Interview With Heather Armstrong: Why She's at the White House

BlogHer Original Post

BlogHer caught Heather on the move in Washington for a quick interview about what she hopes to accomplish in today's forum.

BlogHer: Tell us how this all came together. We saw the tweet yesterday and all of a sudden, you're there!

HA: They sent me an e-mail on Saturday. I didn't check e-mail on Saturday. Then I got a call from Maggie Mason, and she said, "The White House is trying to contact you, woman. Look at your e-mail!" So I got the call, got off the phone, packed a bag and got on a plane so I could host my HGTV Twitter party from here tonight before the forum tomorrow.

BlogHer: Tell us about the forum tomorrow. What is it all about?

HA: There are a lot of different perspectives coming to the table in terms of workplace solutions to talk about how we can help people balance their lives.

I'm hoping they'll talk about child care, paternity and maternity leave. I may have to bring up when Jon was working at the software company and I was going through post-partum depression and thinking about killing myself every day, and Jon wasn't allowed to call in sick even though he had the sick days, so he had to take government-sanctioned family leave.

We're light years behind other countries in terms of maternity and paternity leave, on-site daycare and subsidies for that. Childless people should be represented as well. Maybe there should be some provision for childless people to take time off and do a project that they care about.

I hope that they are planning to do something about all these problems. I'm hoping there's some initiative that they're going to announce and work toward. I'm excited they are talking about it at all.

BlogHer: How have you been affected by family workplace issues?

HA: One of the biggest hurdles we had to jump was healthcare. We spend a lot of money on healthcare. You have to be doing well to be able to pay for catastrophic insurance, which is the only thing we can qualify for. How many more entrepreneurs would there be if they knew they could get insurance? This bill is a good start, but there needs to be more.

We're excited to hear from Heather and BlogHer Contributing Editor Morra Aarons-Mele, who will also be attending the forum tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Heather went to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. to be part of a White House Forum on Workplace Flexibility. You can watch the Workplace Flexibility forum live here on BlogHer (below). It airs today at 2:30 p.m. EDT.

Heather is in good company as a blogger invited to the White House. Loralee Choate of Loralee's Looney Tunes went last year, and BlogHer's Political Director Erin Kotecki Vest and BlogHer Co-Founder Elisa Camahort Page have gone, as well. Erin returned this February to talk about the Recovery Act.

Which other bloggers out there have been invited to D.C. to rub shoulders with our country's lawmakers? What did they go to talk about? If invited, would you go?

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