Mommy Blogger's Irreverent Observations

From her home in Salt Lake City, Heather Armstrong writes what many young mothers are feeling but are too afraid to say, such as "This town needs an enema."

Or "Motherhood is awful and God hates kittens."

"People often write me and ask how I keep my wood floors so clean," Armstrong said. "My answer is that I use a technique called 'Suffering From a Mental Illness.'"

This irreverent former Mormon is one of the most popular and controversial moms popping off in the blogosphere.

Her Web site, dooce.com, is a daily diary of her life with her husband, Jon, who she refers to as a "hot geek," her 4-year-old daughter, Leta, and their dogs, Coco and Chuck.

But this isn't Utah's version of "Sex in the City." Armstrong says she prefers to chronicle "the mundane and boring details of the life we all live."

Categories include boobs, Brigham Young University, motherhood, pregnancy and depression. Readers ought not expect boring recipes and carpooling tips from this 32-year-old stay-at-home mom.

"I approach my Web site as if I am sitting down with my girlfriends on a Friday night about what happened during the week," Armstrong said.

One Million Readers

Although she's unconventional, Armstrong's candid and often profane riffs on potty training ("My daughter lied about going to the bathroom by herself, and we had to talk about how she had to learn how to lie better") and postpartum depression have attracted more than 1 million online readers a month.

"I have no problem saying what some people are afraid to say," Armstrong said. "Like motherhood is really, really difficult. Sometimes it's really unpleasant and sometimes you turn around and you're like, 'What did I do to my life?' A lot of the women that read my Web site want to be able to say that and need and are feeling that and want someone to talk to just to work through it."

For Armstrong, the Web site that she started in 2001 isn't just a hobby. Her Web site pulls in an estimated $40,000 per month in revenue from advertisers like Wal-Mart, Hewlett-Packard and, most recently, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

The advertising revenue didn't cause her to censor her content. "The only thing that has led me to self-censor is the knowledge that my father is reading my Web site," she said.

Armstrong wasn't always so thoughtful. She painfully recalls one incident early in her blogging career that hurt her family, in particular her father.

"When my family discovered my Web site it was the day after I had written a martini-fueled diatribe against religion, and it was devastating to them. My father didn't speak to me for three months," Armstrong said.

After that she developed some rules for what she would and would not write about her family. Despite having lost an advertiser or two, Armstrong hasn't lost her edge.

"After I started running ads someone sent me a hate mail and said your Web site now sucks sweaty goat balls. And I knew right then that had to be my next tag line," she said. "Two advertisers pulled out. An ad company called to say, 'You might want to warn us.' But, you know, I think they understand now that's why people come to my Web site."

Balancing Family and Blog

Armstrong said her audience is mostly young mothers looking for a friend. But there are other fans.

"I get a lot of e-mail from college aged boys who say, 'I'm disgusted with myself, but I love your Web site.'"

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