Heater, Mother of Lance

A brief pause

Yesterday afternoon I walked out of a building in Rockefeller Plaza to a car hired to take me to the airport in Newark. I’d been up since 5AM, and although I normally don’t notice the two-hour time difference I climbed inside and collapsed against the door. I could feel my body shutting down, starting with an ache in my neck that then stretched into every corner of my body. By the time we arrived to the terminal, the exhaustion tripped up my arms and made it almost impossible for me to lift my luggage over the curb.

My well is totally dry. I’m just… spent. Physically. Emotionally. I collapsed this morning in a workout while trying a series of squats I’ve performed a hundred times before. My body just totally gave out. I was really proud of myself because I hadn’t cried in two days, but when my legs fell out from underneath me I couldn’t hold it back anymore. I was so embarrassed.

These last few months have been the most difficult of my life, so difficult that I’ll go into auto-pilot almost involuntarily and when I get to the end of the night I don’t know how my body managed it. I’ve tried to focus on other things that bring me rare moments of peace. Things like my girls and my dogs and the crazy things Cami puts on her body. I know some of you continue to wonder why I keep posting pictures of Cami. And the answer is, well, they make me happy. I desperately need that right now.

Finding new music and making playlists have been my therapy.

I need to take a break before I surrender to the exhaustion. I need to fill up my tank so that I can give more to my family and find more moments of peace. My girls deserve that. I know it seems like I’m just posting a picture or two here, a written post there, a link to a video. But there is so much more going on behind the scenes that I’m having a hard time keeping my head above water. I know I’ll get better at it, but right now I’m so drained that I feel like I’m clawing my way from hour to hour.

All of this is to tell you that I’m going to take a little breather for the next week. I’ll still be posting photos of the things that bring me joy, but in terms of written posts I’m going to pull some things from the eleven years of archives I have sitting around. I also want to thank you for all the words of encouragement you’ve sent me, especially the ones who’ve assured me that the crying will eventually wane. You enable me to support not only my family but two employees who use this job to pay their rent. And I want you to know that I do not for one second take that support for granted.

Thank you guys so much.

  • njuly09

    2012/04/17 at 12:38 pm

    Breathe. We all deserve some deep breaths and respite. Take it without guilt, and know people still love you.

  • mommica

    2012/04/17 at 12:41 pm

    Take a break, lady. And don’t feel the least bit guilty about doing it. We’ll all still be here when you get back.

  • judybeen

    2012/04/17 at 12:41 pm

    Take it, Heather. You deserve it. No one can possibly mind you taking time to re-group and refresh.

  • kate the great

    2012/04/17 at 12:42 pm

    You are strong, and you are brave, and you are learning all the time. You’ll be ok.

    Most importantly, you are loved.

  • MT2SLC

    2012/04/17 at 12:42 pm

    Take your time, enjoy your Village. Breath. We will all be right here when you get back. xoxo

  • lemoga

    2012/04/17 at 12:44 pm

    Take a break. Take a breather. Refresh. You deserve it. We’ll be here when you get back. I promise!

  • acm

    2012/04/17 at 12:44 pm

    I will admit to intense curiosity about what’s going on behind all the quiet, how things are progressing, where you’re headed. But, even on a site as personal as this one, that’s my business only to the degree that it’s useful/fun/creative for you to share it. Take whatever time you need to get your life functioning, refill your well. We’ll be here, rooting for you.

  • phoneill

    2012/04/17 at 12:53 pm

    Indeed – take a break. Maybe you could put “Alles Neu” on loop. That song is awesome, whatever the hell it’s about.

  • Wombat Central

    2012/04/17 at 12:55 pm

    As much as I love a good Chuck picture (and they’re all good), I say just tune out the Internets completely for the week. No pictures, no words. Just you, your girls, and Chuck. And the poopeater. 😉

  • Brooke1214

    2012/04/17 at 12:57 pm

    Thank you, Heather.

    Thank you for sharing you days, your nights, your good, your bad.

    Take all the time you need. Just know that we will all be here whenever you are ready for us.

    Be well, Heather.

    We all love you.

  • hkrieger

    2012/04/17 at 1:01 pm

    Heather: I watched your segment from yesterday, and while you were amazing as always, your sparkle was missing. You had a tightness in your chin that for me is my betrayal that i’m holding in a sob. I’m glad to hear that you finally let it out.

    Step out, take a breath, scream, eat ice cream (or a paleo version), sleep…do what you need. We all need to avert our eyes for a while and give you space and peace.

    Keep it to yourself and if you want to share later on, please do. So as ACM says, the intense curiosity is there, but we can all mind our business for a while if that is what you need.

    Hugs from NYC.

  • AJS721

    2012/04/17 at 1:07 pm

    Go be with your girls, the dogs and Cami. Watch bad movies and even worse TV. We’ll all be OK for a few weeks and will absolutely be here when you return. Rest and recharge. The Internets are plenty large for the likes of us 😉

  • Coyote

    2012/04/17 at 1:09 pm

    Rest is the best!
    Kick back and indulge in everything self nurturing.
    We’ve got your back 🙂

  • Daddy Scratches

    2012/04/17 at 1:11 pm

    FWIW: I collapsed and cried while doing squats the other day, too. Of course, in my case, it was because I’m a big pussy and squats are hard … but still…

    Hang in there.

  • mcbc11787

    2012/04/17 at 1:14 pm

    I don’t comment often, but with all due respect, I have to second what hkrieger said. I, too, got to watch your segment yesterday (yay for holidays!) and you looked wiped out. Take time for yourself. You not only deserve it, you need it… now, so just do it.

    We’ll be here waiting for you when you’re ready to return.

  • shoebad

    2012/04/17 at 1:17 pm


  • soba

    2012/04/17 at 1:21 pm

    Sending you and your family lots of love.

  • starlounging

    2012/04/17 at 1:22 pm

    everyone needs a little vacation, whether it is a stay-cation, a trip, or a mental break. even self-employed people! and especially parents! please take care of yourself.

  • Angeerah

    2012/04/17 at 1:23 pm

    Take all the time you need. Your well-being is the most important thing for you and your family.

    Hopefully SLC is getting warmer and the sun is out a lot. Get out. Walk, bike, mosey, skipt, whatever. Something about being outside close to those gorgeous mountains was always so revitalizing when I lived there, especially when I had nervous breakdown 2.0.

    Or just watch TV and veg. That could work too!

  • Rosie R

    2012/04/17 at 1:27 pm

    I think you’re doing the right thing. Hang in there, Heather. It will get better. Take care of yourself.

    I’m trying to think up another comforting cliche but I think the well has run dry. I do mean them sincerely, though.

  • Essembee

    2012/04/17 at 1:28 pm

    Oh, finally! I had been hoping you’d take a step back from posting here just to breathe; you put too much pressure on yourself.

    We’ll all be here when you come back.

  • mpt

    2012/04/17 at 1:32 pm

    I find myself thinking about you often – I hope that doesn’t sound creepy. I too live in SLC, own a small business, am a working mother of girls almost the same ages as yours, and I shit you not, used the words “my tank is empty” to my husband of 14 years on Sunday night. I get it. You have nothing left to give. You feel like a crumpled shirt on the floor; lifeless, empty, lost.

    I feel I am failing my children, my company, myself. Daily. I’m ashamed. I’m exhausted. I’m confused. I’m scared. Yes, I may smile while looking at a tulip in my yard or my children coloring at the dining room table, but that feeling is fleeting. It’s not deep enough to “heal” this feeling of depletion.

    Where I seem to draw the most strength in times like these is from looking back at my life. Realizing that I’m not a total fuck up. I’ve accomplished a few things. I’ve always landed on my feet. I have a safety net of family and friends around me. I will be okay, I always have been.

    I also know that I have to go through this to get to the other side. I always do. I have to wallow. Muddle. Weep. Feel sorry for myself. Then, when I’m done, when I can’t stand the idea of crying anymore, I slowly begin to move forward once again. Knowing that the cycle will repeat itself, maybe in a month maybe a decade. I never know.

    Heather, please know we will be here – stop worrying that your livelihood will evaporate if you take some time off. It won’t. What if it actually grows stronger? What if this process you are going through gets you to something better, more rewarding, more fulfilling?

    Now that my keyboard is covered in salty tears, I will continue to think of you often. To root for you. To take comfort in knowing there is someone else in this city of ours struggling.

    Thank you for sharing. Thank you for being honest. Thank you for everything you have done in our community and countless others.


  • tinahignite

    2012/04/17 at 1:33 pm

    Take all the time you need, honey. You will figure out what works best for you, and it might take an hour and it might take 10 years. But you will do it. And when you’re ready, guess who will be here to read your words? WE WILL!! Hugs and love.

  • dianemaggipintovoiceover

    2012/04/17 at 1:36 pm

    don’t forget to eat good food!
    maybe sign up for a community-supported agriculture CSA share!
    (backyard urban garden BUG Farm is super dupe!)

    spring is sprung,
    the grass is rizz.
    i wonder where
    my mojo is?

    take it easy …………….

  • Issa

    2012/04/17 at 1:48 pm

    I get this so much. I’ve been there. In fact I’m almost to that point again, albeit for different reasons in this moment. (Tax season and a herniated disc in my back.)

    Take some time for you. I hope in a few weeks things start to look up.

    Randomly? The pictures make me smile too. Especially Coco, because I have the older, bigger, still kinda insane version of her.

  • Lauren3

    2012/04/17 at 1:51 pm

    I don’t have any sage advice, having never gone through anything like this and being unmarried, childless, and 5′ 4″.

    But I do have George Takei:

    You’ll feel like George Takei again someday.

    Until then, remember that your people are here for you. Much love.

  • Daisee

    2012/04/17 at 1:53 pm

    I’m gonna tell you what I sincerely know and what I have told my own lovely daughters when going through their own kind of hell.

    You WILL get through this, and its important to take care of YOU.
    And, breathe and know you are loved.

  • smashleee

    2012/04/17 at 2:10 pm

    New music makes me happy too. Please check out my favorite band: We Are Augustines. They’ve been through quite a lot and have come out the other side kicking, you’ll relate. Their record is called Rise Ye Sunken Ships and while the themes are about a lot of heartache it really is uplifting. I hope it makes you as happy as it makes me. http://www.weareaugustines.com/

    Keep on keeping on. Love to you!

  • Mom Gone Mad

    2012/04/17 at 2:13 pm

    Take a break and rest up Heather. We’ll all be here when you get back. For the record I’m always amused at the pics of Cami. Wish I could have the balls to dress like that, but I don’t. I actually have a vintage coat she would probably love that I got at a consignment store years ago. I’ll send a pic once I find a free moment away from 4 kids. Ha! It could be a while! If she likes it – she can have it. I’ve never had the cojones to put it on. No sense in letting it waste away in my closet.
    Keep your chin up Heather. It does (eventually) get better. I promise.

  • Rike

    2012/04/17 at 2:15 pm

    “Alles neu” by Peter Fox is about how he wants to change his life, make a change, stop with his bad habits and start new, so he wants alles neu (everything new).

    It might be creepy, we probably will never meet each other personaly, I am thousands of miles away from Salt Lake City, when you eat your breakfast I am about to make dinner, but you are often in my thoughts. Through this website you give allow me to have a look, a glimpse in your life. I am feeling like I am looking through a keyhole. I don’t see much, but what I see makes me like you very much and feel with you.
    Heather I wish you the best and I send you lots of hugs.

  • fableq

    2012/04/17 at 2:25 pm

    Take a break! By all means! Love and hugs and best of wishes. I’m five months into the ripping apart of my family and I’m still not really functioning and still crying every single day. I don’t tell you this to make you feel bad for me or to scare you into thinking it will be like this for you but because if you had 2 days where you didn’t cry you seem to be moving in the right direction. The direction I’m so desperately trying to find. Let’s all just keep our head above water shall we?

  • Lola Begonia

    2012/04/17 at 2:28 pm

    Dear Heather – take all the time you need, you are such an inspiration and role model and part of that means admitting when you need a break. I’ll miss the posts, I am going through an awful breakup as well right now and check the blog everyday for a bright spot. I also want to hear that the crying will eventually stop, that the adrenaline rushes followed by crashes will stop. I am keeping faith that they will and in the meantime trying desperately to put one foot in front of the other. Saw you on the Today show, as a consolation, you look GREAT and you really had a wonderful interview. Thank you so much for this blog, I have been reading for YEARS and wish you the best during this awful, shitty time. Hugs your way.

  • jbruntlett

    2012/04/17 at 2:30 pm

    Your readers will be here (long after) your break. We all want you well, healthy. So take all the time you need. Sending healing, joyful thoughts your way.

  • nicolewhitehall

    2012/04/17 at 2:39 pm

    I have only been reading for about a year, but I appreciate your honesty & humor with every post you write. You deserve a break to get back to the place where you are comfortable. I, as well as everyone else you inspire and make laugh will still be here when you return. Enjoy your relaxation. 🙂

  • ladygray

    2012/04/17 at 2:42 pm

    Rest. Rest. Rest.

    Take solace. Breathe. Snuggle the girls. Do what makes you happy.

    Don’t worry about us! We are here. We love you. We will greet you with virtual hugs when you return.

    Love to you.

  • tooshay

    2012/04/17 at 2:42 pm

    You rule. Moms rule. Working moms rule.

    I heart honesty and am touched by yours. You described how I have felt at times during the last year. My son was born and my dad died within three weeks of each other. I had a full time job and another kid to take care of. Holy shit. It is a lot to hold oneself up through trying times. You are doing great. I honor your courage, strength and the fact that you recognize that you need to recharge. Know that only that which is for the highest good of all is coming forward now and everything that has transpired is for your growth and upliftment.

  • Cateyez

    2012/04/17 at 2:49 pm

    We are all rooting for you. Take a break, eat some Doritos and yell at Tyrant.


  • cinrose22

    2012/04/17 at 3:05 pm

    Hey Dooce, it seems we are all going through a rough patch huh? But you are awesome because you have your priorities straight. You need to take care of you so that you can take care of others, especially your sweet family. We will be here for each other while you take care of you. Rest, read, relax, nap, play, soak, eat, repeat.
    See you in a few.
    Blessings and love!


  • saucy bitch

    2012/04/17 at 3:08 pm


    We understand, sista. (And some of us really, really love the Cami photos, too! She makes me smile.)

    Take all the time you need! And YAY! I love archives! 😀

  • Libra

    2012/04/17 at 3:11 pm

    So many hugs to you Heather. We’ll all be here when you get back.

    I personally love the Cami photos. She’s fashionable and daring in a way that I never have, or will be.

  • monkeysmom1

    2012/04/17 at 3:14 pm

    I always refer to you as “the Dooce Girl,” when I’m talking about your website to other people. As if you are my friend, and I’m filling them in on what you are up to. For eg. “The Dooce Girl was just in NYC,” or “The Dooce Girl has a new book out I’d like to read.” Before I read this post I watched your Today Show segment online, and felt that the ‘Dooce Girl’ looked tired. Not to say this as a criticism, but as an observation of concern. Hey, it takes one to know one. I am glad to hear you are taking a little break. Everyone needs that in their life. Go do something for yourself and do what you need to do. We understand! 🙂

  • Eleven

    2012/04/17 at 3:14 pm

    Ever since I saw this movie (The Help) I have quietly been whispering this quote into my little baby girl’s ear each night as I rock her to sleep. Now, climb up into my extremely ample lap and let me whisper it to you.

    You is kind.
    You is smart.
    You is important.

  • KathyB

    2012/04/17 at 3:22 pm

    Proudly watched you the Today show. Glad you made it home alive. Rest up. And you know those tears wash toxins from your body. Maybe from your psyche too.

  • Pandora Has A Box

    2012/04/17 at 3:22 pm

    It’s okay to take a break. In fact, it’s encouraged. Nurture and care for yourself first; that’s not selfish. It’s sensible.

    If I felt that it would be remotely relaxing or cathartic, I’d remind you that some of us will be in Las Vegas this weekend. But the mother hen in me thinks that what you really need is tranquility and lots of good naps. You know, the ones where the window is open and it’s raining and you can hear the birds chirping a little and all is right with the world in that moment.

    Peace and love.

  • cipsi

    2012/04/17 at 3:29 pm

    Go get some rest.

    Wishing you peace, quiet and that you find your center soon. I know you will.


  • juliejackson

    2012/04/17 at 3:33 pm

    Take a break before you break. xoxo

  • Amy Jo

    2012/04/17 at 3:36 pm

    Hang in there, Heather!

  • robotsquid

    2012/04/17 at 3:39 pm

    Sending you love and strength, Heather. We know you will get through this.

    I was reading your latest post when this song came on, and I had to pass it on — “My Coco” by stellastarr*


    I think you might enjoy it, when you are ready for something with a little energy.

  • mdegere

    2012/04/17 at 3:44 pm

    Take care, sweetie! Sending much love!

  • ChickWhitt

    2012/04/17 at 3:52 pm

    Honey, we are the last people you should be worried about now. Be good to yourself, and when you are ready, come back to us. We’ll be ready and waiting.

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Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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