Momversation would not be the same without the presence of über mommyblogger Heather Armstrong, founder of dooce. Heather began blogging in 2001 to chronicle her life. Her readers have followed her work in LA, subsequent firing (for blogging about people from work), getting married, moving to Salt Lake City, having a baby, postpartum depression, and current life as a wife and mom. These days a healthy Heather is pregnant with her second child, excited about her new book, and loves sharing her parenting thoughts with the Momversation viewers.
Tubefilter caught up with Heather to ask her about being in a web series and what she thinks the moms of Momversation will come up with next.
Tubefilter: With your blog, new book, and busy family life, how do you make time to be in a web series?
Heather Armstrong: I was really interested the format of it. One because there wasn’t going to be a lot of interference. They were basically asking us to talk about a topic. I wanted to make time for it. It’s a lot of work, but the final products are so good that it is well worth the time I put into it.
Tubefilter: What did they tell you about the show? How did they convince you that it was the right series for you to work on?
Armstrong: Basically that Momversation was going to be an honest take on motherhood. Which is why mommyblogs are popular in the first place. They were going to send us a camera and they were going to edit it in such a way that they weren’t going to be putting words in our mouths. When I saw the first episode, I knew I had made the right decision.
Tubefilter: Did you know the other mom bloggers before you started shooting the show?
Armstrong: Yeah, actually I recommended some of them. They were looking for a variety and I gave them a few names to add to the list. I have known Asha for years. I have known Alice for years and Maggie for years. Then there are some other like Rebecca Woolf, who I have come to absolutely adore. I did not know her beforehand and I am glad she is part of it.
Tubefilter: What has been your favorite Momversation topic so far?
Armstrong: Probably the sexuality after giving birth. And the one I recently did, what’s harder marriage or motherhood?
Tubefilter: You are known for being very frank with your readers. Do you think there are any topics that are too personal to include in Momversation?
Armstrong: I don’t know. I don’t think there is. My writing is, as much as it doesn’t seem filtered, it’s pretty filtered because you can always go back a craft a sentence to convey exactly what you mean. Whereas when you are talking off the cuff, you can say something that can be taken completely wrong, especially if they edit out part of the sentence, where you explain yourself. So in topics, we haven’t really approached the subject of attachment parenting or sleep habits or anything like that. I think those might be a little tender, but I would always be honest.
Tubefilter: You live in Salt Lake City and Asha Dornfest lives in Portland. Can you tell us about how an episode gets filmed and edited together?
Armstrong: Well they sent us cameras. The instructions were, find a really good place where there is light. We have to light all of these on our own. We do all of our own makeup. It basically starts with someone coming up with a topic and making a video on Sunday night. They post their three to four minute video talking about their question or their topic. Then the following day two or three of the participants will mull over their answers and do their own videos and upload those. Then the following day everyone responds to those first videos. So basically what you are seeing in one video is all of us sitting down twice and responding to things that have been said back and forth.
Tubefilter: Do you think being on Momversation will lead to you being on more web series or TV shows? Your own talk show?
Armstrong: I don’t know. I know I really enjoy it. I was really worried in the beginning about how they were going to edit things, but I found they are good at keeping things quick. The cuts are quick and the edits are quick. They make us all look pretty good. Right now I am just enjoying the freedom that it has given me.
Tubefilter: Your first book, It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita comes out in March. When did you find time to write a book? How does it feel to be a published author?
Armstrong: Writing a book is weird for me because I started as a blogger and I am comfortable in that medium. Writing a book was a completely different experience. With my website, I am pretty much the editor and in charge of seeing what comes out as the final product. Whereas for the book, a committee of people have to approve the cover and a committee of people have to approve the book. It’s a very different experience.
Tubefilter: Will you be doing a book tour?
Armstrong: I am starting the day it is released on March 24. I’ll be going to New York, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, and Austin.
Tubefilter: Do you know any topics that are coming up on Momversation?
Armstrong: I have no idea, but I think what I am going to bring up is that I recently got linked by a child-free by choice website. There is a very large community out there who choose to not have children. They are very adamant about that decision. It’s an interesting topic to discuss. For me having children has set me free in so many ways. When I go to a restaurant or go on an airplane and I hear a screaming child I feel a sense of relief because it’s not mine. Whenever I hear a screaming child I almost feel euphoric.
Tubefilter: We have been reading on Dooce about your pregnancy. How are you feeling?
Armstrong: I am feeling so much better. I am feeling really good. It is my second trimester. I am not too big and I am not sick anymore. This is the sort of honeymoon period of the pregnancy before the really,really awful uncomfortableness sets in.
With the new baby on the way (it’s a girl!), a new book, a thriving blog, and popular web series, Heather Armstrong’s fans can’t wait to hear what she will say next. We’ll be listening. Currently DECA TV is making new Momversation episodes. We’re hoping for a ‘what’s with those helicopter parents?’ one soon.
[For more on Momversation, check out our recent interview with fellow Momversation host Asha Dornfest.]