Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Dooce Goes to Washington

Heather Armstrong participates in White House forum on work-life balance

March 31, 2010 Today, on one day’s notice, mommy-blogger and Memphis native Heather Armstrong, author of It Sucked and Then I Cried, dropped everything and flew to D.C. at the invitation of the White House. Her role: to explain to the president of the United States how hard it is to be a working parent.

According to a White House press release about the Forum on Workplace Flexibility, it’s pretty clear the president already gets it: Millions of women and men across the country struggle to balance the demands of their jobs and the needs of their families. Too often, caring for a child or an aging parent can strain a career—sometimes to the point of job loss,” said President Obama. “As the parents of two young girls, Michelle and I understand the challenges America’s working families face and we are looking forward to hearing from moms, dads, business leaders, advocates and experts about their ideas for creating and encouraging flexible workplaces, so that working Americans do not have to choose between their careers and meeting the needs of their families.”

No matter that she’ll be preaching to the choir, Armstrong was delighted by the invitation. “Why yes, I’m interested, how did you know?” she reports asking a White House rep in a post at dooce. “Was it the Obama sign we had glued to our window in 2008? … Was it the deafening cheers you heard from this side of Salt Lake when health care reform passed? No, none of that? Then I’m going to guess Rahm Emanuel got that letter I sent him on pink, perfumed stationery. The one I kissed with my glittery lipstick. The one Jon signed, ‘And me, too, sweetheart.'”

April 2, 2010, update: Find out what Armstrong said in Washington in an article in The Salt Lake Tribune here.

April 5, 2010, update: Read the CNN feature on Armstrong’s appearance here.