Mark McGrath’s Blog: The Buck Stops Here

10/20/2010 at 09:00 AM ET
Lydon and Hartley — Courtesy Carin Kingsland

You may recognize his voice and presence on your TV screen, but our celebrity blogger Mark McGrath has a new role — dad.

The Sugar Ray frontman is proud papa to 5-month-old twins Lydon Edward and Hartley Grace, his children with fiancΓ©e Carin Kingsland, as well as the new host of Don’t Forget the Lyrics!, airing weekdays on VH1 and in syndication.

In his latest blog, McGrath, 42, recalls ‘taking the lampshade off his head’ to figure out how he’d handle the cost of twins.


Wow!! When I first started this blog, I wasn’t really sure what to write, or if I should even do it at all. However, after reading all of your encouraging and heartwarming comments, I have come to realize that it has become an extremely rewarding and therapeutic experience for me.

Many of you have thanked me for sharing our stories, but let me be the one to thank YOU for listening … for I have come to realize that I needed this to process the emotional year I have had. This blog has become a necessary release for me — a chicken soup for the soul if you will — and a hell of a lot cheaper than therapy!

So on this one people, leave the crying to me, because in this week’s edition of Mark’s blog we feature … finances!

Nothing in the world will straighten out a man’s focus and priorities than hearing two and a half words … I’m pregnant! When I heard those words back in September of ’09, I immediately took the lampshade off my head and sprung into action.

My first thought was (and still is!) “How am I going to pay for this?!” Little did I know that in a few weeks, my financial anxieties would be doubled when we found out we were having twins. And to top it all off, Carin and I were already behind the eight ball because just getting pregnant cost us in the neighborhood of $15,000.

Sealed with a kiss — Courtesy Carin Kingsland


Alright, I know, I know … this is the part where the reader starts thinking, “Oh yeah sure Mark, you are a quasi-celebrity and the luckiest guy ever to sell a record. You’re filthy rich, why are you complaining?” Well, you would only be half-right.

It is true that I have certainly been overpaid and underworked in my entertainment career, but I made the majority of my money in my early adult life. Having always been aware of the fleeting nature of fame, I was fortunate enough to sock away some dough, but I also had my fun. I have learned some valuable fiscal lessons as well, such as following the seasonal changes at Gucci just isn’t worth it to me!

Basically, I was doing some financial planning but at best case it was concerning Carin and I, not the two little blessings that came into our lives on April 29th of this year.

It immediately became apparent to me that we would be moving. I’ve lived in a cozy Laurel Canyon home that Carin and I have put a lot of love into for the past 11 years, but 1,500 square feet just ain’t gonna cut it for rapidly growing twins. It breaks my heart to sell the house, but like many of us in these trying times, I need the equity to buy a bigger home.

It’s a trip now to be looking for a house within a good school district and with suitable sidewalks — a far cry from my domicile concerns 11 years ago! Schools are our first priority, because I refuse to pay for the right to a decent education, especially with twins. I have heard horror stories of people in L.A. paying 16G’s a year for preschool … preschool, people!

Look at me, rambling on as usual and going over the blog word allotment (sorry!). I blame the readers — they are inspiring me to explore the details, to do a freeform jazz improv unfiltered from my brain about the joy of becoming a dad.

Yes my friends, this one is gonna be costly … baby clothes, formula, a nanny (when possible!), toys, Mommy and Me classes, diapers, strollers, and the list goes on. But I have one question for you — have you ever had your baby fall asleep in the crevice of your neck, two hearts beating as one, while you are completely enveloped in that perfect new baby smell?

Well I have … and it’s priceless.

Mark cuddling with Lydon — Courtesy Carin Kingsland


— Mark McGrath

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Showing 110 comments

Megan on

Every one of these blogs have been amazing. I am a proud Mark fan for years now and even prouder fan now after reading these blogs. LOVE YOU MARK!!!

Momof3girls on

Those babies are absolutely adorable!!!! Made me laugh about his comment that a 1500 sq. ft. house isn’t big enough for his family. We’ve starting house hunting and 1500 would be great for our family of five and every other weekend we become a family of seven!!! I love his blogs and love the fact that he and his fiancee are so darn happy and grateful to have their babies πŸ™‚

anna on

love the posts – cute, thought-provoking and you seem like a great dad.

one thing, that i always get on a soapbox on (which is not a personal judgment of you – do what’s right for your family), is house size. i grew up in a 1300 sq foot house with three siblings and two parents. it ABSOLUTELY cut it. we played outside/in our neighborhood a lot. sharing a room with a close in age sibling isn’t the end of the world. the american need for things to be bigger causes economic, environmental and arguably social problems.

Julie on

Mark, thank you for sharing your wonderful insight. Not only are you talented musically but you have the gift to write. I would advise you not to give it up, I would certainly buy your books!!

Girl on


Perhaps you should write a book about your first time dad experience for some extra income. Your blog has been great, you have a good writing style, it’s very relatable, and honestly, everyone seems to be writing a book right now. While I don’t agree with that (honestly, Paris Hilton as author?), there’s nothing wrong with capitalizing on an opportunity to support your kids.

Meg on

I absolutely love Mark as a blogger!!! Your stories are fantastic and so heartwarming. The twins are adorable!! I look forward to the next installment every week. It would be great to have you as a permanent blogger!!

Bancie1031 on

You’re a wonderful writer and I look forward to every Wednesday to read a new blog from you and to see the wonderful pictures that Carin is gracious enough to share with us πŸ˜€

The insight is so wonderful I’m literally wordless about it. You definitely have a level head on your shoulders and I love the part where you said ” I refuse to pay for the right to a decent education” I agree! You mentioned a nanny, wondering have you and Carin used a nanny yet or were you referring to future reference?

IVF definitely isn’t cheap so I know that was a big chuck out of your savings right there but you got 2 priceless gifts out of it πŸ˜€ Word of advice (which I’m sure you have already figured out but just incase you haven’t) the best thing you can give your children is LOVE and your TIME ….. other than that you and Carin will figure it out and get by best you can. They will appreciate your love and time above all else though.

I do have to say it does feel funny reading about you choosing a house base on school districts LOL!

Lady on

I’ve said it before & i’ll say it again, you HAVE to write a book! I love the way you write….your babies are adorable….you are blessed!!! Keep bloggin’

Ginger Hicks on


This is the first time I’ve read your blog. I love it! Very sweet…and realistic! we had twins last Dec and I’m not afraid to tell you I cried when she told me at the 7wk ultrasound bc shame on me my first thought wasn’t…Oh, how fun but rather, omg how are we going to pay for them. haha Plus, we already had a 2yr old. So I’m totally with you on your “Fears”. But…they just turned 10mths, seems we’ve made it thus far.

We are in a 2200sf house and I totally get it when you say you’ll have to move for more room. It’s alot to have 2 swings, 2 bouncies….2 of everything. Hold on bc it just gets worse. Toys strewn overwhere when they start sitting up.

But it’s great, isn’t it?? Exhausting and alot to keep up with but worth all of it. Have fun and….keep blogging. πŸ™‚


auntblue on

Love reading about your thoughts and insights on fatherhood. You speak from the heart, and it is very refreshing. Parenthood is a journey full of challenges, and lots of love. Thanks for sharing a glimpse of yours.

cindy on

thanks for sharing. i’ve read all your blogs! we have a 16mo son. took us 3 tries of IUI to get him, now we are going through IUI again for #2. it was nice to read a guy talking about ‘making the deposit’ and tell my husband that even celebrities do it!! Thanks.

Mayra on

I absolutely love his blog please don’t ever stop writing. Financing a child is difficult and a worry for everyone. But I must make Mark a suggestion. If the money ever becomes a serious issue you should consider becoming an author. Your writing is articulate and I would stand in line to buy a book written by you.

You seem so down to earth and not lost in the hollywood garbage like so many others.

Saddlermama on

I love to read these every week. I laugh and have cried. Thank you for sharing your life with us. You have a very Beautiful family.

valerie on

One word! WOW! Mark is such a good blogger, every time i read him my heart just melts! Love you Mark, can’t wait to read your next post.

Cody on

Look at Mr. “Fly” all grown up & on daddy duty!!! love it! πŸ™‚

Jenny on

Your blog is well written and you sound like a great dad…concerned about all the right things. I do have to say though, I am thinking the same thing you thought we’d be thinking…you have a fair amount of money (at least I presume…which maybe I shouldn’t).

My husband and I are expecting twins and we’re both teachers and we, although are financially stable right now, are extremely happy yet completely overwhelmed at how we’re going to pay for these twins. Childcare for 2? We don’t want to send them to daycare early on, but how are we going handle living on one teacher’s salary? Don’t mean to sound bitter…times are tough for all.

Bella on

Another great blog from you, Mark! I agree with others who have said you should really turn this into a book. You’d have several buyers already! πŸ™‚ Thanks for speaking so frankly about something we all deal with-cost. It’s good to hear that as someone who has experienced fame, you still have the same problems the rest of us do. Keep up the great work!

T on

Please don’t stop writing!! I love reading your blogs, especially since I just had twin girls in August!!! πŸ™‚ Everything sounds very familiar! πŸ™‚

All the best!!

Jill on

Thanks again Mark!! Don’t stop writing here ever!! I would love for you to write a book about your experiences. I think you could make a killing off of the readers just here. I look forward to reading this every week.

Regarding house size, we have no children and live in a 2400 sq foot house and it works for us. If we were able to have a child, we would fit, but would need to get rid of a lot of stuff. When you are childless for so long, you build a life house with stuff/hobbies and deserve to have a big house. We had to move bigger to fit all of our stuff. So I get it!!

michelle on

Thanks so much for your blog, Mark! I am planning on getting pregnant soon & of course, the main fear I have is the financial “burden.” I realize you are so correct when you say, in your own words, that human life is above the financial piece. I look forward to more blogs from you. & great writing skills, too! You should write books, maybe?!

Dawn on

I don’t even have babies anymore and I love to read your blog! Thanks for sharing!

Kim on

I think that you are thinking way ahead and that is great. You are preparing for the life of your children. Having a good school, and the right people to teach is wonderful. Youre never prepared for kids, but thats what is so great. Just so you know it only gets better as they get older.

Mom Of Twins on

Please stop crying about how much these kids are going to cost you. Being a mother of twins myself, when I found out I was pregnant everyone was worried about how I be able to care for them. My only worry was that they be born healthy. I look at it this way, they would cost you much more, if they were sickly kids.

Shannon on


I LOVE your blogs, I love how honest you are and you can make me smile and cry in the same breath! My kids are 7 and 9 now – I swear you blink and they grow up in front of you. Keep the blogs coming!

Diane on

Ok, so I don’t usually read blogs, nor do I comment, but I have to agree with the others who have complimented you on your writing. I have laughed, cried, and been reminded of the sweet days of my children’s babyhood reading your postings. Thank you so much for sharing!

I have 4 children (12, 10, 9 & 7) and can tell you it isn’t cheap, but it is priceless!

Lisa H on

Hi Mark, I will admit, I am not familiar with your music! Sorry! However, I am a single parent to twins, so we have that in common. I appreciate your blog. I appreciate your honesty. My twins are now 20, but I raised them alone since they were 4. You and Carin will do a great job! Thank you for sharing your stories! This one about finance, I totally get it! You are truly blessed and thank heaven you know that already!

Lori on

I love this Blog…Mark your thoughts are clear and concise and I really enjoy your writing style. I am in ageement, you should write a book, but then again I am bias, I have been a fan for years from almost the beginning in fact. The babies are adorable and you and Carin are amazing. Keep it up! Just easy on the square footage….1500 sq. ft. would be fantastic for my family, right now with 4 kids and 2 adults we get by with 1200….it’s not about space it’s what it’s filled with. LOVE……

Diane on

Mark, you are an excellent writer. I think you just found your new income-maker. P.S.: your boys are adorable!

DebD on

You are a natural writer! You should give writing professionally a serious consideration!

Anonymous on

Currently living with 4 adults, a 9 year old and a 6 year old in 1132 square feet, you make it work.

Katie on

I would like to thank you for bringing the subject of infertility to the fore front. It has long been stigmatized and something people don’t talk about. People need to talk about it and let others know that this is not something to be ashmed about. My husband and I are about to start round 3 of IVF and it’s been a long and hard road (so far). Congrats on the double blessing!

MellyMom on

I am glad to hear about a celebrity who doesn’t automatically assume that they will need to pay for an education. There are many cities and towns in this country that have wonderful public education and if you are lucky enough to be able to live in them, you will find a great support system for you and your kids.

$16K for PRESCHOOL is out of control but then again, when you work full-time your kids need to go somewhere (but hopefully that was at least full-time preschool).

Angie on

Two words: YOU. ROCK.

Thank you for sharing your personal life with us. It’s a refreshing read! Plus, not only discuss parenthood, you also discuss this often forgotten tiny ‘footnote’ in the book of life which is when you realize that you are now concerned with ‘adult’ things and your priorities have shifted somewhat! Scary and enlightening at the same time! :o) Keep on having fun!

Grandma on

Mark, just read your blog, you are a very talented writer.

I found myself divorced when my son was 14, I went to work in a gold mine to support us, long hours, long weeks. When my son graduated I asked him what he wanted for graduation, he said what I want you can’t give me, I looked at him so proud of my bank account and said yes I can (I figured he wanted a new car). He looked at me and said mom can you give me back your time? I cried and it still haunts me. So new parents just love your babies and give them your time it’s free!!!

Amy on

Hey mark and fellow readers!

I can’t believe only one comment mentions that a 1500 sq ft house should be big enough! I have friends that live in a 1000 sf house with 4 boys and they are doing well. Kids should be outside playing anyways!!!

I would like to remind all of you that your parents and grandparents (at least mine did) live in very small homes (it’s all they could find/afford) and they had a whole lot more children than the average family does today. I myself live in a 1000 sf house with a 1 year old and a baby on the way and we would do just fine for the next few years, even if we were blessed with more children.

Yes, children cost money, but I do have to agree with Mark on his last point: having children is PRICELESS. They are such a blessing from God. May God bless all parents and those who would love to be!

Barbara on

Mark, Love your blog! I have 4 kids ( all teens now) we moved several times to accomodate our growing family thru the years and the last move was into a “good” rated school district. We always try to put out kids needs first and do whats best for them and so far it has worked! Just do what your heart tells you to and you will be fine πŸ™‚ Keep writing…… love it !!!

Mary on

Try not to worry about the size of your house, or your wallet…you have enough to survive, and you also have lots of love in your heart, and you know what is important…that will sustain you. Things always work out, just look at how we all grew up…not with the best of everything, not even with much of anything, but we survived, and we are better people for it.

ou learn to appreciate what you get, and understand that the blessing of healthy babies is all that matters…They are lucky to have you and Carin as their parents-no matter the size of the house, all will be fine in the end! Stay true to your values-you reveal them with every word, and your parents taught you well.

Shannon on

As I’ve said before, I love your blog! You should be a writer. I would definitely buy your books. Look at Jenny McCarthy, she’s written 6? I love her books, actually similar writing style to you.

As a mom of two boys under 3 in a 1500 sq ft house, it works. Yes there are toys and baby gear all over, but who cares? Its a home filled with love and a lot of noise, but its all worth it. They’re only little for a short time. When they’re teens we’ll be complaining that they’re never home πŸ™‚

Sherri on

Mark, I understand your need for a bigger home, as I have two children and I live in a 1050 sqft home. It isn’t necessary to go bigger but when you have double of everything it kind of makes life easier. Love your blog and keep them coming.

JustWayne on


I TOTALLY understand your concern about your house size. But do you NEED a bigger place? Right now? In this economy? In your business?

With you being in the entertainment industry….I would seriously hold off from buying a “bigger” house. If you want to move for School reasons, that doesnt sound like a bad Idea, when the time comes. But you don’t need to do that for a few YEARS.

Decreasing your personal Debt is THE best way to improve your family’s lifestyle and future.
Zero out your Credit Cards.
Pay off your Car(s)/Boats/etc
Pay down your current home.

Should your Income stream change….do you REALLY have 1yr income in cash ready savings? If not….if/should you lose your job, it would be difficult to deal with your expenses with Credit Card, Car and Home Debt Burdon.

Once you have your debt in 100% control, you can get your pre-approval for a new home, with more favorable credit terms….AND be able to “Poach” on a distressed home sale.

There are lots of people who promote investments, stocks, business startups etc. Do what you wish, but you would not lose if you first invest in yourselves by removing your debt.

If needed, pick up another job to remove the debt faster. Think targeted income. “I am going to use this Appearance Fee to pay off CreditCard_Visa” etc


Jennifer on

I can totally understand Mark’s concern about square footage. If you’re used to a certain amount of space for two people, adding two more can make a drastic difference.

Guest on

You’re a very talented writer and I look forward to reading your blog! I think some of the people here are focusing on the wrong details, people need to read between the lines, pay no attention to them. You have beautifully put into words some of the stresses we face as adults and how one little moment can trump all of those concerns. Well done.

Paula on

Love your blog, Mark! It brings back memories when I was young and in my twenties and went to see Sugar Ray in concert with my friend. Now we are both married and mommies. It’s so funny how one’s life evolves. Your children are beautiful. I wish you and your family all of the happiness in the world.

KH on

RE: House size. Yes, homes used to be smaller. I live in a 1950s home that has probably 2,000sq ft once you factor in the basement. There are people in my neighborhood who have lived in these homes for 60 years and raised 2-3 kids in them. Half a century ago, that was probably more do-able. You didn’t have multiple TVs in your house or computers and there was certainly a ton less gear for babies and kids. Don’t even get me started on trying to convince a 50s-sized closet to contain a modern size wardrobe!

No, many of the things I mentioned aren’t bare essentials, but they’re what many of us expect as part of our normal and it gets hard to squeeze all of those things into a smaller home. When I have to venture into one of our storage areas where our daughter’s outgrown baby gear sits waiting for the next one, I cringe a little bit to realize how much of there is – and I remember what it was like when our living room was overrun with a pack β€˜n play, Jumperoo, and activity mat all at the same time. That 2X would be insane! If you can afford to move, do it by all means!

Megan on

I just love your blogs!! I’ve always been a fan, and I’m thrilled that you aren’t like the rest of Hollywood (although you may have had your partying moments, I’m sure, like the rest of us haha) and only concerned with yourself. You are truly a mature adult/star and a REAL man!

I know you gets hundreds of responses, and you probably don’t have time to read each and every one of these, especially with your two precious “distractions” :), but if you do see this one, please let us know in another blog what y’all decide to do about moving and schools. There is a possibility that we will be moving to LA soon, and while we have no children (yet), I am the type of person that likes to have a plan and do all my research in advance (I know, I’m funny. I get picked on all the time because I like a plan).

When I was looking at houses and neighborhoods, I just didn’t even know where to start! It’s so funny because a 1500 sq foot house here would sell for way under $200,000 (for a house that’s less than 5-10 years old too!), and I have found that they go for a lot more in LA! We’re used to “larger” houses (at least 2500-3000 sq ft), so it will definitely be a shock to move to California and not be able to afford that!

Anyways, my apologies, I tend to ramble, as well. Please let us know where y’all decide (not your address, of course haha) and what happened on your journey to a new house, neighborhood, etc.

Congratulations on your family. I agree with many here. If you are ever lacking in funds, please write a book. You are a very talented writer, as well as other things too πŸ™‚

Megan on

While this isn’t directed to Mark’s blog, I felt I needed to address this because I teared up when I read Grandma’s post. Don’t let that haunt you! We went through a similar family situation, and my mother was forced to work long hours for many years. It sucked, and I hated that she wasn’t always there and I felt I had to grow up too soon. When I graduated, I resented that she hadn’t been able to be there as much as my friend’s mothers.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that she HAD to do what she did in order to take care of my brother and myself. She was so strong and stopped at nothing (other than something illegal, of course) to be able to provide for us. Did she want to be with us instead of working? Well, of course she did, but it wasn’t possible, and I didn’t understand that. I owe everything I am to my mother, and I will NEVER be able to thank her enough for sacrificing her time and life for me, so that I would be able to go to college and have things she never did. I feel so ashamed that I was so mean to her during that time. I was immature and didn’t understand, but she never said anything. She kept loving me and working to provide for us.

I hope your child(ren) realize how amazing you are and just how much you had to give up in order to provide for him(them). Don’t feel bad about your choices. You are a fantastic mother for sacrificing your life and time with your family in order to provide a better life for them. It’s the best gift you could ever give your child(ren) and it shows just how much you really love him(them), and I hope, one day, he (they) realize that.

Shay on

Mark, I admire your honesty and being so open with your thoughts. I wish every dad would be so open.

I encourage you to not stress so much about all of the items needed for your babies…other than the very basic items (diapers, food and clothing) babies only need the TIME and LOVE from their parents. They don’t need all of those baby items that most people think they do.

I’m a mom of two now ages 9 and 11 and chose to be a full time mom so they never set foot in a daycare and it was the best decision for us. As far as a house..we live in a 1200 sq ft home, all four of us and it helps keep us close knit. Remember, a bigger house is also more area to clean as well..LOL

Take care and I wish the best for your family and your little ones πŸ™‚

Josie on

Hilarious post, but that last sentence has me blinking back tears!

anom on

In his defense, Laurel Canyon is not safe for children if you don’t have room inside the house. The streets are super narrow and windy and there is usually no back or front yards. There are also better school systems in other areas.

Alana on

Not normally one to comment, but I just want to say how much I enjoy reading these posts! Totally down to earth and heartfelt. Mark, you sound like such a wonderful father, and person in general – looking forward to reading more!!!

Tina on

Mark ~ “have you ever had your baby fall asleep in the crevice of your neck, two hearts beating as one, while you are completely enveloped in that perfect new baby smell?” ~ THAT IS PRICELESS!!!! My favorite words from you so far and ABSOLUTELY TRUE! πŸ™‚

Just remember there are TONS on the market that new parents “think” they need when in reality there is just a few that are necessities. Your sweet Angels already have 2 of the best things right now for free = Yours and Carin’s Love and Commitment to them! Thanks again for sharing your lives with us and can’t wait til next time : )

Karen on

Mark – Add me to this of those who are enjoying your blog. Thank you for bringing to light the struggles so many of us face in starting families.

Once we came to the realization that ART was required, we thought of the journey we undertook as an investment in our future, and prioritized our budget accordingly. Many trips/vacations were passed up on, and fashion trends ignored, to name a few, as we completed 3 IUIS, 3 IVFs and 1 FET. In the end, as we tuck our 3 year old in at night, and think about the twins currently in utero we hope will join her, we realize we would have spent so much more. The result, as you said, is absolutely priceless. Best wishes to you and your family!

And, I get the house thing too. We’re wondering what we’re going to do – not because the square footage is too small but because our mid 1960s split level layout is going to be challenging for 3 kids under 4.

Rhonda on

Mark those kiddos are lucky to have AWESOME parents like the 2 of you!

Nicole on

Mark, I absolutely love your blogs! I also have twins by invitro. I look forward to reading everything here! You most definately should write a book! Keep the blogs coming!!

Marie on


Would love to see you do a book or a Dad’s piece on a morning or talk show.

Eliz on

I have to defend the 1500sq ft house not being large enough thing. Yes most people that would be plenty of room for a 4 person family but if you are a couple filling that house and maybe it is only 2 bedrooms… now life is different and your things grow it is not going to be long before you are uncomfortably crowded.

My home is nearly that large with just my daughter (2yrs old) and myself, we haven’t got alot of extra space so I can totally understand his concerns. As he said schools were not an issue 11yrs ago when they bought that home, lifestyle changes and as much as we love our home it doesn’t mean it will be a perfect fit forever.

Again I love reading this blog, Mark you are doing a fabulous job. you and Carin have beautiful children. I struggled to have my daughter and it is nice to read another persons perspective on a similar subject.

China on

I don’t normally comment, but I just had to say; this is a great blog. It’s well written, it’s honest, it’s funny and it’s heartfelt. Mark seems like a great guy. One quick question–doesn’t he have a house in Newport Beach?

R on

I truly love reading your blog, and I agree you should write a book! Thanks for your honesty and humour! It so nice to know that we all face the same challenges, and as parents are just trying to do what’s best for our families! Again, thank you!

Cara Dash on


I have a 6 month old daughter born on 4/4/10. She was very fussy last night while I had “Dont forget the lyrics” on in the background.

That is when I remembered how much I LOVED Sugar Ray and loved your voice! I flipped open my laptop, went on to You Tube, and played “Every Morning” for Ava. She was in awe! She quieted down and watched you sing! After the video was over I played “Someday”. She was out like a light! You sang her to sleep for me :)! You have a new fan…

Thank you for your beautiful music that brings back so many memories!


Kristen on

Man just when I think I have loved his last blog more than anything he writes another one…although this one didn’t make me cry. πŸ™‚ I get the need for a bigger house. Sure you can raise two kids within 1500 feet but as the mom to a 12 year old living in a 1000 square foot house…another 1000 square feet would be nice. But schools and the neighborhood all validate a move so go for it!

I will definitely miss his blog when they are through. I hope that he, like others, will continue to write somewhere else. I didn’t think I would love the dad’s perspective as much as I have. I look forward to seeing any other fathers follow in his footsteps.

But as one cash strapped parent to another- much better to be broke and surrounded by your loved ones then rich and living the wild life. Money comes and if it doesn’t solutions happen. Just enjoy your babies and soak up all of that sleepy baby smell because they grow up all too fast.

Umm just the thought of that smell makes me ovulate. πŸ™‚

Linda on

I understand Mark. It is terrifying. We moved from Studio City to Texas so we could afford a better way of living for our child. My step-son still lives in Hollywood. We have a 2,800 SF home and let me tell you it is nice to have room.

You are right, the expensive things for yourself do not matter anymore, but they do matter for your children. I don’t think mommy and me classes are needed. I didn’t do them, but I heard everyone else in LA was. I just spent time with my girl and that worked out. I do recommend a nanny and cleaning lady if you can. Let me tell you, your wife needs a break and help. If you can afford it, you will be a happier couple.

Good Luck!!!
I love your blog!

Robyn on

First time to read your blog and I absolutely loved it. The last comment about having a baby lay on your chest brought tears to my eyes. It took me back to when my kids were that size and the overwhelming love I felt for them. Thanks for bringing back such a sweet memory for me and keep up the good work; it sounds like you’re doing great.

Kelly on

I don’t normally post, but I just wanted to say that I LOVE your blog. It is so refreshing to hear a dad’s point of view. You have a beautiful family, and I cannot wait to read the new blog each week. I agree that a book would be awesome. I would rush out to buy it. You write beautifully, and know how to engage your audience whether with words or singing.

KB on

Ah yes – nuggling, as we call it in my family. (neck-snuggling: when the baby finds the nook of your neck and nestles in.) Sigh – enjoy it. That was the phase that definitely flew by me the fastest – when being in my arms was just the most perfectly contented place in the world.

Erin on

Kids are wicked expensive. That first day of full-day elementary school is a free childcare ticket with the bonus of actual learning! Don’t get me started on sports expenses. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything else in the world so we just keep swiping the card and writing the checks and hope for the best…

cvlamb on

I also LOVE Mark! He writes so well about fatherhood! Think about writing a book, Mark!

Rose on

Wow, please keep blogging! I love reading about your life and I love your honesty. It’s refreshing and comforting to see that famous people have the same concerns we all do (finding good schools! supporting a family!). A big fan has gotten bigger.

tink1217 on

I am amazed so many people live in such small square footage with so many family members!!!

We used to have a 1300 square foot townhouse and 2 growing children…CRAMPED!!! we hardly had real space for anything and the bedrooms were like shoe boxes. I was so happy when we could finally upgrade to 2400 sq. ft. It is so much easier to get along with each other when you aren’t constantly bumping into each other!

So…Mark…I totally understand wanting a bigger place in a good school district! That was what made our decision with homes…the school system. We chose an “A” school district and yes we paid a little more for our home but it was WELL WORTH IT!!

I absolutely LOVE reading your blogs! KEEP WRITING!!!!

Meredith on

Mark, I think your blog might be the best thing I’ve ever read on I really appreciate your sharing the issues you and your family deal with. It’s refreshing and relatable, and it’s rare to see a celebrity be so honest about the not-so-glamorous things. Plus, you are a great writer with a personable and funny style that is a delight to read. Keep it up, and best wishes for you and your beautiful little family!

Julie on

I love your blog!!! I look forward to it every week. Trust me when I say, we all worry about the finances when it comes to having children. My husband and I did when I was first pregnant. But we managed to always find the money some how. Now it’s finding the money for school! But we manage to find it too. Just trust your instincts they will work out for you. so if you think it’s bad for preschool just wait until they go to school. More worries…. But in the end it’s worth it. They are the most precious thing ever and you will get so much love from them.

Geraldine on

I LOVE this blog!!! We did 2 rounds of IVF and had the additonal cost of doing PGD as well! We were Blessed with a beautiful baby girl a few weeks ago and she is worth every penny! Its not just about the money- its the emotional investment that most often outweighs any pricetag on it…Mark keep writing, I love your music and now I love your blog, who knew?!

Monica on

Thanks Mark for sharing your thoughts with us. Great Blog…please write some more….Thank you for being honest…

LAO on

I usually don’t comment on articles but I just wanted to say that I looove reading your blogs. You are so relatable and down to earth with what you write and seem like a great guy and father. Such a breath of fresh air coming from Hollywood. Congrats to you & Carin. May you be given many, many more blessings in the future!

Kim on


I understand your concern. For us, it’s not the present that’s expensive (lots of baby stuff can be purchased used on Craigslist or ebay or even given from friends and families). What worries us is their FUTURE…the costs of preschool, college, etc.. I worked and borrowed to pay for college. The work was distracting to my education and the borrowing was stressful. So, I’d like to ease that financial burden if I can for my children. BTW, the five of us live in a 3100SF home, but we spend most of our time together in one room. So, you really DON’T need a larger home.

mouse7701 on

I’ve never been a huge fan, I liked the music, even liked things I’d seen Mark in. But reading the dad’s perspective just warms my heart. I’m thrilled for them and so happy for two people finding each other and finally getting the children they longed for. That in and of itself is beautiful. Everything else is just details. Keep up the blog Mark–even if you run over your limit πŸ˜‰

mdmor on

I was a fan of your music, but so much more a fan of your blogs! Get that bigger house by writing. You can do it and you have a great story to tell. Plus you could be home with your family while you churn it out.

Bonnie on

Even though he’s probably doing better financially than the majority of Americans, I can’t blame him for wanting a bigger house. Valencia is a good suburb as well as some areas in the valley.

It’s really not about the square footage, but how the house is layed out. My house is 1582 sq. 3 bed 2.5 bath. We have 1 toddler and one on the way. We don’t have baby stuff all over the place, just the family room. We’re comfortable in our home, other than the small kitchen.

Suppose his house is layed out like a lot of LA homes. Really big open living space and 2 beds 1 bath. It’s all about lay-out.

Luciana on

I never comment here, but this post compelled me to… Mark, I *LOVE* your writing style and have enjoyed your blog posts so far. You seem to be an amazing father, your children are lucky to have ya! πŸ™‚
Good luck to you finding a new home!!!

NYC Dweller on

I live in NYC, decent daycare/preschools can average close to $20,000 a year. It’s insane. On a happier note, I love your blogs, too!

L.M. on

I have never enjoyed any of the other celebrity baby blogs as much as I enjoy Marks! I don’t know what it is that makes his so different (possibly the writing that reaches out through the screen and squeezes your heart?)…he definitely has a magic touch! GO MARK! Keep them coming, WE WANT MORE!!!!!

robinepowell on

Mark, write a book. There are other celebrities out there writing books and their books are doing well. You seem to have a knack for it and the money it would bring, would ease your finances.

I would definitely buy any book you wrote, so hurry up and get writing, lol! :p

I’m glad to hear you think paying for a good education is not worth it. Sometimes the best things in life are free. πŸ˜‰

Willow on


I love you blogs I cannot wait for Wednesday when I can read another chunk about your lives with your adorable twins. I love how honest you are with them and I cannot wait for the next one.

Leisa on

WOW! Well said Mr. McGrath. Truly there is nothing like that feeling. Enjoy it and embrace it always. Finances may always be an issue but your babies will only be little for so long. God has a way of just making things work and giving you just what you need. Quality over Quantity makes for a happy life! πŸ™‚ Enjoy the McGrath party of 4!

Brooke on

Your wonderful blogs are going to make me sit in front of the screen cheering you on every week on the “Celebrity Apprentice”. Hope you do well!!!!!

Elizabeth on

It is such a joy to read your blogs, Mark. And re: the house…I was fortunate enough to live in a rather large house (3,500-4,000 square feet), but it really kept me separate from my siblings. I see how my husband and his siblings were raised in comparatively “cramped” quarters and the closeness it brings with his family. I wish I had that with my brother and sister, and intend to raise my little girl with more of a connection to her nuclear family than I had.

At any rate, again, thank you so much for your words and stories…they truly do make my day.

Donna on

My girls will be 21 this March. Were they planned? Um no. Did I worry about all of this financial stuff? Not really.What’s the point? You have your kids and somehow you love them and get through it somehow. AND it’s pretty cool to have these gorgeous people in your life that look exactly alike. In my case anyway.
Good luck Mark. It’ll be ok.

Nina on

PEOPLE: Please keep Mark on as a permanent blogger!!
His writing, humor and honesty are beautiful, refreshing and moving. Im not an emotional person, but I always get a bit choked up reading his blogs.

Mark…those kids of yours are beyond adorable! You guys seem like great parents. You guys have a wonderful and beautiful family.

isacutie on

It’s great reading your blog, Mark. Nice to read about family from a male perspective. Wishing you and your family the very best!

Carol on

I believe Mark when he says he needs a bigger home. We went from renting-an almost 900 sq ft apartment with a family of four. 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom and an incredibly small kitchen. It was cramped but at the time all we could afford. When we were looking to buy, we saw homes that were 1300 sq ft and the size of the bedrooms just wasn’t going to work for us. We were only increasing by 400 sq ft. We finally settled on a little over 1800 sq ft and it has worked great for us. Just because 1500 sq ft has worked for some, doesn’t mean it is going to work for everyone.

I love reading your blog Mark. I typically don’t read these but I just had to. I grew up listening to your music when I was in high school. And even now my oldest son who is 9, can recognize your song from Scooby Doo when it comes on!

Can’t wait to read the next blog. Your babies are precious, I know you and your fiancee are deeply in love with them. Take care!

Sarah S. on

They say that daughters look like their fathers, and sons look like their mothers–so true in this case!! WOW! πŸ™‚

Sylvia on

I love ur blogs! Like every comment made, just write a book already!

Sarah S. on

Mark & Carin: My house is 1144 sq. ft. and my husband and I have 2 children (now 10 and 13). We’ve lived here for 8 yrs. and we’ve managed nicely over the years. Yes, I complain once in a while that we need more space, but what you have in your current house are MEMORIES from the last 11 years and more to come.

By the way, our backyard neighbors had the same sq. footage house and expanded their kitchen and family room. They probably have 1500 sq. ft. now, just like you. They had twins after living in their house for 11-12 years.

Anyway, I do understand wanting to be within walking distance of a good school. I am lucky in that department. Good luck to you and I love reading your blogs!!

Baby G Mom on

Mark, I have to agree with all the other comments here that encourage you to write a book on this, you are a natural! Plus, there needs to be more books from Dads on issues like infertility, newborn care, and parenting! I also appreciate the honesty of finances, etc. coming from a celebrity, it makes us all realize how tough having a family can be, even for those we think have it all!

We too actually had to go through financial cost of IVF to get our first child (now 15 months!) and are lucky enough to be pregnant again (thankfully with a frozen embryo transfer, which is much cheaper than full IVF) and I start panicking thinking of two kids in diapers and daycare! I can’t imagine the cost of two newborns at same time! I have friends with them and they get all my respect as do you and Carin!

I look forward to your blog every week, good luck and hope you all are getting some rest!

Baby G Mom on

Not sure if the mini-book I wrote posted or not so I just want to emphasize that I agree with all the readers who say you should write a book on fatherhood and infertiilty, you are a great writer and I look forward to your blogs. Hope you all are getting some rest!

melissa seitzinger on

why would anyone put a word limit on such a great writer. i would love to waste an entire day at work reading about mark. JK but i do enjoy it keep them coming.

Stephie on

Congrats to you Mark and Carin!

Beautiful babies, you are so blessed. I have two boys, 16 & 10. I was blessed and became pregnant with them easily. We live in a fairly large house in a nice town. We need some work done on the house, but it will one day. Just remember never to be too busy to spend time with them. My teen, tho sometimes he doesn’t have time with us, he will ask us to do something with him. Nice bloggins πŸ™‚ I blog too, but not as clever as you πŸ™‚

I love their names. Is little man named after John Lydon? One of my faves!

God Bless you!

Stacey on

I enjoy your blogs Mark! Truly inspiring! I’ve had my nieces and nephew fall asleep in my neck like that and its priceless!!!!

Renee on

Love your blogs! Definitely consider writing a book, I think it would be a big hit! Have you considered buying toys and such second hand? I know that when you have your first child (children) you want to buy them everything shiny and new, but the reality is they grow so stinking fast that they are only in the jumper-roo or swing for just a few months and then what do you do with it! We got all of those things as hand me downs from my sister-in-law (she had twin girls, so two of everything) and it save us a lot of money! Best of luck on all your financial decisions and house hunting!

Kelsie on

Mark, I am in love with your blog. You are amazing at writing and they way you tell your stories…perfect. Your twins are also adorable. Keep up they great work I LOVE reading them!

cathy on

I always, always, always end up choked up in tears at the end of Mark’s blog posts. Love them!


hey Mark

Love reading your blogs It didnt surprise me that you can write just as well as you sing…for sure….
Your twins are truly blessed to have you guys as their parents…

I am a mom of 3 ( well 4 if you include hubby) well make that 5..we got a puppy me crazy..anyways…that baby smell is a reminder that all is well on earth..that life is precious and we need to truly just take a moment and breathe it all in…continue to write…continue to share and continue the path your on because your doing just great…best wishes..

Melisa on

I would first like to thank you for your words. This is such a good story to follow! I don’t have twins, but I have 4 boys…3 of which were born within the last 6 years. My only advice is that you are never going to be financially ready for anything completely. Just sit back and enjoy the ride, do your part to bring in the money… but enjoy this. One more thing… Mommy and me videos are out there (yoga, etc.) Those are moneysavers over the classes. Just a thought! Welcome to parenthood.

MG on

I totally understand the stress about the financial aspect of raising a kid. I only have 1, so I don’t have to worry about the double everything that comes along with twins. But my husband & I weren’t in the greatest financial position when we had our daughter & before she was born, I stressed about how we could afford the necessities for her. I came to the realization that once they get here, you have no other choice but to make it work, & it has worked really well for us for the last 2 years. We still live in our small 800 sq foot apartment. I would love to have more room, the kitchen is tiny & it’s a huge pain in the a$$ getting up & down the stairs carrying a groceries, a baby, the diaper bag & anything else I need to take with me. But we make it work.

I would love to get into a house someday, & that is a goal we are working towards. I can understand the want to move for a better school system, & even a safer neighborhood. But I wouldn’t focus so much on square footage. My sister & her family live in an 1100 square foot 3 bedroom house. She currently has her husband, 2 kids (7 & 4) my younger sister & her boyfriend, a shitzu mix & a great dane currently living in this little house. On top of that, you often get me & my daughter over there on a regular basis for visits. It’s cramped at times, but you make it work.

With that said, awesome blogs, I have enjoyed reading them. Your kids are beautiful!

blessedwithboys on

All this worry about money and you somehow forgot that women actually have free milk factories growing right on their chests? Think about that everytime you send the nanny out for more formula.

Maria on


I’m going to chime in and encourage you to write a book as well. I think it’s great that you are so honest and down to earth.

Thanks for writing, you brought back many memories about my children, now I’m about to be a grandmother and can’t wait to see my daughter have the same experience.

On another note, children are only as expensive as we make them and give them. We always say, we want to give our children what we never had, well I’m sure you didn’t grow up living a wealthy life and look how you came out.

Give them love and support, just the basics.

A BIG fan of you and your writing!!!

Go Texas Rangers!!!

Mississippi Belle on

lOVE THE BLOG! Our twin boys are now seven so I can relate to it all. Have fun and enjoy!

miranda on

Cloth diapering and breastfeeding can really save some big bucks over time!

Carmen on

beautiful babies!! Congratulations

Elizabeth on

Mark– you’re so smart and your blog is just lovely. Everything here is cool: your relationship with Carin, your frankness about school district home shopping… it’s the goods. Thank you!

Anonymous on

I live in a 900 sq ft house with 2 children under 4 and like most in this economy, have no equity and can’t sell it. Also, things like mommy and me classes are a luxury for some people – not a basic expense!

And I do agree with the others who said it before me – breastfeeding and cloth diapering can save a lot of money!!!