An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

In the moment

A couple of days ago I volunteered in Leta’s kindergarten class for a writing workshop they hold every week, and since I show up early for everything I got to talk to her teacher while the kids finished playing outside. She said Leta was integrating well and asked how it was at home with the newborn, and suddenly I’m reflexively gushing about how much I love it and can’t get enough.


WHA?? WHO???

And I found myself wanting to talk about how that morning when Marlo woke up at 3 AM to feed I couldn’t wait to snuggle her up under my arm and lie there with her fuzzy head up under my chin. OH! And our favorite part of the day now is the moment Leta pokes her head into our bedroom in the morning and whispers with a scream, “IS THE BABY AWAKE?!” Her head a giant mushroom cloud of tangles as she runs and hops up in between us, and Marlo looks up with a grin so wide there is no room left on the bed.

Yeah, there are really frustrating times, experiences everyone has as they juggle this kid off to school while trying to make the house quiet for the other kid’s nap. And work and errands jammed into the tiny cracks of time left in the day. But that baby… I don’t know how to explain what she’s done to me, to Jon, and especially to Leta who loves her more than anything else in her life, who now shows a level of tenderness and generosity that I didn’t know she possessed. It’s like Marlo has brought us to Here, with the capital H, that place we’ve always been trying to get to, the place that always seemed unattainable and out of reach. She’s brought us into The Now, and it feels absolutely magical.

I will always remember how hard it was the first time, and I will always sympathize with women who struggle they way that I did. But now I feel like I can understand the others who beamed when talking about life with an infant. I get it now. Yes, I know this makes me some droning mommyblogger, but I also hope that this, from the perspective of someone who has lived through the blinding demons of sadness and hopelessness, might give someone out there a glimpse of what it can be, and maybe they’ll go for it.

  • So happy for you all. Congratulations, again and again, for making it Here.

  • Heather, I’m so sorry you have to deal with all that horrible hate mail. I new that internet commenters could be awful, but I really didn’t understand how hateful they could be. Thank you for writing despite them. I always enjoy your posts and love that you’re willing to share your life with the world, especially knowing what you have to deal with in response. As much as they’ll probably hate that I say this, it takes a lot of guts to keep writing when you’re getting that kind of feedback. Also, I make sure to click on lots of ads on the hate page to make sure you get something good in return for all that badness.

  • So…you’re saying I need to have TWO of them to really make it great? Man. I have got to get to work on birthin’ some babies.

    They are gorgeous and I’m so happy for you that Leta decided to love Marlo instead of resenting her. I’m sure that has something to do with how you treated Leta as Marlo was being introduced to the family, so good job integrating! xo

  • Jenny

    That was really touching… I loved the background music- who was that?

  • Wendi

    i read everything you write and really enjoy most of it. the whole “twitter the police because they’re not doing things the way i think they should be doing them way” was a little bully-ish. and sometimes i think you may have lost touch with some of your audience but i still read you because i think you’re a great writer and you make me laugh. i have no idea if you’re a good mother, but hey, it’s none of my business. it’s a blog, it’s entertainment. it’s not a big deal. i don’t understand the people that seem to worship you or think that anyone who critizes you should be shot.

    that said, Michelle Rebeiro Yoakum Mcbee, WHOA…. where does that amount of hate come from? if it weren’t for the excellent entertainment value of her hate, i’d offer to share my zoloft with her. she must have a serious case of the jealousies going on. i hope she keeps up the sideshow. i can’t look away!

  • Jennifer

    Gorgeous. I’m not normally a weepy person, but that video brought a smile to my face and tears to my eyes. My oldest child is 9 and my “baby” is 5. My first child was so in love with the younger one when she was a baby. They are still great buddies five years later. Almost makes me want another.

  • Read and watched it twice. You are the best! And I am so proud of Leta as a big sister. Her snuggling attempts crack me up 🙂

  • Carmen

    That. Was beautiful.

  • Cris

    So beautiful, so sweet 🙂

  • Jentle

    …i usually don’t say much, but i just am so in love with the hate page i cannot contain my glee.

    dude. (heh, dooce… anyway) so, you are an awesome writer and photographer and all around a human i would totally hang out with.

    i am sooooo glad heather champ had that stroke of brilliance and that you and jon followed through with it and that we can now all share in the absurdity of these people and their SHOCKING need of a hobby.

    …i’m kind of especially enjoying the evolution of the phenomenon as they realize they have a wider audience and begin to really enjoy insulting all of us, together…. it’s like, oh i dunno ~sniff, like i’m finally Part Of Something ~choke/sob…. ya know? ~bravely wipe tear…. i mean, all these years i’ve just been occasionally ambling over here to enjoy the things you say and the way you say them, BUT NOW? well, they’ve really shown me my place. and apparently my place is as one of your slack-jawed minions.

    which is awesome, cuz i’m betting that’s gonna be way simpler than running my own life! 😉

  • Heather, you nailed it. After my first experience with motherhood and the postpartum nightmare that followed, I said NO! to a second child. I kept it up for over eight years, I simply knew that I would not survive another bout.
    #2 was born shortly after #1’s tenth birthday, and watching you with Marlo brings it all back. I had no idea that life could be so wonderful. Having that 2nd child did something for us that I had no idea was missing from our lives, it took us from a couple with 1 child, to a family. Our lives were complete.

  • Bonnie

    I have a question for all the haters…If you hate Heather and you think she is a pig or whatever why do you continue to read and why to do you continue to spend your energy sending hate mail? I mean it’s like TV don’t watch what you don’t like. I thought that concept was pretty simple. I guess I was wrong.

  • Abby

    Before reading about how Leta interacts with Marlo I wondered how I would feel about having another child. Would it take away from my daughter? How would my feelings for each child be different/the same. I don’t worry anymore. I now look forward to the day when we decide to bring another life into this world. I look forward to giving Ava a sibling.

    The relationship I have with my own siblings is something I view as magical. They get me in a way that no one else does. I love them like Leta loves Marlo. Being the oldest is such a special thing. I hold that title close to my heart.

    I hope that Leta and Marlo will continue to grow as best friends, as sisters.

    Your family is beautiful, thank you for sharing it with us.

    P.S. I love the monetize the hate website. The posts are hilarious, as is the idea.

  • That is AWESOME. So happy for you all. And that video is completely adorable. So cute. I want to go have myself a five-year-old and a newborn RIGHT NOW so I can have that at my house too. 🙂

  • anonymous

    That was beautiful. I dont have any children and while i may be getting to the age where women supposedly get “baby fever” i have not up to this point. Until right now. The Here is what i think i find myself searching for.

  • kathleen

    i never comment, but that simple video was exquisitely beautiful.

  • Anonymous


  • I just lost my twins. Your beautiful girls brought tears to my eyes and hope that someday I’ll have one. Or two again.

  • AshinMT

    Also. The hate page is intense. I LOVE it, but will admit that for just a couple times a week reader it is infuriating. I am more sensitive than most perhaps but some of those comments are down right absurd. I would tell Michelle Rebeiro Yoakum Mcbee and the rest of them to fuck off and then perhaps find them and cut them.

  • Anonymous

    as someone who is having it go the opposite way the second time around, i’m feeling very happy for you that you can know the joy you didn’t get to know the first time. drone on, mommy! =)

  • It’s not that you weren’t complete before she got there, but your something missing is there now!

  • raqs

    this video is amazing and the best one I have ever seen on your blog. makes me cry. you are so lucky to have 2 babies unlike us who needs the help of science in order to conceive but still fails …:(
    leta is adorable. i can see how she loves Marlo and being to careful playing, hugging and kissing the baby.

  • Robin

    LOVE IT!!! …and LOVE your stories!!! You have a beautiful family!!!

    I sign on everyday hoping to see new pictures and more stories of Leta and Marlo. Oh, and Chuck and CoCo too.

    Have a great weekend!

    P.S. The HATE site is awesome!!! People are morons!!!

  • Lara

    The only sure things in life are death and taxes — and that your second birth experience / second child will be completely different than the first. Thank goodness!

  • Andrea

    So sweet. I’m pregnant with my second and a miserably barfing mess right now – that helps me remember why I’m doing this. Thank you.

  • Cheers to you, Heather! I know the magic you speak of and can’t wait until it multiplies exponentially with two or more…

  • I am a rookie. Not a regular here. I know I’m not supposed to admit these things. But here I am admitting these things.

    But I am a mom and a writer. And you are, patently, enviably, talented at both of these things. I appreciate your unique brand, your unpolished authenticity. I appreciate your scuffed stories and the grays in your voice. I appreciate the fact that you are not scared to tell it like it is. I applaud the fact that you continue to be honest about the darkness that you continue to leave behind, and about the lightness that deservedly befalls you now. I don’t know you or your family or even this blog very well, but I do know that joy seeps from your words and your sentences and that joy is contagious.

    You are witty. You are wise. And, most of all, you are honest. Let’s hope that honesty is contagious too.

    Cheerio 🙂

  • Kellie

    Crying now because mine are teenagers. It is true what an elderly lady once said to me at the farmers market way back then- “I envy you these days although they may be difficult at times.” So true. So true. Enjoy them.

  • Leslie

    Um, the sweetest thing ever. Such cuties, both of them. Put up as much video as you like. Some of us LOVE it. 🙂

  • I am afraid of having another child because I am still battling the depression two years on. That video is beautiful. It made me tearful, but it’s made me happy too. Maybe one day I’ll get my head around the idea.. Maybe my daughter will get to be a big sister.

  • Angie

    I just bawled like a baby … They are both so beautiful and I’m *SO HAPPY* for you that this time around is so wonderful! You really do deserve it, and so do your girls. I’ve dealt with depression for half my life (I’m 32), and I’ve feared that I would have PPD – but your blog has shown me how to NOT have that fear. Which is awesome because I want to be a mommy more than anything in the world. Thank you for writing everything you do, Heather … Been reading since Leta was as little as Marlo, and I don’t see that ever stopping. FOLLOW! 😉

  • Today is the day that I resigned from my career of 11 years to stay home and raise my two sons, one I just gave birth to 6 weeks ago and another who will be 4 in November. After battling with thoughts of suicide and feelings of doubt and hopelessness, without a shred of self-worth to my name, I’m confident that those demons are behind me. Being on the other side of this decision has been more liberating than I ever thought possible. As someone who believes strongly in witnessing “signs” of karma working its magic, your post today is another underscore that I’ve done the right thing.

    Here’s to life. Here’s to children. Here’s to investing in joy and a family that’s worth absolutely everything.

  • Amanda

    You have given me hope. My second child will be here in a matter of weeks and I have been more scared than anything that this time around it is going to be as bad as with my first. I’m glad to hear it is going better than great for you guys and can only hope the same for my own family. Thank you!

  • Olya

    That moment of yours, it is to die for!

    I love all layers you unfold and share – can’t get enough of your “droning mommyblogger”, personality, your sadness, or your joy/laughter/ pride stream!
    You’re Here and Now are making me wish even for hopelessness and sadness. Marlo’s wide grin, Leta’s trademarked yell/whisper, your rock star/megagigatera talented storytelling, and Jon’s Unplugged LP nature represent a whole new ethnicity group the American authorities ought to promote and list in all official documents as “United Kingdom of Pure Characters” or White Trendsettian.

  • I had a rotten hard time with my first daughter, and I am living the same joyously great time with my second daughter that you just described. I felt guilty about it at first, but the new baby really was the perfect, smiling missing piece of our family. I am so glad you get to have this same happiness that I am feeling now. Who knew, right?

  • teddyandcharliesmama

    I have expressed these same sentiments–perhaps less eloquently–to so many of my friends. I had post-partum anxiety with my first, to the point where I was completely dumbfounded and also ashamed when my friends would tell me that they NEVER cried (at least, not out of sadness or anxiety) after their children were born. Not one single regret, not one inkling that they had made a big mistake. They used words like “bliss” and “elation” and I was confused and jealous. But after the birth of my second son—and I mean almost IMEEDIATELY after his birth–I said oh WOW now I get it. Elation, bliss, true love, true HAPPINESS!!! I still cry, but usually when I reflect on how beautiful our family of four is and how I am so thankful to be “Here”.

    Keep on rockin’ Dooce!

  • i think marlo looks just like leta; especially in the mouth area. beautiful girls.

  • Catie

    I have been reading your blog for years now, and I just wanted to tell you how much you have made me laugh out loud over the years, and how happy I am for you and your family. Your girls are beautiful. I think you have changed my mind about never wanting to have children. Thank you for being a constant inspiration to me, and try to ignore all of the people who say such horrible things to you. Enjoy your Here!!!!

  • Jon Pugh

    What a way to end the week. I love the video. So sweet, and so cute, and Wilco is the perfect backdrop. Heather’s comments at the end are so fantastic and make me want to have babies right now.

    Have a great weekend everyone!

  • g~

    I always say that having the second baby was when I finally relaxed into parenting and thought, “Oh, Okay, I got this.” It’s like everything just clicked and I went from parent of one struggling to not go crazy to parent of two who was completely able to handle and enjoy anything. Such a relief. My husband, on the other hand, transitioned easily into being the parent of one but flipped out about handling two. I’m just glad we both didn’t lose it at the same time.
    And I am definitely NOT pushing my luck on three.

  • Anonymous

    Gotta admit, after your rant on the haters earlier this week, and the new website, I was a little turned off and I’m a devout dooce reader. But then when I read this, I see the stuff I really love hearing from you. I like the sappy mommyblogger in you, and I think you are so much more appreciative of the “light” because of coming through the darkness. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Tina

    Thanks for leaving us with such an inspirational post to ponder.

  • Its a wonderful blessing after all you went through (and publicly, too!) the first time around to get to experience this. Motherhood is really fucking hard, and when you get to have the emotional reward along with the hard work, it just feels amazing. I had PPD with my first – on top of a colicky baby and a bumpy marriage – and it was sheer hell. With my son, while I was still dealing with a special needs first child and a bumpy marriage, I got to enjoy it more. I knew what I was doing and the breastfeeding was much easier, I didn’t have as severe a time with PPD the second time around, and my son wasn’t colicky like his sister. I think there’s also a confidence we gain having gone through so many First Times with Baby #1. Its easier to relax and enjoy when we’re not afraid we’re going to snap a finger off while putting their onesie on.

    Glad your family is enjoying the baby so much. When 11 year old Leta is trying to kill Marlo because she won’t leave her and her friends alone, you’ll remember these times as being bathed in golden light…

  • Its a wonderful blessing after all you went through (and publicly, too!) the first time around to get to experience this. Motherhood is really fucking hard, and when you get to have the emotional reward along with the hard work, it just feels amazing. I had PPD with my first – on top of a colicky baby and a bumpy marriage – and it was sheer hell. With my son, while I was still dealing with a special needs first child and a bumpy marriage, I got to enjoy it more. I knew what I was doing and the breastfeeding was much easier, I didn’t have as severe a time with PPD the second time around, and my son wasn’t colicky like his sister. I think there’s also a confidence we gain having gone through so many First Times with Baby #1. Its easier to relax and enjoy when we’re not afraid we’re going to snap a finger off while putting their onesie on.

    Glad your family is enjoying the baby so much. When 11 year old Leta is trying to kill Marlo because she won’t leave her and her friends alone, you’ll remember these times as being bathed in golden light…

  • Jenny E.

    This is my first time commenting on your site. I’ve always wanted to, but this time I just HAD to! Your girls are PRE-CIOUS! This video brought tears to my eyes! I am a first time mom to a 5 month old baby boy. My husband and I got pregnant unexpectedly on our honeymoon. I was NOT ready for the quick transition into motherhood, and found such relief, humor, and ohmygoodness everything in reading your blog while I was pregnant. I went out THE DAY your book, It Sucked and Then I Cried, was released. They didn’t even have it on the shelf yet, and I politely requested they go back into the stockroom, and bring me out a copy. I read the entire book in a day, and LOVED it. Thank you for writing from your heart, for sharing your life with us, and for truly being an inspiration. Love, Love, LOVE this site!!!

  • rb

    So cute! Leta is very sweet with her sister.

    My kids are only 20 months apart so we dind’t have moments like that. They’re good friends now so that’s a positive, but those first three years or so are a blur.

  • Wondering if it’s normal that I choked up when I watched that video. Could I possibly want a baby any more than I do right now, right now! Thanks for sharing.

  • Droning mommybloggers are cool.

  • Well, your blog done and made me cry again. I hope you are happy, Causer of Crying! Good crying, though.

    What I am dealing with is the fact that not only my ex-boyfriend of 8 years, but also my mother and stepfather are abusive. It’s taken a long time just to be able to see and name it, let alone start making changes. This first step of recognition and ending denial is very hard to take. When you grow up with abuse, you don’t see it – it’s the air, it’s the norm. Seeing the way you and Jon raise your daughters has been among the things that has helped me to see what parents are *supposed* to do and how they are supposed to approach raising their children.

    I don’t know if I will ever have kids of my own and for a long time, I didn’t think I would want to. That changed in large part thanks to seeing parenthood unfold in BlurboDoocia. It’s going to take a while to be strong enough to take on a second cat, let alone a child, but I hope that day will come. By then, Leta and Marlo will probably be published authors and run the Internet, but still.

    From what you and Jon wrote earlier this year, it seemed that Jon worried about Leta getting shortchanged on the support she needs, because of Marlo’s arrival, and you worried that you were kinda sorta cheating on Leta in a way, but it looks like having a baby sister is really good for Leta! And loving, smart kid that she is, Marlo is lucky to have her for a Big Sister.

    I’m really happy for all of you! Cryer-makers.

  • Kathy

    Beautifully said Heather! My two are now 13 and 10 and I still love every minute with them. Enjoy every stage, they are all wonderful. The challenge is to stay close and maintain a good relationship with them through each one.

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.

read more