Diapers to driving: Md. blogger Dude Mom chronicles raising 3 sons

Amanda Rodriguez appears with her three sons. (Courtesy Amanda Rodriguez)
WTOP's Jason Fraley salutes Dude Mom (Part 1)

Life is never boring when you’re busy raising three sons under quarantine.

Amanda Rodriguez chronicles her journey in the lifestyle blog DudeMom.com.

“Dude Mom is a family lifestyle blog that I dreamed up in my basement … in 2008,” Rodriguez told WTOP. “At the time, I had a 6-year-old, a 2-year-old and a newborn. Now, they’re not so small anymore. [Monday] was my son’s 19th birthday. … I’m still telling the same stories; it’s just, instead of diapers, we’re talking about driving now.”

Naming the blog was the first key decision, trying to make it catchy and unique.

“My blog was originally called Parenting By Dummies before I understood that maybe copyright is a thing, so I changed it to Dude Mom,” Rodriguez said. “From the time I found out I was having my third son, I was like, ‘Well, looks like I’m a boy mom.’ … I wanted it to sound cooler. I’m not a regular mom, I’m a cool mom, so I’m a Dude Mom.”

Born in Los Angeles, Rodriguez taught middle school for Teach for America in Oakland before she and her husband moved to Frederick, Maryland, to be closer to her parents.

Over the years, she has tackled a range of lifestyle topics, from fashion to cooking.

“I talk a lot about relatable fashion things, like how you fall into the ‘wearing sweatpants every day’ rabbit hole and how to climb out of that,” Rodriguez said. “I write about recipes, even though I’m not that great of a cook. … If I can do it, anyone can do it.”

Speaking of sweatpants, she has had to adapt her blog to discuss COVID-19 pandemic life.

“It’s pretty much changed everything for everyone,” Rodriguez said. “Teenagers are not designed to be locked at home with their parents for 24 hours. … All my kids do is eat. They eat the entire time they’re on virtual school, they eat after virtual school; it’s the never-ending story of putting food in their bodies. … Go back to your school stomach!”

What’s her favorite blog post after a dozen years of Dude Mom?

“I wrote this one potty-training one that for some reason everybody loved; I was pretty proud of my kid who technically potty-trained himself,” Rodriguez said. “I try to do birthday ones for my kids, like ’15 Things I Want to Tell My 15-Year-Old.'”

The list concept was even published as a book: “50 Things to Do in Baby’s First Year.”

“It’s not really the parenting book about how to change diapers or how to burp a baby or anything like that. It’s more about how to maintain your sanity and your relationships and yourself as a new mom,” Rodriguez said. “It’s a great first book for a first-time parent, and it’s perfect for the holidays. It’s like stocking-stuff size!”

That’s right, her kids might as well sing, “I Saw Mommy Blogging Santa Claus.”

“My kids grew up being a part of my blog, so they’re completely fine with continuing to be a part of my blog,” Rodriguez said. “Even though they’re sometimes surly teenagers at this point, my son does TikTok dances with me, my kids follow me on Instagram.”

Dude Mom currently has over 14,000 followers on Instagram.

“Algorithms have changed,” Rodriguez said. “There weren’t a ton of bloggers when I started; I was on national TV more than once, so those type of things started to grow my following. … The best advice I can give is just be authentic. The reason people read Dude Mom and interact … is that it’s just relatable. I keep it all the way real.”

WTOP's Jason Fraley salutes Dude Mom (Part 2)

Listen to our full conversation here.

Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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