Playful, elegant, and not above the judicious use of the word “shit."

Because it needs to be said

I’m still a little confused as to what time it is, so forgive me now for any typos that might unfurl as I get all this down on paper. I left my hotel room yesterday morning at 5AM DC time, 3AM Salt Lake time, and when I got home I had several hours of work to get done, and I’m just going to go ahead and get this out of the way because I am tired and cranky:

Some of you, and you know exactly who you are, you can go right ahead and suck it.

I had no idea the brouhaha that was going to ensue by announcing that I had been invited by the White House to Washington DC. And I’ll go ahead an be an egotistical bastard and say that had I not been invited that most of the people I just told to suck it would not have even known that there was a forum on Workplace Flexibility going on in the first place. And all the drama and outrage that they spewed online could have been instead directed at whatever issues they have that are unresolved in their own lives.

Because it has nothing to do with me. They have this idea of who Heather Armstrong is and it is based entirely on assumptions. Bad, completely untrue assumptions that they so DESPERATELY want to believe because my success somehow diminishes their own.

Heather Armstrong has it so easy. Heather Armstrong is LOADED. Heather Armstrong has no idea what it is really like to be a working mother because she has an assistant who takes care of her recycling. Blah blah blah blah blah. SHUT UP.

The truth? The truth is that I work my ass off. I hit the ground running at 6AM every morning and I do not stop until I hit the pillow at night. And understand that this is not a pity party, I am not complaining: this is my job and I embrace it and I love it. I embrace the fact that I do not have free time. I do not ever get a day off. I did not get a maternity leave. I can’t take a vacation. Every moment of my life is accompanied by the thought that I have a website to maintain, one that feeds my family, and if I don’t publish they don’t eat.

Also, if I don’t publish, people think I have died. (I appreciate those emails, actually.)

I embrace the knowledge that there are hundreds if not thousands of people who despise me. Thousands of people who have a bad opinion of me and can talk about that opinion in public forums. And then go on to say, well, Heather opened herself up to this, she better take it!

And oh, I do. I take it. And I want to thank you for it. Because it has forced me to take a look at myself and how I treat other people. Because all the shit and misinformed waah-waah-waahing that is aimed at my head has made it so that I will first, before anything else, give someone the benefit of the doubt, and second, never treat anyone the way I have been treated. Never speak about someone the way people speak about me. Especially in a public forum.

Sure, you can probably find me jealously criticizing someone in my archives, but I like to think that I’ve come a long way since then. Because the hate mail and the hate sites and the bickering twitters about Heather Armstrong, all the crazy assumptions about me and my family that I see being tangled and weaved in ways that are specifically made to make someone feel better about their own insecurities, all of this has made me so much more human.

Thank you, those of you who need to suck it.

Also? Thank you to those of you who do give me the benefit of the doubt. You are quite simply the reason my family has food to eat. You give me strength and motivation to continue working my ass off. You are the ones I want to take on this roller coaster ride. I want to share all of this with you: the unexpected trips to DC, the book tours, the Peter Frampton sightings.

Thank you for coming on this ride with me. And I have said this before, but I really do feel like I could sit down with any of you and talk into the late hours of the night over a beer or four. Sprite, if you’re Mormon.

Those who came to see me at Old Ebbitt Grill in DC on Wednesday night proved just that, and I will count that as one of the most enjoyable nights of my life, one that ended up with a giant basket of chili cheese fries at Ben’s Chili Bowl with a group of people I wish lived next door.

Thank you for the handshakes, the hugs, the email, the virtual fist pumps, the handwritten letters of support. Most of all, thank you for nodding and laughing along. The idea of you on the other side getting why I sometimes overindulge in the shift key is the reason I love this job.

  • isumom

    Come to Iowa…come TO IOWA…COME TO IOWA!!! We love the shift key and WE LOVE DOOCE!!!!

  • Daddy Scratches

    Funny; I was driving into the city with my wife the other night, and as we were sitting in traffic, I told her about the way cool opportunity you were offered, and then went on to marvel about the fact that so many people had subsequently started writing such bitter, hateful, clearly jealous shit.

    If you can’t be happy for someone else’s success and good fortune, you’re not likely to have any of your own.

    PS: And I totally hear you about working from home still means busting your ass.

  • MichelleRenee

    I’m so happy you don’t let them get to you.

    You always make me laugh.

    I shall click on every ad so you may take the rest of the day off!

  • sleighly

    meeting you at ebbitt, even though i was a half dead zomboid after a day of mind numbingly boring work and a long run, was the one of the highlights of, well, life. as many haters as you have, know you have just as many people who think you are GREAT (and an inspiration, capital letters and all). helping your cause was that unbelievable leopard print coat.

  • Ariel

    Ahhh!
    I really like you! You have changed my life for the better and I appreciate you! And that’s all I have to say!

  • meeps

    I prefer beer, and I know that there’s a lot of dooce fans in Seattle who’d love to chat with you over a fine microbrew (or four) anytime you find yourself in the Emerald City.

    It’s really too bad that the haters don’t get anything but malcontent out of your lovely site, because there are A LOT of us who gain tremendously from reading your words and being involved in the community.

    Love, a former valedictorian of dieting.

  • LolaLola

    Love you!
    Screw them!

  • mightymarce

    Cheers to THAT. I think it is amazing that you got invited to Washington, that you are able to support your family via a website that also helps so many other people (either through helping other moms not feel so alone, or just giving people a well-needed laugh every once in a while). I make a point to always click through to the site when reading your posts. I like supporting bloggers like you.

  • KateH

    Fuck the haters. Or, as a sex-ed teacher once said (pointing out that wishing a pleasant experience on someone may not be what you have in mind): I hope they never get a good fuck in their lives.

    Virtual hugs, cheers, high-fives, etc. (But in an enthusiastic, supportive way, not a smarmy, touchy, skeevy way, of course.)

    Reading your blog makes my life better, brighter, and easier. Thank YOU for that.

  • LesleyG

    First, to hell with them.
    Second, this is really a great testament to the many people I know who have any kind of fame tend to feel. I could see many of them saying the very same thing, that people make all kinds of judgments, most of which are really quite mean and scary, but at the end of the day they do love their jobs because the rest of the people are pretty damn cool.
    Keep being strong, and thanks for the reminder that it’s worth it.

  • Eves1

    You go girl! You are fully deserving of all the great things that happen to you and your family as a direct result of the hard work you put in! You’ve earned it!!

  • srising

    Girl – I bet for every person that “hates” you there are a 1,000,000,000,000,000 (a million zillion) who LOVE you. Including me.

    Forget them! Boo yaaa!

  • francabollo

    Brava.

  • thedurttybride

    I love, love, lovity love this site. The haters can definitely SUCK IT!

  • UtahMom

    ((((((hugs)))))

    Love ya, Heather.

    Thank you for putting up with the idiots.

    I appreciate all you do.

    You go, gf!

  • ginntastic

    I’m amazed at what people get upset over. They really have nothing else better to do?

    You should be proud of what you’ve done and what you do. And remember there are lots of readers out there who love your blog and respect what you do.

  • nicholee

    I’m absolutely jealous of you, but it’s mainly because of your hair. (And that, we know, is all due to Suave.) I was really excited to hear you’d be going to the White House, because I figured you’d have something useful and reasonable to say there. It’s like the internet had a senator for a day.

  • Peanut22

    Wow, I haven’t seen any hate towards you besides the ‘Monetizing the Hate’ site you put up, but seriously? People are STILL complaining and harassing you on the interwebs?

    I mean, of course most of us are jealous of the life you lead, but we can’t presume that it’s easy and that you live a life of luxury. Sure, there are times that you say things that make me go ‘hmmm’….but I don’t have to agree with them but I respectfully appreciate your opinion and/or decorating taste even if they don’t match my own tastes or budget.

    There will always be haters out there, I don’t think I’d be able to handle it all that well. So, kudo’s to you for this post!

  • eryn.chandler

    I think everyone else up top has said everything already.

    sooooo:

    you go girl, me loves you, your blog = my favorite blog, and your children have the most beautiful eyes i’ve ever seen!

  • SquidlySue

    Heather, you have shared some of the most beautiful and some of the most painful parts of your life with the world, and as a result I have been able to nod and smile and laugh and cry with you for nearly four years now.

    This record of your life has, by sheer awareness of your struggles and triumphs and ALL CAPS and everything else, made mine better. I owe you a great debt of gratitude for helping a bored and depressed 22-year old realise that there was so much more to life than she had ever imagined, that it was a great and a good mess, worth every hardship, and that there is so much to look forward to, always.

    Thank you. For everything.

  • gallygirl

    Sometimes when I find myself marveling at a person who so successfully handles their career that they seem to embody it, I say to my husband, “That person was meant to do that in life.” You were meant to write this blog. Thank you so much for sharing your many gifts with us (and thanks to your family for letting you share). Unfortunately, the job also comes with truckloads of crap, the extent of which we followers can’t even fathom. Please don’t stop because of that. You were meant to do this.

  • uthostage

    I’m writing this with only a small shot of caffeine in me, so I don’t know how much sense this will make.

    Haters suck. Big time. And I think you handle them with real class Heather.

    I wish more people took the time to walk in someone else’s shoes. Everyone faces challenges in their lives, but it’s how we face those challenges and rise above them that I think is important. People need to stop bitching about the what and focus on the how.

    Note to haters: Grow up. Get your head outta your ass. Stop trying to tear people down.

    I keep re-reading my comment & asking ‘WTF?’ Hopefully it makes sense to you. For me, though, it’s time for Starbucks.

    Stay strong Heather. 🙂

  • HisBirdie

    (((BIG HUG)))
    Thank you for being a voice to say the things so many of us wish we could with an audience as large as yours.
    You rock! And those people do need to Suck it!

  • OLP

    Your Daily schedule is the same as Farm life in the early 1900’s, now you can add Time Traveler to your resume! You’re Great!

  • rabbitrabbit

    Don’t let the jerks get you down, mama. I’m amazed (though I shouldn’t be at this point) that anyone would think anything other than, “Well, YAY for you!” (in a non-sarcastic way) after reading about the DC experience. I thought it was incredible and very, very cool. Maybe I should have told you that earlier so it would help weigh in against all the RAGE!. I think that’s usually how it goes…those who get all worked up and panties twisted are the ones who scream and yell and bitch, and the rest of us are just laid back, thinking, “You totally and completely rock.” So, to say it out loud: What an awesome thing to happen to an awesome, deserving person.

  • KatR

    Don’t have much more to add to what others have said, just that I was as proud and excited for you as if you were someone I knew personally…..

  • Malissa

    YESYESYESYESYEYSYESYESYES!

    Heather, your success is due to nothing but sheer hard-ass work, and those of us who come to your site every day know that. Those out there in Cyberland that feel the need to bash you do so because of nothing more than sheer, green-eyed jealousy. And you have every right to tell those fools to “SUCK IT!”

    Today you should be basking in the glow of visiting the White House, having an audience with the Prez, and getting the chance to talk about the difficulty and joy you and your family have had juggling work, life, and all the wonderful and horrible things that accompany them. NOT having to respond to all the JERKS out there who want to bully you from behind screen names. While I admire and respect you for defending yourself against the cowardly haters out there, just take solice in the fact that you and Jon will NEVER have to defend yourself to us, your friends/readers/followers/stalkers. Tonight I will be drinking a Makers as I toast your visit to The Prez. BTW, since you sat on the front row, did The Prez notice your kick-ass blue tights?

    And to all the haters out there, get a life. You’re really starting to look and sound pathetic.

  • Becca

    For shit’s sake, you are the EPITOME of workplace flexibility. And you created it yourself. no one handed it to you. the haters need to get laid.

  • RebJoh

    Well, I’m pissed.

    I didn’t see the DC meet-up tweet until too late! 🙁

    Seriously though, the Interweb is great for a whole lot of things, but it also creates a security blanket of anonymity that surprises and scares me. I’m glad you don’t take it to heart. Keep on keepin’ on lady. Reading your blog is a bright spot in my day.

    RJ

  • chasethefirefly

    “I do not ever get a day off. I did not get a maternity leave. I can’t take a vacation. Every moment of my life is accompanied by the thought that I have a website to maintain, one that feeds my family, and if I don’t publish they don’t eat.”

    Those words have made me so sad this morning. I COMPLETELY understand why you wrote them. I’ve been working really hard at a teeny business that has taken off and I feel like all the days are running into each other with a little sleep in between. I’m trying to force myself to ease up before it takes away from my health/sanity or my family. I hope that you are able to find time for yourself and your family in the near future. You all deserve it.

  • Steph the WonderWorrier

    I don’t really read the comments that get left on your Blog, I just come here to read your awesome posts! Sorry people were being total douchenozzles!

    I can relate in a way to people not understanding or appreciating the hard work you do. I’m a new teacher, I teach the first grade. All through teacher’s college (and before, actually, whenever I’d say that becoming a teacher was my goal) I’d hear, “Oh yeah! Who wouldn’t want to work from 9-3 and have summers off?”.

    A statement like that completely dismisses the amount of work that goes into teaching, especially for new teachers. My job is practically 24/7! I’m always planning, marking, organizing, and participating in professional development opportunities.

    I think it just comes down to people not understanding the job and yet still feeling like they can have a loud-mouth opinion on it.

  • settembre

    Out of all the wonderful blog posts you’ve written, and most of them are wonderful, this in my opinion is by far the best one.

    🙂

  • currants

    Dooce, I love you and think you’re wonderful and I would love to sit up all night and talk with you and my friend Laurel although she’d want scotch and I think tequila would be better than beer, but I do have one question: should you maybe just stop feeding the trolls?

  • nomad61877

    They can suck it. You just keep doing what you are doing, there are plenty more people that appreciate this than don’t.

    Thank you, Heather. I have enjoyed your site for years and years. The pictures – oh, the pictures! – make me want to be a better photographer. The stories of your gorgeous family, the sad, funny, touching ones…all are great. I always enjoy popping in to dooce.com and seeing what the Armstrong family is up to. It is your life you are sharing with us, I say do it however the hell you want.

  • jlejeune

    You go Heather,

    Congratulations on being asked and valued by the LEADER of this country. Ask the rude people if they got an invite.

    Keep on doing what you are doing. You make me smile, cry and laugh out loud. I look forward to your every post.

    Now I’m going to click through all your adds so you can put more stuff on Chucks head and take pictures of him. That makes me smile.

  • scatterbox

    Love how all the haters hate SO MUCH that they can’t… stop… reading… your… posts… OHHHHH!

    Guess they also deserve a big, fat THANK YOU for helping support your job that they love to hate so much!

    Suckwads.

    LOVE you. Rock on.

  • lynseylou82

    Bitter, angry, resentful people, the haters are.

    I don’t own my own company, but both of my parents have at differents times in their lives and I’ll tell you what, they worked their asses off. Clearly the haters can’t see beyond their own pathetic little world to see anything else. Seriously.

    There may be a lot of haters out there, but I’ll tell you what, there’s a whole lotta love out there, too.

    Oh, and I LOVE SHIFT, TOO!

  • k8juice

    You’re a rock star. No – you’re the blogosphere’s very own superheroine. With a very stylish cape. There’s always going to be lousy people who feel the need to tear down other people in a totally futile attempt to make themselves feel less lousy. Keep living the dream!

  • sonjabean

    I can’t imagine what you must go through. People do tend to like an excuse to find something wrong with someone else – anyone else. But hey, don’t they say there’s no such thing as bad press? And I wouldn’t be surprised if the haters weren’t among your most loyal followers. I remember in the Howard Stern movie, “Private Parts,” where one of the radio station managers was all upset about Howard’s show, and then the ratings come out, and they show that the audience members who liked Howard listened to him for (something like) 20 minutes per day and the audience members who hated him listened to him for 40 minutes per day. So hey, numbers are numbers I guess, even for you. I don’t know how your advertising rates work, but I assume that your site hits have something to do with it, so the more the merrier, right?

    Well, again, I can’t imagine that it’s easy to be you, but as others have said, I’m glad you do it anyway. 🙂

  • Dani

    Good grief! How to put this?

    I don’t always agree with every thing you say. I don’t however think you are in any way a bad person just because we have different opinions.

    Yes the people that hate you have problems. It’s just insane to me how hatefull people can be. I know you know they are nut jobs but I just want to say there are far more people who think you are awesome.

    I’m sorry you have to deal with that much negativity and I’d happily sit down and have a few drinks with you. In fact I’d bring a realy nice bottle of wine (or two) and laugh at all the irrational things people say.

  • Sarah Rosemary

    I had no idea people would take any issue with your involvemet in the forum, how silly! Anyway, I hope you do not let them get you down — write us a post about how the forum went. I am eager to find out!

  • debcon37

    Been reading since I “STUMBLED” on the website in 2004. Leta and my Danielle are just two months apart, so I went through the PPD right along with you. Read all your archives and have been enjoying this ride with you ever since.
    You’re a great example of an American dream. Enjoy it, and yeah, mean people suck. I’m glad that you’re addressing this. It may not make the haters stop hating, but I bet you feel better huh?

  • laurcas

    First – darn, should have come down to the Old Ebbitt. Dooce was just a metro ride away. Come back to DC soon!

    Second – was that workplace thing boring? It looked kind of boring, like the meetings I sit through every day. I would kill for a work life like yours (well, I do work from home when I’m not in boring meetings, so halfway there and all the long hours and no vacations)

    Third – Jim Samples and I were chatting about you the other day – insanely glowing endorsement from me on his good sense!

    Fourth – living my own private HGTV hell – I mean, show – right now –help! Send Holmes and that lady, and throw in Ty from Extreme Makeover while you’re at it. And please come and Twitter about Hardieplank and custom color matching and contractors who lie.

    Continue to be amazed by Heather Armstrong. Tell those nasty people to just go back to their Facebook postings about the death of democracy.

  • Anu

    Fuck the haters! Such people are just sad and empty inside and will never find happiness no matter how hard they try, so fuck em!

    But more importantly, did you get to meet the president or the first lady? Pictures, we need pictures!

  • dietdplovingmom

    Heather,

    Sorry that peope feel the need to say negative things about you and your family. Especially when their opnions are from uneducated, unfounded information. While, I don’t agree with everything you write about it, I respect it and would never say anything negatively about you in a public forum or even to myself, because I think you are a great person, mom, wife, etc. Don’t let the haters bother you! You are doing a great job! You have more fans than foes, just remember that.

  • seattlestevie

    I heart you. And I was SO excited to see Michele Obama walk right past you and your bright blue tights! Made me smile. What an amazing experience this must’ve been for you!

  • wendamatica

    What everyone else said, Heather. Fist bumps, hugs, kudos and cheers. We are proud of you, admire you, and revel in your success.

    Go, go, Go!

    Wendy

  • LaurieML

    Dear Dooce (or Heather),
    I am a senior in college in Washington DC (and currently writing this during class). I had to physically restrain myself from not going to the grill with thoughts of my GPA and graduating and how I would never get a job or get married. I have been reading your blog since last year and when I told my mom about it, she thought I was crazy for reading a “mommy-blog”. Mommy-blogger or not, I really enjoy your writing and look forward to reading your blog every day and seeing pictures of your cute children and crazy dogs. And your frank discussion about mental illness has reinforced, for me, that if you are unhappy you need to take charge–if a medication helps you do that, so be it. Hopefully people who disagree with you will learn something that I have learned in school…
    If you don’t like something, DON’T READ IT.
    I hope you had a wonderful time in Washington and please come back. And when I say please, I mean “pleaaaaaseee”. I’ll buy you doritos.

  • The Naked Redhead

    Listen, Heather, I wrote about you for my Master’s mini-thesis. (YEAH! ACADEMIA! SUCK IT, HATERS. I didn’t write about you guys unless I used the word “douchetard”…and I didn’t, because it’s really hard to use words like that when you’re all up in the APA formatting and shit.) While the title of the paper was rather droll (The Power of Story: Creating a Successful Blog through Use of Fisher’s Narrative Paradigm) it described much awesome of the you and the writing and the blogging and the pioneering with the interwebz and the whatnot.

    Seriously, I don’t even know why you acknowledge these people. Hell, I delete people on my blog when they correct my grammar. DELETE.

  • katszeye

    Virtual fist pump.

    Congrats on the invitation to the White House and thanks for putting up with all the crazy.