Best way to roast the broomstick. Must try. Five Stars.

Armstrongs are American, too

So the world is just a piece of crap and this war continues to make no sense and families are being destroyed as Dan Rather sits smugly from the safety of his make-up chair. The fucking dog across the street will not stop barking, and I really can’t blame him because I’d bark all day long if my owner locked me inside a 3 foot by 3 foot cage 24 hours a day. The fucking inhumanity.

Today I’m seriously wondering whether or not I should bring a child into all of this mess, because that’s a decision my husband and I face as we near the moment his insurance kicks in. While I understand that there’s never a right time to have a baby — who can really say? — and that I’ll never really be 100% prepared for motherhood, I know that I’ve never been more sure about a decision in my life. I’ve wanted children with my husband since our first date, and now that we finally have insurance to cover any unexpected problems, I really can’t think about anything else.

But on days like today I can’t help but wonder why I’d ever want to inflict life on any child. War aside, our children are going to have enough inherited uphill battles: depression, anxiety, bushy monobrows, gangly arms and legs, a distinct lack of athletic ability, a crippling battle with insomnia and exhaustion, an extended family who will want to convert them to Mormonism, high blood pressure, big noses, afros, gigantic feet, flat asses, pointy chins, and a long life of booblessness.

Throw in war and my children may as well just crawl back into the womb. I’d like to say that I’m glad my children will be born into a community that respects personal freedom and choice, that my children will enjoy most of the privileges I enjoyed as a resident of a mostly-functioning democracy. But I’m really scared about the future, about the future of this country, the future of personal freedom, the future my kids will have to live and make choices in, if they are allowed to make choices at all. Maybe I’m being a bit fatalistic here, but already I can’t speak up against this war without being labeled a “traitor” or “anti-American,” and that fucking scares the shit out of me. Since when did this country become the Fascist States of America?

Regardless of these fears my husband and I will be trying for a family soon, and I intend to teach them tolerance and compassion. Above all I intend to teach them the value of an open mind. I just hope they live in a world where they are allowed to use it.

  • People keep telling me that their dog’s feet smell like Fritos. What’s wrong with the Chuckster? Tell him to get with the program. Or do Fritos make your mom gag?

    Didja ever dance in stocking feet on a sticky, beer-soaked floor? Now, THAT’S a smell to share with your mother.

    Speaking of mothers, just a few words for Angelique — I don’t think vast quantities of therapy are going to keep your kids from getting into drugs. The most important things are the role models you provide them, the love and security you surround them with, and ALWAYS BEING THERE! You can’t parent by remote control–I see a lot of kids whose parents are so busy they have no idea what their kids are doing. Best of luck.

  • Brandon

    Is there ever a right time?

    That’s what everyone always says anyway. To tell you the truth, the right time is when you “feel” it. Personally, I’m excited for you. I think you and the Husband will make great parents. You are both smart, attractive, and open minded. I think that’s a good combination.

    As far as the genetic inheritance goes…oh well… Those things build character. We all have our demons.

    I hate to hear people feeling persecuted for their feelings and political affiliations. Personally, my thoughts on the war and on Bush differ from yours (and my Girlfriend as well). BUT they are valid. And they force me to think and evaluate my own thoughts. That’s the beauty of our political system. We are able to share our point of view. It’s a shame that so many have been quick to judge.

    Good luck to you and the Husband. I know your children will be happy and healthy.

  • To: “Read this and ponder for a while”…

    Thanks for the reminder, I’d read that somewhere a long time ago when my kids were small and it’s so very, very true.

    Dooce: Good luck and happy procreating! There’s nothing harder or more rewarding. I know, I have 4.

    Babies are cool and I thought I’d be sad as they got older but now that two of them are teenagers it’s fun because we go to concerts, ballgames, etc. together. Thank God my kids aren’t/haven’t ever been too embarrassed or too cool to not do those things with me. They will always, no matter what be a part of me and with me in one way or another.

    Kids are great. You’ll be an awesome mom.

  • I totally relate to your worry and fear, but don’t give in to it. In every time and place there has been reason to worry about bringing children into the world. You have worries those of generations in other epochs couldn’t imagine, but the opposite is also true. Just remember, you live in a time and place that boasts some of the best health and opportunity in history. Besides, I can’t think of a better way to combat some of the general shittiness in the world than having more people whose thoughtful, loving parents gave them a beautiful childhood and did everything they could to teach them how to be free and happy and alive.

  • Mary Duan

    Don’t not have kids because of the state of the world. Don’t have kids because of the following story:

    We had just moved into our house and immediately were all struck with the flu. I woke up one morning and went to check on my younger son, Sam, who we referred to as The Famous Baby Criminal Known Only As StinkyFace.

    I smelled him before I saw him.

    There was shit everywhere. He had blown out his diaper in such a way that it was dripping from the walls, dripping from his hair, dripping from his socks. He was as happy as a pig in shit.

    I screamed. Remember how Anne Archer screamed when she saw Glenn Close in her bathroom, clutching a knife? That’s how I screamed.

    I tell this story to all of my friends contemplating parenthood. It hasn’t stopped them and I don’t expect it to stop you. Shit happens and from reading your blog, you strike me as the kind of people who can handle it when it does happen.

    And as a previous commentor said, the world needs more smart people to breed.

  • uh… if there were no bushy monobrows, there would be no oasis. also, if there were no paul weller there would be no oasis.

    in any case, get preggo. you’re at your best online when you are passionate, or emotional, and jesus h. doody doo, the hormones’ll make for some en-ter-tain-ment.

    back in la, i sat next to mark mcgrath while waiting for my haircut today. sugar ray sucks ass.

  • see, here’s the thing about living: no matter how bad it gets, you always want to live on. you think it’s over, that it can’t get any worse, but there is still nothing more precious to hang on to. that’s what i believe, at least, and what most who come back from the brink of suicide say (except maybe sylvia plath).

    and, although the world is fucked, there is always hope in the microuniverses of relationships.

    i say, the pessimism is unnecessary. times have been better – but times have been worse.

  • Igor

    I agree with most comments.
    Here’s THE reason for procreating: you wanted to have children with your husband from day one. This man inspires you to want to have his children. I openly envy the way you use the word husband. It bespeaks such unconditional love that it makes me very humble indeed. If you love your husband so strongly that you want his children, and he loves you back just as much (as I’m thoroughly convinced he does) than the state of the world or having insurance or not is not a part of the equation. Please bring into this world a full set of well-adjusted, critically thinking, beautiful, intelligent, passionate and endlessly loved/loving children and have no care for ayre else in the world. Don’t worry about president asshole, history will burn his name for time immemorial. You want to be happy with your husband here and now. We need the fruit of your loins to live with passionate abandon. It IS true that those who do not care for the world and pass the demons of their lives on to their progeny have no qualms at all of bringing children into the world. In their view of the world misery is life is misery. Adding some more misery is just the way it is.
    Your children at least will take with them the memories of a happy home and loving parents. It will influence them for the rest of their lives. That is ALL that matters. There is absolutely no force in this world (except maybe gravity) that is stronger than a mother. And Dooce, baby, you’ve got that jive down pat!
    Give your husband plenty of protein and rest and all of yourself 🙂

  • gee…I wish I had something deep to say about having kids. It certainly is a way to f#&k up a self centered, myopic, yuppy lifestyle. Damn the $500 shoes, its all about him now! Damn I’m loving this. As for Heather, the doocisms are going to be be wicked funny when all you can wear are bedroom slippers for the last 2 months.

  • Y. Bee

    Please procreate. Maybe that will help shift the balance in favor of good people and balance the evil that seems to be winning right now.

    I’m scared too. When you spend serious time with family planning escape routes in case of attack, when you walk into work past tons of police and National Guard, when the company you work for tells you to have a disaster plan, when the government is dropping bombs on people who didn’t do anything to us, I just am so freaked out by everything too.

    Saw an anti-war sign that said “Dissent is Patriotic”. Sorry to be so depressing. I’m so sad (and freaked) about everything too.

  • I worried and worried about the same things as my wife and I were planning for our first child. But Heather, when he or she is finally born you won’t even have time to watch the news. My daughter’s now three, but still I wonder when I might get the chance to see what’s going on in the world. I’m exaggerating a little, sure, but you get the point…

  • I was gonna say “Don’t do it! Don’t do it!” but then I read the other comments. There’s a good point in there – we need to increase the ratio of intelligent people. And you very well could raise someone who will make a very big, very positive difference in the world.

    So get movin’! And now I say, have at least 2! We’re counting on you! 🙂

  • You’ll make a great babymomma!

  • matilda

    Re:Fascist States of America

    From an european point of view I’ve never understood why America has been seen as an epitome of freedom. As far as I see if anyone critiseses the conduct of american leaders they soon become outcasts and things like medical insurance certainly limit the freedom of choice as stated in your post.

  • Glovia

    Why worry about what kind of world, the second coming is soon at hand! Just ask your mom.

  • Glovia

    Why worry about what kind of world, the second coming is soon at hand! Just ask your mom.

  • Glovia

    Sorry, it said the server was down. You’ll make some gorgeous babies, no doubt.

  • Good morning! That was one whole night. Any luck yet? 😉

  • Sheila

    I think I love Igor.

  • If you are blessed with children, pray that they come into the world normal and healthy…that is the unmerited gift that will take you to your knees later on..

    Remeber, they have already chosen you as parents and you them… each to learn from each other. Be gratful for the plan.

    If they become Mormons, consider that a blessing. Since they will have the same free will you have demanded of life, they may choose to be Muslem suicide bombers…

    Although not a nice one, it’s just a thought!

  • PJ

    Please, let’s not bandy terms like fascism around lightly. It refers to “a regime that exalts nation and race above the individual and that stands for a centralized, autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible supression of opposition”.

    Now, come on people, that is hardly the case here in the U.S., no matter what side of this conflict you support. If it were, one wouldn’t be able to post their opinion for all to see, march in a rally, do whatever you want to do to support your view, without severe consequences. Is anyone coming to your house at night to take you away? Cut off your fingers so you can’t do it again? Who, exactly, is calling you ‘anti-American’, or a traitor? Try to change their mind. It’s the dialogue that is important. That’s a freedom for you, one that most people in that region do not have.

    Please don’t infer by this that I am ‘on’ one side or the other in my opinion on this war. Nothing is black and white, and this is no exception. Iam probably going to regret posting this.

    On the baby thing: I’m firmly on the ‘nurture’ side of the nature/nurture thing. Go for it.

  • i don’t know. i just don’t think the world’s all that bad, really. yeah, there are some problems, but aren’t we trying to change what’s wrong?

    i mean, there’s always going to be something wrong. but if what we can argue about is whether or not persons are being tolerant, open-minded, or what not – then that’s an awesome indication that a lot of other things in our lives are doing ok.

  • Los Feliz freak


    Dooce’s point is that we’re creeping toward Fascism. It’s cause for concern since many Fascistic states got that way by using paranoia to clamp down on the personal freedoms of its own citizens. Ashcroft is on a crusade to roll back the constitution in the name of protecting us. God help us all.

    Dooce, in your current mindset you should check out a song by Fiction Plane: “Everything Will Never be OK.”

  • Dooce, that’s exactly why we need more people like you to have babies because they will be taught to be compassionate and have open minds. If we stop having babies, all the crazies will take over. Our babies need to stop their babies!

  • Oh, and Scot-on-the-Rocks, the vast majority of Muslims in this world are not suicide bombers. I’m tired of people attacking an entire race or religion for the acts of a small fanatical population. I have the common sense not to associate all Christians with Christian crazies (and there are lots in this world) or Christian terrorists (think Ireland). Let’s try to extend the Muslim world the same courtesy.

  • Danika

    The war fucking scares me. Canada staying out of it scares me more. Although I don’t actually fully support the war I definately don’t want to see the relations between Canada and US strained.

    As for having a baby I say do it! I have a niece that will be one year old on April 1st and I am beyond thankful that my brother and sister in law decided to have kids! I worship the floor she crawls on. I look at her and the world doesn’t seem so bad. If someone so

  • Jon

    I don’t particularly agree with your opinion on the war, but I’ll agree to disagree. (There are people who support the troops without being happy about other things that the gov’t is doing, btw.)

    As to babies, you would make a super mom. Bring more happiness into the world.

  • dooce, you’ve faced many of the uphill battles you worry about infliciting on your spawn, you’ve grown up in a frequently irrational world, and the world has been given a smart and strong and positive and grand gal in response. Regardless of the choices you’ve made to get where you are today, your parents should be proud of themselves for raising someone who has the strength of will and courage to follow her own path, and you should not doubt for one moment in your ability to be a great mom to a strong and positive and grand new person as well. So there.

  • Angelique

    Kath: thank you so much for your input. my main fear is that both my brother and i came from the same influences of drug-addiction and outrageous instability. after loosing him and never having a problem myself, i have come to the conclusion (with my own experience as an example): the relationship between nature/nurture is about 60/40 as influences go. i was not born with the “addiction gene” he was. and so while i may have been pre-disposed with the ability to find outlets and to heal, he was not – even though we were born of the same mother. part of the worry my sweetie and i have is that we are nurturing ourselves and will do so to our children and provide them with healthy examples: but the genes my family has may be something that we have to struggle against. we may essentially give birth to an “addict” and will have to struggle much to help that child overcome his/her predispositions. it is a struggle my darling and i are willing and with love will do – but my main idea was that it is not an easy fight against genetics. it can be done – and i hope to do so if need be. best of luck to you as well.
    and let me just say that this is the most heartfelt and beautiful gathering of posts i have ever seen on this site. dooce, all of us really care for you- not just wish to be entertained by you. i hope you feel our love and concern. kudos to you for deserving every ounce of it.

  • i tend to think that what’s really paranoid here is saying that our country is getting more and more fascist – and especially saying that of the current administration whose policies tend to favor not a stricter governmental, social and economic environment [as fascism would], but rather a system that desires to remove itself from the individual liberties of its citizens’ lives, both socially and from a governing standpoint – not to mention the administration’s bent towards a more laissez faire economics system.

    the problem with the use of the word fascism is that it is used too often to invoke the fear that the individual feels towards a governing body in the hopes of spreading that fear. and too often irrationally so.

    my point? don’t just ape the same tired incantations that you heard your college instructors rage on about over and over and over again: think for yourselves.

    [geez, i’m going to get flack for this one! =)]

  • Lisa

    This just reminds me of something I saw on the local news. They were interviewing people about their opinions on the war and one women said that she thought war protesters were “hypocritical because the soldiers are fighting for your freedom to do things like that”. So the lesson is that the best way to show respect to the soldiers fighting for our rights is not to use those rights? Uh-huh.

  • Y. Bee

    David, you’re celebrating April Fool’s day early! I just know it. It’s not till next week silly!

  • david: i went to BYU. if i were to “ape the same tired incantations that I heard my college instructors rage on about over and over and over again” I would not only be sucking George Bush’s cock, I’d have my head so far up his ass that he’d be screaming for mercy.

    This is me thinking for myself. And if you don’t think that this administration would like to have it’s hands in every single one of your freedoms, not to mention in the uterus of every female citizen, then you aren’t paying attention.

  • animatordude

    “In the best of times, our days are numbered anyway; and so it would be a
    crime against nature for any generation to take the world crisis so solemnly
    that it put off enjoying those things for which we were designed in the
    first place: the opportunity to do good work, to fall in love, to enjoy
    friends, to hit a ball, and to bounce a baby.”
    Alastair Cooke

  • Myopic Joe

    One thing to keep in mind about having children, is you’ll be laying down deeper roots. For instance, it’ll be harder to move away from your family and take your children away from their grandparents. If some opportunity comes up, say a job one, you can’t easily just pickup and go. Economically, you’ll have to choose the more economically stable job rather than the more interesting but perhaps risky job. Before moving to some new place, you’ll worry about whether there will be good schools in the area, safe places for kids to play, crime rates, etc.
    You’ll also be sacrificing the freedoms you’re currently enjoying for the sake of your children. It’ll get pretty darn borning, but at least you can do your blogging and web design from home.
    Now these aren’t unsurmountable things. Heck some of them might not be an issue to you. You don’t HAVE to send your kids to the most expensive schools. Sometimes the most expensive schools can warp them. You don’t have to buy them every toy/lesson/thing they want (in fact you shouldn’t). Just enough money to live with peace of mind. Maybe your parents have lots of grandkids and they wouldn’t be too upset if you moved away.
    Unless some of these issues are major, I don’t think they should affect your decission to have kids. The important thing is to keep aware of them so that if they begin to stress you, you two can talk it out and deal with the stress. And I think it’ll be easier to cope with the negatives if you’re aware of them upfront, before having kids.
    And in the end there is no right or ideal time to have kids. Just jump right in, but be aware what you’re jumping in to. I’m sure your parents will be a good source of horror stories ;_)

  • Go back in history and find a perfect time to have a baby. Find it? Didn’t think so. No time like the present. Just make sure that you raise your kids so that they recognize and respect peoples values and are able to make up their own minds about world affairs.

  • Keith

    The Christian Right is fascist by definition:

    Centralization of authority under a dictator: God,by their own definition.

    Stringent socioeconomic controls: Tithing, stewardship,faith based social service.

    Suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship: Your going to hell!!!

    Typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism: Eurocentric.

  • OhForTheLoveOfShit

    You are absolutely right – keep taking your birth control pills.

    That VOLUNTEER force now fighting in Iraq is establishing the groundwork for a moral, free from the cloud of impending death, useful country. If only we had grown balls big enough to tackle Hitler long before we did, millions would not have suffered at his cruel hand. America DID take a don’t attack before being attacked attitude for several years – look where that got the world.

  • I say screw the fucked up world and go for it. My daughter is a constant source of amazement, joy and happiness for my wife and I. The rewards are endless, and far out weigh the worries.

  • PixelPushr

    My husband and I have had a lot of similar thoughts and about raising a non-mormon child in Utah with lots of mormon family. We’ve started telling people we’re going to send our children to Catholic school…it works for shock value, at least. We’re 7 weeks pregnant now and it only compounds the fear about war but like previous posters said; you can’t let bad stuff going on in the world stop the good genes from being passed on. Best of luck!

  • Mary Duan’s explosive poop story brings back some fond memories. It’s a horror at the time — just like discovering your toddler has painted himself entirely blue with a Sharpie permanent marker so he can looks just like a frickin’ Smurf — but the kind of endearing story upon which you’ll build your family memories.
    But Dooce (and Bearded One), please think about the following fun you can have only if you have kids:
    1) Teasing your Mormon parents that if you have a boy, his name will be Abdullah Mustafah Ibrahim Armstrong (really twisted my mom’s tail in a knot!) and if its a girl she’ll be Maria Regina Fatima Armstrong – approved by His Holiness the Pope, no less.
    2) You can teach your kids to say ANYTHING. Think about the fun you’ll have with that at family gatherings.
    3) All that love, wonder and warm, fuzzy snuggly feeeling you get from your nieces and nephews? Its dross compared to the wonder your own children will give you. I can live for weeks on the feeling I get when I walk into my baby’s room and just smell “her”.

  • Dave Thomas

    Babies are sloppy and loud and unreasonable, and their heads are much bigger than any hole in the female body.

    What I’m trying to say is: a) think twice before having kids, and b) do you want one of mine?

  • Los Feliz freak

    David writes:

    ” not to mention the administration’s bent towards a more laissez faire economics system.”

    You say this as if it were a positive thing. Standing by while companies like Enron urge their employees to buy more of their worthless stock so that when it all implodes, people are left with nothing to retire on. Every executive at Enron, and WorldCom, etc. should be thrown into prison for life. Not golf prison, but prison where they end up someone’s girlfriend. Put the fear of fucking God into these assholes because the Bush Administration sure isn’t going to do it.

    “the current administration whose policies tend to favor not a stricter governmental, social and economic environment [as fascism would], but rather a system that desires to remove itself from the individual liberties of its citizens’ lives

    David, take a look at Ashcroft’s agenda. He’s not about getting out of people’s lives in any way. He’s for wire taps, search and seizure, detaining without due cause, etc. He’s using the population’s fear to roll back our basic FREEDOMS. Then there’s Bush’s own agenda to reverse Rowe v. Wade.

    I’m sorry but your post is idiotic in the extreme.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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