Fit Bottomed Mama We Love: Heather B. Armstrong of Dooce

Hi, Fit Mamas! My name’s Tish. I’m not a mama (yet), but I write over on those other sites you may have read (Fit Bottomed Girls and Fit Bottomed Eats). I recently had the awesome privilege of interviewing Heather B. Armstrong, creator of both Dooce.com and two very adorable girls named Leta and Marlo. (I give her a Moving Mama Moment Award for giving her kids such groovy names.) She shared some touching thoughts I knew Fit Bottomed Mamas at large would love to hear about.

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This is Heather. Aren’t those polka dots the cutest? Credit: Dooce.com

You may be hearing from me down the road, as I am recently married and totally gung-ho about starting a family soon. I figured this would be a nice way to introduce myself. Again, my name is Tish. I am an FBG and actor. I dig the color green, and I have a border-line obsessive love for this darn blogger who happens to be a great, fit mama. Read on for my Q&A with Heather (and read more of my interview here)!

Dooce on Motherhood and Superpowers

If you could have a mom superpower, what would it be? I would like to operate without any sleep. I want to be eternally awake. I would be so much more successful.

What is one thing you loved about being pregnant? Hated? There was this sense that my body was doing exactly what it was supposed to do, and I loved that. It turned into a machine much like a computer, and it just took care of itself. There’s a power in that. There’s something very mother-earthly about it all. Everything else f*cking sucked. I hated it. I hated being tired. I hated waking up and being 10 pounds heavier without even eating anything crazy different. I hated the water retention. Oh God, did I hate it! My knuckles actually were swollen … my knuckles!

What was your biggest surprise about motherhood? I think the thing that surprised me the most was what most people answer: I was surprised how much I could love my children. I was also surprised by how much more connected  to humanity I was. I felt like I finally understood what thousands of years of humanity had been through. I finally got their walks of life. I’d see a person and think someone birthed them or they have had a child. I saw the universal plan in it all. I basically understood humans a lot better.

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Heather’s kiddos, Marlo and Leta. Credit: Dooce.com

If you magically had an hour added to your day free of obligations, what would you do with it? I would sleep!!! I know it’s not ambitious but that’s it.

Did pregnancy/childbirth change your view of your body and what it’s capable of? How so? Yes! My unmedicated childbirth changed my view of my body by leaps and bounds. It’s actually why I was able to run a marathon. I knew I was powerful, in both mind and body. I swear nothing scared me physically after that. If a doctor talked to me about surgery, I’d be unmoved. Will that be a horrible recovery? Never known that before. [sarcasm]

My Takeaways

I’m not gonna lie; I was terrified a bit when Heather was walking me through the parts of being pregnant she hated, but I loved her even more for it because it was real and she didn’t sugarcoat anything. Only in closed quarters have my friends ever truly shared just how suck-tastic rubbing thighs can be, so I appreciated the honesty and then some. I didn’t think it was possible to love a stranger, but listening to her discuss her connection to the universe was pretty emotional, too. On the outside I remained an objective journalist, but on the inside, I was gushing, crying and cooing. Motherhood comes complete with a plethora of emotions: fear, terror, joy, love, disdain … the list goes and on, but much like marriage, it’s good to know what you’re getting yourself into, you know? Reminds me of that quote Ashley Judd says in the movie Frida. Just substitute “marriage” with “motherhood” or “parenthood”:

“I don’t believe in marriage. I think at worst it’s a hostile political act, a way for small-minded men to keep women in the house and out of the way, wrapped up in the guise of tradition and conservative religious nonsense. At best, it’s a happy delusion — these two people who truly love each other and have no idea how truly miserable they’re about to make each other. But, when two people know that, and they decide with eyes wide open to face each other and get married anyway, then I don’t think it’s conservative or delusional. I think it’s radical and courageous and very romantic.”

Thank you, dearest Heather (along with all of the truly wonderful mothers I know and love), for your frank honesty! Other moms — who can relate to the swollen knuckles and her view on humanity? —Tish

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