a pioneer. Thank you for being a fabulous mother. Thank you for being human. Thank you for being you.