An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

Leta, I promise I will pay for ALL of your therapy bills

  • i disagree with pixatrix. self-absorbed, in common coinage, has a negative connotation to it, and i think its pretty clear that the people at the NYT are hep to that. had they used the term “self-reflective” or something of that ilk, i’d feel differently. but the triple-underscoring of how excessively self-involved parent bloggers are in what they’re doing (to seek “validation” no less) suggests a condemnation. as in: we’re busy being all narcissistic and shit, but have we thought about how jr’s prom date is gonna google him in 16 years? might we in fact be scarring him for life?!?! have we — in our drunk-with-self-obsession-stupors — lost sight of our motherly/fatherly obligations and responsibilities?!?!

    whatta bunch of hooey. if it pleases the author, he can bite me now.

  • Sammi

    When I heard the NPR piece I was disappointed, and now reading this NY Times article was disappointing too. I loved hearing your voice, Heather, and seeing Leta’s picture in the NY Times is totally awesome! But that NPR piece seemed to be only about “losing one’s job because of blogging” and now this NY Times article seems to portray bloggers as “self centered”. When is someone going to report on the true story: Why 40,000 people visit your site each day?

  • I was going to post this yesterday, after reading the article. I got all bent out of shape and figured I’d not be all pissy on someone else’s site— but really. Self-absorbed? Why is it when THEY publish writers writing about raising children (Erma Bombeck, Dave Barry) it’s great. But if you self-publish, you are self-obsorbed. I’ll tell you why— because you are cutting THEM out of the picture.


    You just keep doing your thing.

    Over $1000 for Tsunami aid. Self-absorbed my arse.

  • I don’t know how it’s possible, but every picture of her is cuter and cuter! This whole first birthday is so exciting! Congrats again on making the NYT! (Sorry for all the exclamation marks – I’m kind of an !-addict)

  • Bruno

    re: la depressionada – Uh..wouldn’t you be excited to see your kid in the Sunday NYTimes? sigh. How is that about validation? It’s just super cool!

  • Dang cold…

    Why should bloggers be viewed as self-absorbed? Blogs are forums for which people communicate with others, exchange stories, ideas and points of view. If they aren’t doing that, they’re just horsing around with eachother for pure enjoyment. Truely self-aborbed people wouldn’t bother going through the trouble of setting up a line of communication with others in any way, shape or form. The reason is because they’re just that, self-absorbed. Plain, basic, meat and potatoes. Submerged in their world, doing their own things with their own people and being right comfortable with it. I suppose it depends on your point of view but keeping a blog takes time and effort. The blogger has to really be committed to it. A “self-absorbed” person, as I would define one, wouldn’t give a damn about sharing anything with anyone who wasn’t of consequence. I see a contradiction in terms.

    Strange that it all get twisted around into something thats perceived as self-serving. If there’s an ulterior motive that bloggers have I’ve missed it.

  • Classic Picture. I have been telling my teenagers for YEARS that I will pay for their therapy. I have even encouraged them to start a list of stuff to talk about when they get around to hiring a counselor. They think I’m joking. I’m DEAD serious.

  • red

    Heather – the pic of you that Jon has up today….. YOWSAS. that’s all i’m sayin’.

  • It’s awesome that Leta was on the front page of the NYT. As for the article, that’s just the press doing what they do best. Creating draaaama.

    Dateline did a story on a town in N. Mississippi a few years ago, while I was living there. The story was supposed to be about a serial killer that was murdering elderly people, in hopes of catching him.

    They started the story off with an old woman playing “Dixie” on the piano. The next shot (and the only shot of a black person) was of this guy walking down the street *with no shoes on*.

    They didn’t really talk so much about the serial killer as they did about the gal in town who was boffing the local sheriff for Crime-Stopper money.

    Out of all the people they could have interviewed about either story they chose 3 redneck beauticians.

    It was the biggest bunch of bullshit I have ever seen. I learned then just how silly it is to believe anything you see or read even if it is written by “real journalists”.

    Don’t believe the hype.- Flava Flav

  • At least you didn’t rub it on her nipples. THAT would be sick!

  • Looks scrumptious! Happy birthday, Leta!

    Hearkening back to Chuckacabra–did that dude commenting on your hubby’s site ever send the “ACTUAL PICTURE” of a chupacabra? ‘Cause that would rule.

  • mg2

    did she give you choco flavored kisses?

  • Beth in MO

    Where did the NYTimes get her picture?

  • Minda

    wow…I had no idea Leta’s birthday was almost the same (or the same?) as my daughter, Bethany. I’ve been reading for so long and didn’t know that. Happy Birthday kiddo!

  • Wendy’s was out of baked potatoes.

    How will i get through the rest of the day?

    Does Leta come with sprinkles too?


  • Wendy

    Leta’s wispy, coppery hair is so pretty. Happy Birthday baby.

  • Alicia

    La depressionada, maybe it’s because Dooce’s career is not to be found in an urban center… it’s at home, caring for her family, — a HUGE job for which lots of SAHMs don’t get enough recognition. So an NYT picture is great! and fun! and awesome! and it doesn’t mean that dooce should go back to work so she can seek validation from co-workers.

  • Torrie

    I’m sorry, but does Leta use a binky?

  • Margaret Mary

    Great pic! Leta is so cute. I love the pic of her in the NY times. How exciting!


  • megchem
  • I’m not surprised at the harshness of the article. Many ‘real’ journalists do anything they can to disparage blogs and the people behind them because they’re shocked by the amount of news broken and generated by blogs and bloggers. (think Rathergate) Plus, they are truly threatened by this new medium that they’re not an important part of.

    Therefore, we get these type of articles – ‘blogs are self-serving.’ As if the only ‘proper’ type of blog is the blog with nothing but links to other peoples’ news stories. Drives me nuts. I’d MUCH prefer to read a blog about one’s life than recycled news links that I can find on my own!

  • manda

    Sorry if this has already been said, but it takes too darn long to read all of the comments. (my childs nap times are short, and there is much house to be cleaned). Anyway, on the NY times article, it was mentioned that over 40,000 people visit this site. If everyone just donated $1, Heather (who makes my life much saner!) would be able to make a living off of this-which she should. It’s great reading! (Or donate it-it’s up to her. That was a nice gesture, by the way.)

    That’s just my two cents worth (or is that $1 worth?)

  • Not to sound like a preachy person, but please tell me Chuck didn’t lick any chocolate off of Leta…chocolate (especially Baker’s chocolate) quite posionous to dogs yah know.

  • THIS is freaking poo-rific, just for the record.

  • I checked out the Times article. It does leave the reader w/ the idea that these blogs are written by a bunch of self absorbed people who need attention & therefore use chronicles of their child’s development to get it. I never would have thought that to be the case. I also thought… are these blogs all that different from articles written by Dave Barry and the like? Being able to see humour in normal, everyday, otherwise unremarkable things is a gift. It’s just that some people don’t get paid by major publishers to share that gift. More “mommy blogs” doesn’t mean people will get tired of them all. It means people will continue to be attracted to the writing which is truly good all on it’s own, regardless of topic. You were a witty & talented writer back before Leta as much as you are now. Thanks for writing this site. I enjoy it daily.

  • Well said, La Pixiatrix. Most blogs, by definintion, are self-absorbed. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with that. Nor is there anything wrong with NY Times writer acknowleding that fact in print. As a poster above noted, if we don’t like it, we simply visit another web page.

  • victoria

    Oh, thanks Heather, I was freaking out there for a minute. Yeah, journalists always betray their sources — they have to cozy up to you to get you to talk freely, then they do what they want with your quotes. It always leaves the source feeling violated to see their words and experiences used to promote what they will often view as a false, hostile, or biased agenda. But I’m not as shocked by this bit of trickery and betrayal (as awful as must be for you) since it’s a common phenomenon and not considered a violation of journalistic ethics for the writer to dupe the source, so long as the reader isn’t duped.

    Still — the article is so biased that it borders on falsehood. Nowhere does the writer indicate what compelling writing one finds on mommy blogs — even for readers like me who are childless by choice. I read blogs like because they’re brilliant — not because I have some sort of voyeuristic fascination with somebody else’s poopy diapers, or because I’m a desperate mom in need of validation.

    My m.i.l. recently asked me if I’d read any good books lately, and I recommended this site because it’s the best writing I’ve found anywhere in recent months. And I’m a picky reader. The NYT writer made it seem as though this site is just Heather’s chance to expose her linty navel to the world, not the highly crafted, vivid, funny, smart writing that it is.

    The NYT’s slant is so wrong that it verges on lying. But the saving grace here is that NYT readers can simply check out for themselves — in contrast to other, non-web news, which is not so easy for readers to check against its representation in the media.

  • I have a question. If seeing your daughter’s face in the NYT — and the concommitant recognition — is so signficant for you, why not move to an urban center and genuinely pursue a career that can give you that kind of validation? I just find this skirting the issue so confusing.

  • Yay! Now she’s even more edible!

  • It looks like a little chocolate butterfly is kissing Leta on the nose. How cute is that?!

  • how was the sugar high afterwards?

  • I apologize if this has already been said and I admit I only read most of the article…

    But I just want to throw something out there. Mommy blogs, and blogs in general which are devoted to very personal subjects, are indeed self-absorbed. That is what they are about, that is what makes them compelling.

    Writing about shit and breast feeding and boobs and depression with an “even hand” is just not that interesting.

    When your readers are primarily engaged with your day-to-day adventures and your minute-to-minute emotions, focusing on global politics or the tsunami in an extended way just doesn’t work.

    Believe me, there are plenty of blogs out there that serve as examples of how boring non-self-absorbed writing can be.

    P.S. No human being is objective, and nothing any human being writes is objective, no matter what forum.

  • Kassi

    Heather…I don’t have a registration with the NY times, and I was able to view the article…so your dad has no excuse 🙂

  • Cristina

    On her second birthday my oldset pinched her candle out instead of blowing it out. If you want the tape of it you see all of the adults moving in slow motion to stop her but we weren’t fast enough.

  • My first time commenting at Dooce, but am a long time reader.

    I just will never understand all of the mommy blog hate and disdain that goes around. How is what we do any different than how our parents bragged to everyone and their dogs about us as kids and showed our pics whether those people wanted to see them or not.

    If you don’t want to hear about my life (which includes being a mom, how dare I?) then don’t read my blog. If you don’t want to see pics of my kids then shut your browser window. That’s why we have keyboards and a mouse for these computers.

  • Speaking of poo…..

    It is *totally* freaky when you speed poo (as I usually do) and when you wipe its clean (gotta love that) _BUT_ when you look in the toilet there is no poo.

    You feel it come out, but that is the *only* proof any poo vacated. Freaks me out everytime.

  • That article was pretty bad. But the picture of Leta made it worthwhile. Totally awesome picture.

  • Annejelynn


  • Bruno

    I wonder if the author of the article has an irrational need to be validated by HIS work. I’m quite angry. I feel as though he has slighted my friend.

  • Bruno

    I just read the bizarre article. The dude has no children and has no respect for those who take care of them. I am amazed that anyone could read these blogs and still remain so ignorant.

  • Coupons to buy Krystals? I’m impressed. Great picture of the birthday girl!

  • I can think of nothing more exciting right now than being covered in chocolate cake.

  • When i have children, I demand that they come out and stay like that.

    You know, smeared in chocolate.

  • Dang cold…

    When we hear about journalists being paid by the Bush campaign to prop him up, small time, cynical, sour grape, opportunistic journalists like mr. hochman (or was it hockman) need to be put in perspective. He’s a little guy with a little job. I fill a small pair of shoes in this cubicle but I keep my nose clean and don’t bullshit around at the expense of other people. Not wise to gamble with your integrity, especially in the journalism arena.

  • Gaaaaah. Just read the NYTimes article. It’s more like an editorial, isn’t it? Nice of the reporter to have shared his hypothesis before hand, eh? Or maybe he’s projecting….

  • The NYT is just jealous (and therefore, bending negative) because most people would rather read “mommy (or daddy) blogs” than their paper!

    Dooce – you are very generous to donate that much money – good for you!

  • Niffer — What can I say? I’ve finally found a community full of bright, interesting people who think poop is as funny as I do!

    Thanks, Heather, for giving us a home for our scatological giggling.

    Hee hee. . .poop!

  • Chocolate covered baby!

  • kc

    Boy, you learn something new every day. Not being a parent myself, I found it a little odd that anyone would smear food on their child’s head, and then I come to learn that it’s a widespread (no pun intended) and commonly accepted parenting phenomonon. I’ll be darned.

    Either way, I’m craving chocolate frosting now.

  • Victoria,
    NYT didn’t know who they were messing with either 😉

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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