Mamapedia Contributor Spotlight: Darlene Dee

Mamapedia Contributor Spotlight: Darlene Dee

Ever wonder how expensive it is to raise a baby? Darlene Dee decided to do the math with the birth of her daughter “Babystar.” Her blog Baby Costs Money keeps track of parenting costs and then some, offering readers fun updates on her daughter along with DIY projects and smart, budget-friendly tips.

What made you want to start your own parenting blog?

When I got pregnant with Babystar, the internet was a thing. The internet was NOT a thing when I had my first two babies. The internet is many things, including fun and scary. Google said it would cost me 245K to raise a baby. I thought it would be fun to keep track. (I was half right. Blogging is fun but watching those numbers go higher and higher is not really that fun at all!)

What three words would you use to describe your blog?

Sarcastic, informative, terrifying.

What is your favorite blog post to date?

So far, my favorite post is the one called “One.” I like looking back at the house all decorated for her first birthday, and that picture of her standing up in her adorable first birthday jumper is so freaking cute that I almost — almost — can ignore the stupid amount of money we spent on that party.

What’s your go-to tip for balancing blogging with parenthood?

Download all of the apps on all of your devices. Sync it all via some sort of cloud system. Cumulus, nimbus, stratus, whatever — I need to be able to take pictures and make notes on my phone at the park and pull them up on my iPad at 3am.

What is the best piece of parenting advice you’ve ever received?

Almost twenty years ago, my mother told me to pick my battles. That advice holds true from toddlerhood to the teenage years, and everything in between. (Including agonizing conversations with customer service reps and intentionally rude restaurant hostesses.)

What’s a typical day like for you?

If I am lucky, I wake up before the baby and drink coffee in bed while checking Instagram, Facebook, emails — you know, the essentials. If I am a different kind of lucky, I wake up to a toddler face squished into mine, impatient for milk. My husband and teenager have usually left for work and school by then, so the ToddlerMonster and I have brunch. (Yep, when breakfast takes over an hour, I consider it two meals.) We do some dishes or laundry (she’s getting very good at helping), and then get dressed for an adventure. We run some errands or go to a museum (rarely) or an indoor play place (usually) before picking up the teenager at school. I take pictures of our outings or purchases and make notes about what we buy during the week. Weekday afternoons are often spent taking a walk to the park (weather permitting) before everyone’s favorite dinner/bath/bedtime routines. I actually only really write blog posts on Sunday mornings when my husband takes the baby to church. I totally cheat (like most bloggers, I suspect) and schedule them to post throughout the week.

What’s the best insight you can offer other parenting bloggers?

Be the boss of your blog, not the other way around.

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