Mommy blogger Heather Armstrong of Dooce discovered useless by boyfriend

Heather Armstrong, a pioneering blogger who reworked girls’s media and altered the general public notion of motherhood, has died on the age of 47.

Armstrong, who additionally glided by her maiden identify, Heather Hamilton, died by suicide, in line with her boyfriend, Pete Ashdown, who told the Associated Press that he discovered her Tuesday night time at their Salt Lake Metropolis house. Ashdown stated that Armstrong had just lately relapsed into alcoholism after remaining sober for greater than 18 months.

Armstrong was born on July 19, 1975, and grew up in Memphis, earlier than majoring in English at Brigham Younger College in Provo, Utah. She graduated in 1997 and moved to Los Angeles for work earlier than marrying an online designer named Jon Armstrong and returning to Salt Lake Metropolis.

She based the weblog Dooce in 2001. It rapidly amassed a devoted following of younger moms who discovered Heather Armstrong’s candid and deeply private posts in regards to the realities of motherhood charming.

“She was a transformative determine not simply within the parenting and household area, however in what we now take without any consideration by way of the digital ecosystem,” stated Catherine Connors, the senior vice chairman of creator experiences on the advertising and marketing agency Raptive and a former blogger. “She was one of many first well-known bloggers in any class, and had a fully radical affect when she started writing truthfully about motherhood and her psychological well being points.”

Armstrong detailed her struggles with postpartum despair, her conflicted feelings about parenting, her battles with alcoholism, her marriage and eventual divorce. She broke taboos about faith, detailing her alternative to depart the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her demise was introduced on her Instagram web page Wednesday.

Armstrong is credited by many with upending a girls’s media world that till the early 2000s largely portrayed an idealized model of motherhood, a time when house life was thought of non-public, and points associated to household and youngsters have been deemed too private to debate publicly.

Mommy bloggers, most notably Armstrong, modified that, stated Connors. Within the pre-blogging period, she stated: “You bought actually sanitized parenting magazines and child books and issues that didn’t inform you the reality in regards to the expertise of motherhood. … The entire area of media round parenting was male-dominated, and when it centered on girls it was sanitized. … [Armstrong] used her platform to fully destigmatize points like postpartum despair, divorce and all these items we completely take without any consideration now.”

The time period “mommy blogger” that was bestowed on Armstrong and plenty of different girls bloggers on the time was fraught, with many ladies feeling prefer it was misogynistic and pejorative. However Armstrong shattered these perceptions. Running a blog gave girls an area the place they may communicate for themselves and construct audiences exterior company media.

When Armstrong determined to run adverts on her weblog in 2004, she grew to become one of many first to monetize a private model on the web, paving the best way for generations of influencers to observe.

“It was empowering,” she informed Vox in 2019, “as a result of I spotted I didn’t want some male government in New York to inform me that my story’s necessary sufficient to publish as a result of I can simply do it myself.”

In 2009, Armstrong wrote a ebook referred to as, “It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita.” That yr, she appeared as a visitor on “The Oprah Winfrey Present” and was named essentially the most influential girl in media by Forbes. In 2012, she launched her second ebook titled “Dear Daughter.”

At one level, Armstrong’s weblog was reportedly attracting greater than 8 million viewers a month, and her earnings from it totaled $30,000 to $50,000 a month.

“Each influencer, each household channel, each monetized website attempting to keep up an existence as a type of impartial media can hint its historical past again to Dooce,” the blogger generally known as SB Sarah wrote Wednesday. “She was extra well-known than the largest channels on TikTok, extra well-known than the YouTubers with essentially the most subscribers, extra related on the time than any Instagrammer — with none of these types of social media to construct her viewers and her group.”

Armstrong and her mommy running a blog friends constructed the muse for what’s now generally known as the creator financial system.

“She formed the web as we all know it as we speak — and launched one million storytellers together with her willingness to jot down boldly and unapologetically in regards to the struggles of being human,” the blogger Rebecca Woolf, one other pioneering motherhood blogger, wrote of Armstrong’s passing Wednesday.

Kathryn Jezer-Morton, a author who chronicles motherhood and the web world, stated that Armstrong’s affect on the trendy web is “onerous to overstate.” “She was saying issues nobody had stated out loud earlier than,” Jezer-Morton stated. “She was actually trustworthy about who she was, and we hadn’t seen that earlier than from a suburban mother — it was unprecedented.”

The prominence of Armstrong’s weblog additionally kicked off what would grow to be a nationwide dialogue on the function of youngsters in parenting content material on-line.

“There was one time when she wrote about once I was sick and it sort of embarrassed me and I talked to her about it and she or he was like, ‘I’m so sorry, I didn’t imply to embarrass you,’” her then-14-year-old daughter, Leta Elise Armstrong, informed Slate in 2018. Her daughter stated she was given veto energy over sure issues showing on

Heather Armstrong wrote extensively about her struggles with despair and alcohol habit in her 2019 ebook, “The Valedictorian of Being Dead.” The ebook particulars her expertise present process a scientific trial for a therapy for despair that subjected her to 10 classes by which docs used propofol anesthesia to scale back her mind exercise to zero earlier than elevating it once more.

Following the therapy and the publication of her ebook, she started running a blog extra frequently on Her last publish, dated April 6, 2023, talks about her struggles with sobriety and despair. “Early sobriety resembles dwelling life as a clam with out its shell,” she wrote.

She is survived by her two kids, Leta Elise, now 19, and Marlo Iris Armstrong, 14.

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