Heather B. Armstrong Explains Why We Do It


Quoting from Dooce, Newsletter: Month Fifty and Fifty-one (The author is speaking to her daughter in a newsletter she writes every month since 2004—except for month fifty—about criticism she receives from readers who think it’s wrong for her to write about her child on her website):

“Will you resent me for this website? Absolutely. And I have spent hours and days and months of my life considering this, weighing your resentment against the good that can come from being open and honest about what it’s like to be your mother, the good for you, the good for me, and the good for other women who read what I write here and walk away feeling less alone. And I have every reason to believe that one day you will look at the thousands of pages I have written about my love for you, the thousands of pages other women have written about their own children, and you’re going to be so proud that we were brave enough to do this. We are an army of educated mothers who have finally stood up and said pay attention, this is important work, this is hard, frustrating work and we’re not going to sit around on our hands waiting for permission to do so. We have declared that our voices matter.

“These are the stories of our lives as women and they often include you, yes. …

“I will not be discouraged from continuing to document the beauty of life with my family or supporting them with an income from doing so. Leta, some people will one day try to convince you that what I’ve done here is some sort of sickening betrayal of your childhood, and what those people fail to recognize is that I am doing the exact opposite. This is the glorification of your childhood, and even more than that this is a community of women coming together to make each other feel less alone. You are a part of this movement, you and all of the other kids whose mothers are sitting at home right now writing tirelessly about their experiences as mothers, the love and frustration and madness of it all. And I think one day you will look at all of this and pump your fist in the air.”

EDIT: I wrote this post late last night and I’ve been thinking I must add to it. I must add a little about why I do it. I write about my kids and my feelings about my kids in the hopes that someday they will know who I am. That I am human and full of flaws, and still beautiful. That I start every day with hopes and good intentions. That I strive for goodness and warmth, honesty and love in our family. 

If that bus with my name on it claims me before my sons grow up enough to remember me and our experiences, I hope that eventually, they will read what I have written here and know I loved them imperfectly and completely—in the very best way I could.

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