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What is a Mommypotamus?

Affiliate Disclosure | in Everything Else | by | with 113 Comments

You see before you the starting point of – a children’s book I love to read to our daughter. In the book, a socially hesitant potamus (for we all know by now how many varied forms of potami there truly are) sees everybody playing and doing cool stuff together, but she is always hanging back. I won’t spoil the ending for you, but it’s a real tearjerker.

With most of Katie’s stories I get bored and accidentally use the wrong voice for the wrong characters halfway through. But not with this one. I so obviously enjoy it each time we read this book that Daniel started calling me Mommypotamus. It stuck, because in a lot of ways the book is about me.

I experienced loss early in my life, and as a result I became a very timid, cautious person. Being fearful took a huge toll on my health, as did my total ignorance of what healthy food really was (at the time I thought that meant Grape Nuts with half a cup of sugar poured over the top). By my early twenties my body was failing. I was rail-thin and could not gain weight, my abdomen hurt constantly, and I had severe-acid reflux and green, oozing acne. I began hearing phrases like “features of an unspecified autoimmune disorder” and was told not to get pregnant because I was not capable of carrying a baby to term.

I was alive, but I wasn’t living. I was sick of being sick, or so I thought. After seeing doctors, quacks and I don’t-even-know-what-to-call-them, I came to a very strange conclusion: Being sick had a payoff for me.

Being sickly got me attention. Being afraid to get out there and take chances didn’t. I wanted people, relationships and opportunities to come to me without me having to take any risks. But in choosing to be a “hanger-backer” I had slowly evolved into the girl in the plastic bubble.

At the perfect time I met a fabulous doctor (a PhD, not an M.D.) who used a modified version of acupuncture to help me recover. The timing was perfect, as I said, because I was ready to be well. It worked. For the first year I lived in daily amazement of the almost deafening silence of my body. Without pain coursing through me every minute of every day things looked so very different. I rushed headlong into life, sucking in every possible experience.

I used to be alive without living. Now I have said “yes” to life: All the good stuff with pain and disappointment mixed in. All of it. Now, when people pay attention to me (and they sometimes do!), I want it to be because I have something loving, funny, or helpful to say. I want to live my life so loudly that people can’t help but take notice. Not in the “spotlight-hog” kind of way, just in the plain ole “everybody has something worth saying” way.

For those of you that have read the book, it is for this reason that with all my heart I cry:

“But YES the Mommypotamus!!!”

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113 Responses to What is a Mommypotamus?

  1. How to Make Bone Broth (Video Tutorial) says:

    […] of you that know my story know that I had a lot of motivation to make healthy changes. What you probably don’t know is […]

  2. Kelley says:

    Hi Heather,

    I just came across your site looking for some natural diaper cream solutions. So, your hair is beautiful! Do you use natural products? And what kind of hair do you have (curly, straight…) Thanks! -k

  3. Top Blogs for DIY Beauty Products | Mindful Momma says:

    […] of all, I love the name of this blog (and the kind of intense story behind it) but Heather the Mommypotamus has some awesome DIY beauty recipes to share. And they go way beyond […]

  4. How To Test For Adrenal Fatigue At HomeMommypotamus | says:

    […] A debilitating illness, I resolved never to be a spectator in my own life again. I will ride the bull, say yes to the CNN interview even though I’m running on a few hours of sleep, and draw silly faces on all the eggs in my fridge. […]

  5. Denise says:

    I know so many have already shared similar notes with you, but I would like to add my voice to theirs. Thank you for sharing your beautiful mommypotamus story. I love you with out even meeting you as I hear and feel so deeply your story. I’m so happy you’re thriving, sharing your passion, and teaching all of us.
    May God shower you with His radiant love and light! [big smile from me]

  6. payal says:

    Hi I made your detergent and all my cotton clothes seem to be “pilling”. I put in very little. How can I make it less strong

    • Heather ~ Mommypotamus says:

      Hi Payal, you could try using even less. I’m sorry that’s been your experience. I’ve been using the recipe for years now and have not noticed any pilling :(

  7. Jennifer says:

    Hello! I have just discovered your blog, via the Wellness Family Summit, and I am very excited I found it. I love that you are now living in Tennessee, I live just south of Nashville myself. I do wonder where you purchase most of the ingredients you use? Do you go to Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, etc or do you shop online?

    Thank you!!

  8. Chloe says:

    If you’re up for article suggestions- my friends and I would love to see an article about post partum hair loss. We’ve all experienced this from about month 3 post partum to month 10. We’re considering shaving our heads bald after birth so we don’t have to deal with the icky hair falling out everywhere. Is this something you’ve experienced?? Any tips??
    Thanks, Chloe
    Ps: no need to reply via comment- I’ll just keep my eyes open for an article. :)

    • Lili says:

      Has Heather covered this topic?? I’d be really interested in reading about it. Since having my two babies (march 2012 and Nov 2013) my hair seems to be falling out a lot more. I’ve been no poo now for 7 months now and it’s been an emotional road to say the least but I’ve persevered because I know it’s better than the alternative shop bought stuff. Maybe I need to get my nourishing traditions book out again and re-evaluate my food. who knows!

  9. Aria says:

    Hello, first, I am a faithful follower of my Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of my soul. He has brought me from death to life. And I am so thankful to the Author of life itself for His grace and mercy. I came across you website today prayerfully asking The Lord to lead me to finding the info on vitamins I need and read your testimony and want to praise God and let you know I am praying for you throughout you life. God bless you!

  10. michelle says:

    hi Heather

    i saw an article on the amber beads and the baby in the ad looks just like my son. is he your kid? please do respond to me via email.

    regards Michelle :)

  11. Audra says:

    I purchased your book DIY Organic Beauty. I can’t find it on my computer. Is there a way I can download it for my iPad? Thanks.

  12. Farmina says:

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful story.I love you with out even meeting you as I hear and feel so deeply your story. I’m so happy you’re thriving, sharing your passion, and teaching everyone. Keep up your good work… its really helpful.
    May god shower his blessing on you and your family

  13. Kierstan says:

    Heather, I’ve been following you for years and I thought I knew the story behind Mommypotamus, but now knowing that its based off of MY favorite children’s book, makes me know that finding and trusting you was meant to be :) I loved Sandra Boynton’s Three Singing Pigs when I was a nanny, and bought all her books for my own children years later, discovering But Not the Hippopotamus. So awesome :) Thank you for doing everything that you do, I pretty much quote you on every issue, and when I need to figure out how to do something, I always google search the issue + mommypotamus hahaha!

  14. nicky says:

    Heather, is there an common measurement to determine the micron size of various vitamins for maximum absorption. How can I tell the difference between brand A and brand B by looking at the nutritional panel.
    I am asking because very often we listen to the sales person advise.
    I hope you can enlighten me.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Nicky, I don’t consider micron size when evaluating a supplement. I look for a supplement derived from natural ingredients rather than produced synthetically. Based on my research, I believe that factor plays the highest role in whether or not a supplement will be well-absorbed and used.

  15. Libby says:

    I am ready to order the DYI non toxic cleaning recipes but would like to know how it will be sent to me..will it come via an email or what?


  16. Lauren says:

    Heather, what do you think about the products from the Honest company?

  17. Desirae says:

    I was wondering what brand essential oil you would recommend and why.

  18. vinnie says:

    hi, my wife is 20 weeks pregnant and at the scan, they told us she is low on the fluid around the baby. structurally the baby is fine from what they can see, heart beat is fine, blood circulation is fine but the fluid level is around 5. they have told us to come back for a scan in 2 weeks but they didn’t suggest any of the things I’ve found online. will stevia help? will drinking lots of water help? what about epsom salt baths? please help as we are extremely worried.

  19. Jennifer Hagg says:

    Hi Heather! I’ve been receiving your emails and absolutely love them! I currently 18 weeks pregnant with my second child and unfortunately I’ve been having lots of Braxton hicks already. This comes as no surprise as I started contracting at 28 weeks with my first and ended up on bed rest because these contractions were causing cervical changes. I’ve started using the magnesium oil you recommended but was wondering if there was any other recommendations you could give me regarding preterm labor? I’m going to make and start drinking your labor aid. Would those trace minerals be ok during this period of pregnancy? Any tips are much appreciated. I don’t know why my body revolts against being pregnant.

  20. Tiffeny Oskins says:

    I was researching Diatomaceous Earth and someone commented on Amazon that you have a terrific guide to all the uses for it. I am having a difficult time finding it and there is no search option on your site (I may be blind. Lol) If you get some time, could you let me know where I can find it?
    Thanks a bunch!

  21. Melody says:

    I’m sorry if this is the wrong place to ask this question, but I’m having a hard time finding out how to contact you with a question about the cleaner PDF I just bought and downloaded. ….. I’m a bit confused about the Tea Tree & Clove All–Purpose Sanitizer. There is only one recipe listed but you talk about TWO steps. Can you please clarify what is in each bottle for each step. I am an amateur chef with an autoimmune disorder and cleaning and disinfection of my workspace is KEY to keeping my disease from flaring. Thank you!!

  22. Sheila says:

    Hi! Great bone broth info. Just curious in reading your health story did your Dr perform total body modification or NAET on you? Was wondering if that was the different type of acupuncture?

    • Heather says:

      I tried NAET, but did not see substantial results with it. The approach my practitioner used was different :)

  23. Beth says:

    Hi Heather!
    Love, love, LOVE your website. I am going to order your ebook on beauty recipes, but before I do, I was wondering if you had more recipes for men. I have a several men in my life (that didn’t sound right but you know what I mean-family members!) that would love more beard balm, oil, shave oil, aftershave, beard shampoo, whatever men need for their daily care that is often ignored.

  24. Nelly says:

    Hi Heather!
    I love your blog and recently read your book about Nourished Baby! I wanted to start my 6month old on goats milk along with breastfeeding her.. What do you think? I know in your book talks about no dairy but I heard that goats milk is very similar to breast milk… Hope to hear from you!

    • Heather says:

      Hi Nelly, I’m not sure based on your comment whether you mean to say that you would like to continue breastfeeding as much as before and introduce goat milk as an additional component, or if you mean you would like to decrease breast milk feedings and supplement with goat milk. Though goat milk is used alongside other ingredients in some homemade baby formulas, it is generally agreed that it is not nutritionally sufficient on it’s own for babies (unless they’re adorable goat babies). If you are considering providing goat milk in place of breast milk, I suggest you consult with a lactation consultant or other qualified individual before making the transition. My personal approach would be to focus on other foods as baby shows interest: stewed meats, bone broth, etc.

  25. maria says:

    hello heather. i just discovered your blog and i am happy about the articles you have posted. i am a grandmother of eight who is much concerned about the health of the children.
    i still need to find out where i can buy many of the non-toxic materials you recommend. i live in Paranque, Philippines and most of your recommended ingredients are nor sourced easily here. but i will ask around. i hope “But not the hippopotamus” is among the children’s books i have.
    thank you for your very informative articles. maria

  26. Rachel says:

    Hi Heather! I love reading your blog and found your shopping list last night. Was just wondering if it is up to date and do you still use all of these supplements and ideas? I am wanting to try a vitamin K and your suggestion looks like a good one. Also curious about the vitamin c supplement. Would love to hear from you! Thank you!

  27. Kim Smith says:

    Heather, Thanks for all the info on your site. God has me changing a lot in my home to make it better. When I came on you site, I thought it was a joke. Gods timing is just like that always on time. I have six babies I keep and it is changing their families as well. I don’t like to buy on line, that is my big fear. Can I get your book some other way? I want to free up my home from all the crape the world has been pushing for years. You are that ticket for me to do it the right way. Your drive is amazing and the love to make it available for others is beyond words.
    Thank you,

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