So the blog turned 12 on the weekend…

On Sunday the 29th July you know what kicked over? The 12th year of blogging for BabyMac! I know right? How can it be 2 years since I celebrated my 10th blog birthday and yet somehow, just like it’s “apparently” August today, it happened.

Shall we celebrate? Let me get you a drink. What do you fancy?

And hang on, we’ll need something to eat too.

Oh I better trot out an Anne too for the occasion.

That’s better. OK, where were we? Oh yes, Happy birthday BabyMac the blog!

This is blog post number 3,125.
There are over 69,000 comments on here.
And I am just shy of 9 million page views on the blog.

It’s something isn’t it? Just like most 12 year olds I know (and I happen to know a few as it comes to be) the blog can be a little up and down at the moment. A little hormonal? A little temperamental shall we say. A little unsure exactly of who it is and who it wants to be. It’s quite the time.

It’s been quite the journey going from this:

To this:

I’ve gone from this:

To this:

So many wrinkles, so much skin pigmentation, stretch marks, sleepless nights, tears, tantrums, joys. Man, what a ride. 12 years of being a Mum. Gosh I wish I could tell that woman 12 years ago to trust herself more and know that she’s got this. Remind her that no one actually knows what the fuck they are doing when it comes to kids and being an adult, everyone just making it up as they go with good intentions and love. No one is perfect at it that’s what I KNOW to be true all this time later.

As you’d know this blog was set up as a way to stay in contact with my sisters who were living overseas at the time, the world that we lived in had no social media. No Facebook, or Instagram or smart phones with the internet connected in our back pockets, in our hands, ALL the time. We were still disconnected…oh what a time….take me back!

Things slowly started to change and year by year we became connected with each other through these mediums of social media. Friends and family were connected in ways we hadn’t been before, sharing photos and special times, those early naive days where we updated our status a couple of times a day!I suppose not much has changed as we moved into Instagram snapping moments of our time before that turned into quicker, less fancy moments in Instagram stories. There’s been Snapchat, twitter, YouTube different versions of things like Vero (is that what it’s even called?) iPhones and smart phones, wifi and hot spots and blue tooth. We are mobile and we are CONNECTED.

What went from forums back in the day –  like wedding forums or baby forums moved into blogs where REAL people started to share their stories, frustrations and joys and a real magic happened. Some of it was about parenting and I suppose “the mummy blog” was born. But more than that, real people read from around Australia and the world and were like “Oh me too!” and so they would comment, they would share and suddenly this community existed. Where people were honest and vulnerable and open and they were greeted with open arms. There was a community of bloggers that formed back in around 2011 when the first Digital Parents Conference was held in Sydney, many of who still comment on social media and are friends on Facebook. Except those babies that we were once talking about, now tower over us, or are adults themselves.

In around 2012 things started to get a little more serious with agencies starting to pop up as brands wanted in with these platforms filled with engaged and loyal followers and readers. We could start to make money from sponsored posts and I know I started to take things seriously when TV shows like The Project would come to film me in my house to talk about “the rise of Mummy bloggers” and I was flying out to New York to attend the HUGE BlogHer conference. Some of that support that used to “appear” so strong started to dilute a little with all kinds of things being said about each others success. How could we forget that line delivered to us in New York by another blogger who said “You do you know everyone hates you right?”. Ha!

Then next few years saw commercial success for many bloggers, people who took their blogs from musings to real viable businesses. We became the editors, the writers, the photographers, the makeup artists and hair stylists, the ad team hosting for new work, the accounts department organising our taxes and reporting on campaigns. All the while making sure we maintained “our integrity” and being told that “you’ve sold out” and keeping up content day in day out. Sheesh I feel anxious and exhausted just thinking about all that. You get told about forums where women now sit, like they once did taking about the excitement of their weddings or newborns, discussing how terrible and awful these bloggers are, picking apart their lives and what they do with venom and judgement.

It’s been quite the ride from 2011 (I think the turning point) to now in 2018 when the landscape is ENTIRELY different. There are SO many bloggers, so many voices, so many “influencers” and Instagram stars who look wonderful and have created success for themselves. I still by the fact that HOW GOOD IS THAT? As a Mum, being able to make an income from home and having our thoughts on things shared with the world. That’s powerful. I think it’s feminism. And an amazing sign of the times that we live in. Sure there’s tall poppy bullshit (definitely something that women really do well to tear each other apart and judge OH MY GOD WHY DO WE DO THAT TO EACHOTHER?!)

Brands now may be chasing the next shiny thing, for as little money as possible but there is still something about a blog. Still in 2018! In fact, all those Instagram stars are being told that they should have a blog! I think the main thing is it’s YOUR platform, well this is mine at least. 3,215 posts about stuff. If Instagram gets deleted tomorrow what do these accounts have? I pay decent amounts of money every year to keep my blog hosted and up to date and mobile compatible and all that. It’s mine and I am incredible proud of the body of work it is. A comprehensive collection of stories and moments over 12 years of being a Mum. All my successes and failures, joy and frustrations, life decisions have been shared with an open heart on here. For me mostly, but what a joy that so many of you have enjoyed them too.

Blogs have connected REAL people in a world that never was able to do that before. And while social media platforms have done that too, no doubts, it’s the conversations and the communities that have formed of REAL people, smart people, funny people on blogs through the years that are the real gems in this highly connected crown that we live in. Online friendships that turn into REAL friendships with fellow bloggers and readers through the years are a GIFT. A joyous gift that have made my life infinitely better because of them, because of you!

When I write a blog post I still feel like this. Me, sitting there connecting with actual smiling faces. Who laugh and cry along with me and say “Oh Beth, me too!”

It’s what I have reminded myself over and over the past few months when there have been crisis of confidence and “Oh my god am I really still doing this?” and of course “I am done. Where is the work? Surely this still counts for something?”.

And I know it does. It’s those faces, your faces and comments and likes and shares that are real and DO count for something. And it’s why I still open up a new browser and open WordPress and click ADD NEW POST every few days. It’s the power of connecting people with shared experience and teaching something new that is just as strong as it was in 2018 as it was in 2007. It will be all throughout time, always has been and always will.

What a privilege that I have been able to do it for as long as I have, make some money from it and of course meet so many amazing women (and men I see you Dave) from all over the country. THIS is what is important and this is my focus as I head into another year of blogging, at times uncertain about how to just keep going.

On the weekend at Nikki’s event I had the joy of meeting so many wonderful readers who all started out the same “I feel like I know you!” and that’s because YOU DO. You’ve followed the story for maybe just a few months, maybe read every single post, and what you see here is entirely what you would get in real life (just ask anyone from Saturday!). I got to catch up with some of my readers Kimmi and Lizzy who have become friends who presented me with this little present:

A wee monogrammed wallet filled with a couple of lobsters for my emergency G&Ts. Bless em! THIS is the stuff about blogging that matters: not (ever falling) stats, or commercial viability or ROI. Connection with real, good, people that get you and understand you, laugh and cry with you, hold you up when you feel down and cheer you on with your successes. More than ever, PEOPLE are what matter and it’s what I will think of and focus on right now.

It’s a timely reminder for me, right now. Maybe it’s something (if you are blogger too) you need to hear too.

Strip it back and start again.
Share your story, don’t be scared to be open and vulnerable.
The people that get it, will, and the people that don’t, really don’t matter.
It’s more important to share and be open than be scared of what might happen if you do.
Teach someone something every day.
Show them the beauty and joy in the everyday, mundane as it may be.

So thank YOU, the people behind BabyMac, the reason that there are so many bloody posts after so many years for teaching me and reminding me of what’s important and supporting me along the way. I’ll keep thinking of those nodding and smiling faces that can so often be forgotten when you are staring at a blank computer screen.

Here’s to another year, and see where we’ll go.
Thank you.

I’d love to know when you started reading the blog!
What’s been your favourite post?
Are you a blogger and feeling like it’s all a bit hard too?

And if you are a blogger and want some advice I have written before that is actually quite good when you read back on it check out these two posts:

9 Life lessons from 9 years of blogging
11 musings on 11 years go blogging

Comments

  1. Julie Harris says:

    Happy Birthday Baby Mac! I have been reading you for about 6 years and I check in everyday. I think I found you through Woogs World or Styling You! They are top chicks too but you speak to me! Keep writing with an open heart.

  2. Amanda Jacobs says:

    Happy 12th Beth, what an awesome achievement! Don’t exactly remember when i started reading, maybe around 4-6 years. One of my friends sent me your way and the first one of your posts i looked up was the magical fitted sheet folding video. Changed.my.life! I’ve found since you had Mags your posts have spoken to me more than ever as I have an almost 3 year old DD too! Keep doing what your doing Beth and we will keep reading.

  3. Alexandra says:

    Hey Beth,

    Happy birthday! I’ve been reading for around 4.5 years.

    I love your blog. I cook your recipes all the time. I really do hope things start to get better in terms of work. I always enjoy what you do and think brands should recognise the loyal fan base you have had for such a long long time.

    I’d love to know if you are going to do anymore of the interactive cooking style classes you did last year. I missed out and my mum and I always regretted not being able to attend.

    x

  4. Hi Beth , my life is a long way from yours. I live near the city in Brisbane , my sons are 34 and 31 , but I love reading your blogs every day ! I first joined your community about a year ago and I was hooked ! I’ve read back on most of your past blogs and enjoyed everyone ( they don’t date) . As a new Grandma I find reading about young mums parenting in this era keeps me in touch ! So …..thank you !
    Ps my favourite blog ,the royal wedding London trip of course !

  5. I’m glad you are here, still showing up, still sharing and bringing connection and hope to me.
    I think I’ve dipped in and out of your blog over the last 5 years or so, but for probably the last 18 mths I’ve been hooked. No idea how I first stumbled across you, probably a comment on another blog which lead me down a rabbit hole until I popped up at you. I’m also in a different stage of life, children 17, 20, 22&24. Only 1 left at home but you know what, so much of what you write is relevant to me and my life. Some shit never changes. I’m lonely now so to read here is like catching up with a mate of a coffee and chat.
    Here’s to the next year, may be fun, fabulous and forgiving.
    Cheers Kate

  6. The happiest of birthdays Beth!!! I have been reading your blog for about 6 years and you inspire me to get shit done around the place!!!
    I love all your posts on gardening and cooking and fancy dinner parties…….even though I never get around to actually inviting people!!!
    I even put some cooking in our local show and beat my mother in law in the lamingtons…..it’s still an icy topic!!!
    My favorite posts would be the New York trips where I hung off every word as I went on that holiday with you- we had such a great trip!!!
    Keep doing what you do because we all need your help and advice to keep getting shit done!!!!
    Love Bee xxxxx

  7. Oh Beth, I started reading your blog when you shared a newborn photo from wayback in the day on someone else’s fb feed or blog comment thread. Back in the days of bob-haired and fringe Beth. Been here for quite a while, and have been delighted when I’ve seen you in real life too! I remember siding up to your Mum and introducing myself at Nikki’s Sydney book launch – and she was as delightful too! Here’s to many more years of reading along!

  8. Beth. Happy birthday x.
    That is just gorgeous. Thank you for letting us all know you. Knowing I’m not the only person doing “all of the things” makes me fell great, every time I read one of your posts.
    Your little blog brings so much to so many people. I found you when looking for a recipe 6 years ago and I feel so lucky to have found such an amazing little place.
    Keep doing what you do, Beth. All of it.
    We love it and we love you x

  9. What an incredible achievement, Congratulations on 12 years of sharing your life with the world!
    I found you through Styling You blog in 2013 & felt so validated as a mother, I love being a Mum but my god the sheer exhaustion of it & relentlessness …. it was so good to hear other Mums didn’t find it super easy either.
    Then when you wrote about that third baby that you were unsure you could have I felt exactly the same way, my baby girl had been coming to me for years but I just didn’t Trust I could do it. So I decided no I could not & then I cried for about an hour grieving this little soul…. finally I thought you are stronger than you think & at nearly 38 I gave my baby 2 months to be conceived & she came first attempt, she has brought so much love & joy into our family & I have finally found my stride in mothering & trusting myself as a mother.
    I love your authenticity & I look forward to purchasing your book in the future along with many other women.
    Thank you Beth. Xxxx

  10. Emma de Smet says:

    Congratulations Beth I’ve loved reading your posts over the multiple year prob going to say 9… every day I go mm I’ll bake cook that and I don’t 🤣 but it reminds me that I could if I wanted to. You capture your scene so beautifully in both written and pictorial. Thanks for all the laughs & tears plus I still say there’s a book or two in you … fiction and non fiction. Of course I’ve lived vicariously through your travels of late and even came to love those young royals just a tad – thanks Chickee xx

  11. Congratulations Beth! I always love to check where you are at each day as another mum in the trenches with 3 boys similar ages to your girls. Thanks for keeping it real and the laughs. x Chels

  12. Happy Birthday BabyMac! Thankyou for your blog. I’ve been following you before the beautiful arrival of baby Mags and haven’t missed a post since. I’m sorry I’ve missed so much ! What you’ve achieved over 12 years is immense and you should be incredibly proud of yourself.
    Looks to me like we aren’t going anywhere so don’t you go anywhere… I want an invite to Maggie’s Uni Graduation! 🎓 😘

  13. My new wall paper on my phone…
    ‘Strip it back and start again.
    Share your story, don’t be scared to be open and vulnerable.
    The people that get it, will, and the people that don’t, really don’t matter.
    It’s more important to share and be open than be scared of what might happen if you do.
    Teach someone something every day.
    Show them the beauty and joy in the everyday, mundane as it may be.’ ~ Babymac
    Thank you Beth. This is exactly what I needed to hear. Happy Birthday!
    From Shauna – learning from you since 2014. x

  14. Susan Beauchamp says:

    Happy Birthday Babymac! I’ve been reading your blog for a few years now. I first learned of you when you used to do short segments on The Daily Edition show. I’m a few years older than you, with a 15 year old but I’m a passionate reader and love reading about all of your adventures. Here’s to many more fantastic posts x.

  15. Wow.. time does fly? I was thinking when you asked “When you started reading the blog?” that I was quite recent to your blog, but then I remembered you announcing that your 3rd child was on its way. And the delicious little Maggie is over 3 now……So I have been following along on your glorious ride for about 5yrs now…. Love every blog post….. You make me laugh and what’s not to love about a girl with a serious appreciation for cake? Happy 12th Birthday Baby Mac… Keep being you!

  16. I’ve been reading your blog for about 6 years now. Came across you via Kirsti Rice – 4kids and a Beagle. Love the mom stuff especially. people the world over relate. Also love seeing and learning about life in your part of the world. Very different from where I live in Canada. Keep posting. I also check your posts pretty much daily waiting for updates and news. also I loved the Royal wedding trip and posts. I also am a royal watcher and supporter.

  17. Congratulations Beth on 12 years…I’ve been a follower for around 5 years I think so I feel like I know you and your family…I live in central Victoria and love your beautiful pics and the simplicity of something pretty in a vase gets me out to the garden to snip off anything flowering….I also totally get the joy of washing blowing on the line….you have an amazing ability to make us aware of lifes simple pleasures which often we forget in the hustle of busy lives….so thankyou Beth keep sharing it and we will keep reading and loving it. Xxx
    Ps love the Royal

  18. Lady!! I’m new-ish to you – only a yearish long since I found you. You are SO right that what you do means something. A big something. From introducing myself and family to Sunshine Rice (now on wkly-ish rotation) – and other delicious treats, to the daily reminder to see the world afresh each day with humour – I’ve got a lot to thank you for. Happy, happy 12th birthday. You ROCK! Xx

  19. Happy Birthday BabyMac!
    I started reading when you moved to the Highlands ❤️
    Thanks for teaching me the proper way to fold a fitted sheet (still never fails), how to put together a good platter, and how to take a good photo of ‘ordinary life’.
    Hopefully Harper is sleeping a little easier than she was when I started reading.

  20. Happy Blogging Birthday Beth
    I found you through a Central Coast holiday you took with Nikki from Styling You a number of years ago. I thought “who is this hilarious bird with great hair” !
    A few clicks and I discovered your blog, what a treasure it turned out to be. Over the years I have gone back read many of your previous posts, cooked many a recipe and been inspired by your love of a beautiful flower and a clean floor. I love hearing about life in the country, my daughter and I even had a holiday in Bowral and discovered many Southern Highland delights, thanks to you. So thank YOU for sharing your life with us.
    PS Love the podcast – I’m a Throne Ranger enthusiast

  21. I needed all of this!

    HAPPY BLOG BIRTHDAY, mate. I’ve been here 9 of your 12 years and I’ll be here til the day you or I kick the bucket. I’ve also read all the posts from before I found you, so that’s a fair chunk of baby mac time in my life!

    The posts that stand out to me are the sleeplessness ones, I used to come back and read them when I was in the thick of it – losing my everloving mind – and feel so much better.

  22. Samantha Stevanoski says:

    Happy Birthday Baby Mac!! I found you when I was googling wall stickers and your post about the dots came up about 4 and a bit years ago. Was totally thrilled that I’d found the blog of course. I find your posts and photos inspiring and a breath of fresh air. I’ve cooked countless recipes that you’ve kindly shared impressing my family to no end and done so many ONE THINGS! I check in almost daily and I absolutely love your insta stories. I think you’re just amazing. Please keep sharing!!! Congratulations on turning 12 xxx

  23. Congratulations on 12 years of blogging Beth! Like some of the others I have followed you for years , cooked your recipes , related to your stage of life / parenting / relationship posts . We are about to celebrate 30 years married in October and will become first time grandparents in January ! I am only 53 so how did that happen ?? Keep doing what you are doing because your readers love it ! I would personally want to buy a home styling/ table setting/ home entertainment book from you . I hope you achieve some of your goals soon. Keep going with the flow ! Somehow the universe seems to know that things happen for a reason even if we can’t see it at the time !!

  24. I think I’ve been here since 2010-2011 & I’ll be here until you stop writing. I remember when I first found you & went back & read aaaaaallllll the posts. It was so much fun! And there’s rarely a day I don’t click on your posts now. I know I’ve stopped commenting as often but this year has kicked my ass & my capacity to write anything has diminished. Sorry, shit excuse isn’t it….
    I love that some of your recipes have become staples for us- Anne, date loaf, your pickles. I love that you can write about having hard a time, parenting, life as a woman & when I read it I instantly feel less alone or have a laugh. So thank you Beth, thanks for always sharing & being honest xx

  25. Happy Birthday! I have been reading for 6 years, maybe more. I love a lot of your posts and one of my faves is where you talk about Rob on your wedding anniversary. One of the saddest, I bawled and bawled, was when you wrote about dear Amelia. I didn’t know her but I stil think of her at least once a month if not more. I wonder how her kids are and her husband. Gosh that was sad.
    Thank you for keeping it real.

  26. Congratulations Beth. I’ve been reading here for about 8 year but have never commenred. My children are 12,10,8 and 3. I always wanted four kids and then I had three! I was done. I was exhaustated. Our last, though a complete surprise (I looked to sue depo-vera, lol) completes our family and we wouldn’t be us without her. So your Maggie posts are favs, same month as our gal, and I don’t know how I lived before your Calzones came into my life. Thanks Beth.

  27. I’m in Fresno, California. I have friends from Oz due to being on a Keith Urban forum back in the day. And was attracted because you being Australian. I’ve been reading you for about 6 years. I’m not sure how I discovered you, maybe Young House Love? I loved all the bright colors you used in your house. And I’ve given out the Pav recipe more times than I can count!

  28. Happy blog birthday amazing lady! I’ve probably been reading since 2011 when my old boss said that it was something that I should read and we would discuss your blog posts in the office like the latest TV show. You’ve been a great source of advice and I’m so thankful for the time that I reached out and asked you to come to brekkie and chat with a few of my blogging friends. Thanks for your openness and your honesty and the ‘virtual’ friendship.

  29. Happy 12th birthday Baby Mac!!!
    I first discovered you about 9 years ago while googling for a recipe and came accoss your blog and oh how I love it! Motherhood wouldn’t have been the same without you! And neither would my cooking repoitoire! I have told so many friends and new mums about your blog – and they are all fans too!
    Thank you Beth for being you!
    Personally I couldn’t have done this Mum thing without you xx
    I owe you a bottle of gin or 2!

    My favourite baby Mac moment – when I actually got an email reply back from you about how to host a royal wedding party. I was so excited! You know we did and it was spectacular! We even made the elderflower cake! I should send you some photos x
    Birthday hugs Beth – you are truly one of the best!

  30. Congratulations on 12 years! I love reading your blog and look forward to when an email arrives in my Inbox! Keep going Beth, your thoughts, photos and feelings really resonate with all of us.

  31. Happy Blogaversary!!

    I have far too many favourite posts to recall but I mostly wanted to say thank you for your friendship and support during all those loooooooong lonely nights sitting on the floor of a dark room waiting for a child to sleep. You got it more than anyone else in my life. Thank you Beth xxx

  32. Firstly congratulations on 12 years blogging. I am a newcomer starting this this year after coming across you through Styling You. I attended Nicki’s event on Saturday and wanted to speak to you but did not have the courage, thinking I’d appear like some lame groupey or something. Had I spoken to you, I would have said how much I enjoy your stories (they make me smile) and that I have started enjoying cooking again with your pizza base and Anne chocolate cake recipes. Thanks and keep on keeping on.

  33. Amanda G says:

    Congratulations and Happy Blogging Birthday!! What an amazing achievement! I remember the first post I read on your blog as clear as day, and then went back to catch up on what Id missed out on!! I check in with you everyday and feel so privileged that you share so much of your life with us all. Keep being you and people will always connect. Happy Birthday!

  34. You’ve made something very special Beth. Thank you for your honesty and sharing so much of your family and life! I love your posts about one thing, tablescaping, recipes and lurpak CSAs. And always the photos. Simple and beautiful. Xx

  35. I met you at the Aus Bloh Con in 2011. That’s when I started reading.

    And God that BlogHer condense was cliquey. Sorry that happened to you.

    Congrats on 12 years.

  36. Congratulations on 12 years! Amazing in any field of work let alone your own business.

    I’ve been reading along for about 3 years I think since becoming a mum pretty much. Love all things about your blog, sometimes it is like I am reading about my own life. I also love cooking and love sharing your recipes with people which are always a winner.

  37. Not sure how long I have been reading – times creeps along so fast that it is hard to keep track. Definitely from before you were pregnant with Maggie – and of course I went back and read everything in one looooooong binge after discovering that I loved your photos, recipes and your humour. You had me crying with laughter about the waxing on Intr-stories the other day.

    We’ve eaten very well off many of your recipes – if fact there is a bitter orange cake sitting in the kitchen waiting for someone to get some creme fraiche. I think that I might have stuffed up the fennel part though.

    We started life in Australia in Armidale and I loved reading your perspective on country living. We’re now just down the escarpment from you and have had the privilege of visiting Burrawang a couple of weeks ago — was freezing and wet but we had the best lunch at the Burrawang Village Hotel, followed by cake and coffee at the General Store. Must admit to being disappointed that I didn’t see you – I had primed myself to be brave enough to come and say hi.

  38. Happy 12th Birthday. You have changed my life and I regularly refer to you in everyday conversation. If there is a way I can pay to read your blogs – let me know. I would!

  39. Dear Beth,

    Belated congratulations on your wonderful milestone with the blog.

    As many have already commented, you have created something incredibly special. You have hit so many areas, with so many people, about a myriad of things that resonates with all of us, in one way or another. You will probably never really know just how much you have touched people. That is a special gift.

    But the truly best part, you keep it real. Warts and all. And that my friend, is a very challenging concept and a sadly declining trait these days. Please continue to be yourself.

    Now I’m off to do some ironing and throw some shit in “that drawer”…

    Hope to see you again soon in the ‘Wang.

    Best wishes to you and yours.

    Dave.

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