Happy 1st birthday lovely blog!

Blog birthday

I can’t believe it’s a year ago that I wrote my first post for Mum in Brum. I’d just started maternity leave from my job in PR and it was the perfect time for me start blogging – which was something I’d always loved the idea of, but never got around to when working full-time.

How it all started

I remember sitting on the sofa one evening and Googling ‘how to set up a blog’. Within 30 minutes I’d chosen a name, set up a domain and had my very own little corner of the internet thanks to WordPress – I had no idea it would be so easy. I was immediately hooked. I told Mr M it would be a while before I came to bed and I stayed up to write my first couple of back-dated posts that night – I wanted a handful up on the site before I officially ‘launched it’ to my friends and family via Facebook (little did I know then the effort that really goes into promoting posts!)

Blog birthday

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Lucky for me, I’d finished work a month before Taylor was due and used that time to get Mum in Brum off the ground. I’m so glad I started it straight away as I don’t think I would’ve set it up once Taylor was born – I admit that I totally underestimated how knackered I would be and how little time I would have – especially in those first few months!

I wasn’t quite prepared for those early months if I’m honest. Taylor seemed to be super feisty and strong headed from the moment she came out, and I spent most of the first three months trying to sooth a baby who never stopped wailing. She would never go to sleep when we put her down, she wouldn’t accept a dummy and she hated her milk. I didn’t feel like I could comfort her and I certainly didn’t feel like she had that whole ‘bonding with mum’ instinct that the midwives had banged on about – she just seemed to want to get away from me and hated being held! I also had a ‘mare trying to breastfeed which I gave up after the first week which made me feel (I’m ashamed to say now) like a bit of a failure.

Obviously as a first-time mum I had no idea if any of this was normal and I admit that I could be found on a couple of occasions at 2am sat in bed with the quilt over my head, fingers in my ears – 4 hours, 3 attempted bottles, 10 cuddles, 5 swaddles, 8 lullabies, countless dummy spit outs later – shouting (in my head) ‘I JUST WANT TO GO TO SLEEP!!!!” At 11 weeks she was diagnosed with a kidney infection and had to be hospitalised for a couple of nights. As well as antibiotics for the infection the doctors also prescribed her Infant Gaviscon for reflux which made the world of difference to her feeding. Whether it was the infection or it was a coincidence, when she came out of the hospital it was like having a different baby – so much more content.

me and TBut Taylor did provide the inspiration for most of those early posts and blogging provided an outlet for me to channel my exasperation and see the humour in it all. Reading about the experiences of other parents was also a huge help and made me feel like I wasn’t such a shit mother after all – it happens to the best of us.

My blog has evolved quite a bit over the year and I’ve changed its course to incorporate more lifestyle posts over the last six months. I still love writing the parenting posts and they will always be at its core, but it seems that a happy baby (Taylor is a joy at 11 months now) makes for far less inspired writing! I love home interiors and have begun to incorporate this more heavily into my blog, alongside days out, recipes and reviews.

moving forward

I have lots of aspirations for Mum in Brum and have become a little obsessed with blogging! I love everything about it and I love having something ‘for me’ that keeps my brain engaged throughout the nappy changes, nursery rhymes and hanging out the washing. I’ve recently started to take part in a lot more linkys and I’ve really seen the benefit, finding great like-minded bloggers in communities which feel ‘me’ and seeing an increase in my traffic as a result. I’m also trying to get better at social media, focusing most heavily on Twitter rather than trying to nail them all at once, which is what I’ve tried (and failed) to do in the past.

blog birthdayAs of this month I’m officially self-employed as a freelancer (PR and copywriting) and I would love for my blog to form a decent part of my income one day. At the moment I blog as a hobby, but I secured my first sponsored post pretty early on and have collaborated with a handful of brands, and I’m keen to start getting back something for all of the effort that goes in.

Bloggers work so much harder than people realise and I personally feel that bloggers on the whole are selling themselves short. There are far too many ‘blog/brand match’ platforms out there who are setting the bar too low – I don’t think that £20 is a fair price to pay a blogger who has worked so hard to build their monthly page views, not to mention write the  post in question, sort photography and promote the post on behalf of a brand. Especially when you look at overall advertising and PR budgets.

So my plan is to carry on building Mum in Brum – I know that I need to post more often but I’m still struggling to find the time since I’m limited to Taylor’s nap times (about one hour a day at the moment) and the evenings (I do also like to spend some time with Mr M who I often feel I’m deserting when tapping away on my laptop!) But I’m also determined to not start posting just for the sake of it and my key ‘blogging ethos’ is to be 100% happy with every post I publish. I do find it difficult to not constantly compare myself to other great bloggers out there who are posting every day, but my main goal for now is to just make sure that my blog is growing month on month. And to enjoy it!

So happy birthday lovely blog, I hope we celebrate many more to come! x

A version of this post first appeared on Mum Muddling Through as a guest post for the fab #coolmumclub: Meet the members 

Best of Worst
A Cornish Mum


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51 Comment

  1. Reply
    December 2, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    Congratulations Natalie! What a great achievement! I can say for sure, that with a baby I couldn’t run a blog, I admire you! That must have been a hard time when your little one was ill. It’s nerve racking and scary. When my youngest, now 6, was two weeks old she had a bad bronchitis and had to be in the hostpital for three weeks, we didn’t know at one point if she was going to make it, that’s how bad it was. I’m glad that’s over and I bet you are. It’s wonderful that your little one is better now. And for blogging, wow, I’m blogging not a year yet, and I imagined it a little different, I would say. Again, I don’t know how you keep up, I’ve got my two girls in school all day and I still get so overwhelmed with everything! You’re doing great, keep up the great blog!!! Cheers
    Katrin@KreativK.net recently posted…Wooden X~mas WordsMy Profile

    1. Reply
      Mum in Brum
      December 5, 2015 at 9:47 am

      Thanks Katrin! Having a little one definitely does limit the amount of time I can put into it – but then she also provides the inspiration for most of the posts so at least she’s doing her part!! Lol. That must’ve been awful having your youngest in hospital for three weeks – Taylor was only there for three nights and that was long enough! Thanks so much for your lovely words X

  2. Reply
    December 2, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    happy blogiversary! It was mine on Monday and I started much the same way you did (except I chose Blogger – because I was fairly ignorant of all things interwebby!) I threw it together and have had a blast finding out all the fun stuff that comes with the blogging journey and the blogging friends and just the whole positivity and encouragement that comes with the territory. Good luck with the next 12 months and hopefully we’ll be celebrating again this time next year 🙂

    1. Reply
      Mum in Brum
      December 5, 2015 at 9:49 am

      The blogging community really is great isn’t it? I love how supportive everyone is and how you can always find a post to relate to. Congrats to you for your blogiversary too! 🙂

  3. Reply
    December 2, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Happy birthday to your Blog! I’m glad your baby is okay and is doing well. I remember when my oldest was an infant, I was up a lot because he was only able to sleep either with me or in his swing. I even resorted to car rides a few times. He’s a teenager now but knowing what my life was like back then, blogging would have been a release but it also would have been really hard for me to focus on it. Kudos to you for sticking it out during that scary time with your baby. Happy Bloggiversary!! #waywow
    Michelle recently posted…Vampire and Zombie Hunter: Chapter 4My Profile

    1. Reply
      Mum in Brum
      December 12, 2015 at 3:05 pm

      Thanks so much Michelle. It is difficult to get the balance right at times and obviously the little one always comes first – I’m so thankful for nap times!! Yep, we’ve resorted to car rides a couple of times, so strange that the hum of the car seems to get them off when nothing else will x

  4. Reply
    December 2, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    congrats. I started mine when the midget was three. Sometimes I wish I’d started earlier, but I’m not sure I would have had the time or energy. Good for you.
    jeremy@thirstydaddy recently posted…Peppa Pig for BreakfastMy Profile

    1. Reply
      Mum in Brum
      December 5, 2015 at 9:50 am

      Thanks! It is nice having all of those memories from day dot, but yes, it can be quite difficult to find the time and get motivated to write on some days!

  5. Reply
    December 2, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    Happy Blogging Birthday! Your story about when Taylor was a baby sounds a lot like when my oldest was born. She had a tongue tie and spit up everything. She was always hungry, because she threw everything up, which made her tummy upset, and she never slept more than an hour, but only if I was wearing her, and walking. I cannot even tell you how many nights I was crying right along with her because I was so darn tired. I’m glad to know that I wasn’t alone. 😉
    Jessica recently posted…Paleo Taco Spaghetti PieMy Profile

    1. Reply
      Mum in Brum
      December 12, 2015 at 3:07 pm

      Ah that must’ve been so difficult for you – but yes, it’s nice to know that other mums have the same troubles in a strange kind of way!! 🙂 It’s so difficult to watch when you know they’re hungry but they’re uncomfortable feeding. With your first as well, you just never know what’s normal. x

  6. Reply
    Joe Bartell
    December 2, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    Congrats on making it one year. I have only been blogging for a few months with a lot to learn, but I am enjoying it. I love to read about your story about your start and throughout the year. Keep up the great work, as I enjoyed getting to know you.
    Joe Bartell recently posted…Jack Cherry Interactive Kids ComicMy Profile

    1. Reply
      Mum in Brum
      December 5, 2015 at 9:53 am

      Thanks Joe. I don’t thin the learning ever stops does it? There’s always something else to do! But that’s the fun of blogging I guess. Good luck with growing your blog 🙂

  7. Reply
    December 2, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    Happy first birthday to your blog! Love reading your posts because I have a little boy of a similar age and temperament 🙂
    Robyn recently posted…DOUBLE CHOCOLATE DOTS – BISCUIT RECIPEMy Profile

    1. Reply
      Mum in Brum
      December 5, 2015 at 9:56 am

      Ah thanks so much Robyn! It’s always good to find bloggers with kiddos of the same age 🙂

  8. Reply
    helen gandy
    December 2, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    What a fab post, I remember reading your other post on #coolmumclub and saying I love to hear about the blogger behind the blog, fascinating! I think your blog is fab and clearly you put your heart and soul into it 🙂 Thanks for linking up lovely #bestandworst xx
    helen gandy recently posted…Best and Worst Linky #29My Profile

    1. Reply
      Mum in Brum
      December 5, 2015 at 9:59 am

      Thanks so much Helen! It’s great to find something you love doing isn’t it? I think all bloggers take pride in their blogs which is what makes discovering new blogs so much fun xx

  9. Reply
    Jodie Allen at Budget Beauty and Babies
    December 3, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Happy blog birthday! Sound like it’s been a very productive year for mum in brum 🙂 I know it can be hard to find the time sometimes can’t it, I struggle sometimes too as I blog whilst my little girl naps but I tend to unplug in the evenings as, like you, I want to spend some time with my husband without being glued to my laptop. #brilliantblogposts

  10. Reply
    Silly Mummy
    December 3, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    Happy birthday to your blog – congratulations! I have the struggle between feeling like I probably should post more to make blog successful & only being willing to post things I am happy with too! I suspect that to really get the traffic you do just need to throw many posts at it so some stick, & to do that probably have to drop the perfectionism somewhere along the way or there would never be time, but I just can’t bring myself to do it!

    Congratulations on your new freelance work too – I’d love to get into copywriting! Jealous! 🙂 #bestandworst
    Silly Mummy recently posted…Be Quiet: The Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last WeekMy Profile

    1. Reply
      Mum in Brum
      December 5, 2015 at 10:01 am

      I’m starting to think that too – but yes it is difficult not to be precious about every post. I’m thinking more lists and regular monthly features may be the answer? Fingers crossed for the freelance work X

  11. Reply
    December 3, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    Happy 1st Birthday Mum In Brum. There is no way I would have contemplated starting a blog when my two were small and I take my hat off to each and every Mum who juggles writing a blog alongside trying to tame little ones.

    I do admire bloggers who push out quality posts on a daily basis, but I know as good as I would like to be, I couldn’t do that. It’s just not me. I am far too slow at typing for one and I’d never get round to reading other people posts if I even attempted to do a post a day. I guess what I am trying to say is do what you can and do it well and the rest will follow. May the next year continue to see your blog grow and grow!

    Debbie recently posted…How To Clean Makeup BrushesMy Profile

    1. Reply
      Mum in Brum
      December 5, 2015 at 10:05 am

      Thanks Debbie! I do think I’d find it near on impossible to publish every day but I definitely am planning to up the frequency of my posts from the new year – I think by doing a weekly series or something of the sort so I don’t always have to think up completely new content. It’s funny how blogging is more about reading than writing – I spend so much time on other blogs that I don’t have the time to always write on my own – but then that’s what it’s all about isn’t it? Unfortunately I’m quite a slow reader though! Ha. But yes, we can only do what we have time to do at the end of the day 🙂 xx

      1. Reply
        December 5, 2015 at 12:56 pm

        I am so slow at reading too and still have to refer back to the post as I write comments!… Thought it was an age thing!

        I swing between writing two and three posts a week, when I write three I battle to keep up with replying to comments and reading other peoples posts. Tonight I have an evening of blog post reading planned- probably an age thing too! 😊
        Debbie recently posted…Our Great Christmas Clear OutMy Profile

        1. Reply
          Mum in Brum
          December 5, 2015 at 10:24 pm

          Definitely not an age thing – I also do the whole referring back to the post when writing comments! Hope you’re enjoying your blog post reading 🙂

  12. Reply
    December 4, 2015 at 11:43 am

    Congratulations! Finding time to blog with a little one is hard – I almost quite three times so far. I can relate to the social media thing as well. I can’t figure it out and am trying to be on all platforms too (and not very successfully). Wondering why you chose to focus on Twitter out of all the choices? Thanks for sharing and best to you and your blog as you head into your second year!
    Minh recently posted…How texting can improve your child’s learningMy Profile

    1. Reply
      Mum in Brum
      December 5, 2015 at 10:08 am

      It can get frustrating sometimes can’t it? And some days I do question what it’s all for, but at the end of the day we blog because we love it. I chose Twitter purely because that’s where I have the most followers and seem to get the most engagement. I do love the other platforms but I probably still struggle to use them for my blog and tend to use them more personally still x

  13. Reply
    Nikki Frank-Hamilton
    December 4, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    Natalie, Congratulations! This is a huge accomplishment, very few blogs, percentage wise, make it past their first year, and you’ve not only made it but you’ve flourished! I love your spot on the web and I can’t wait to see what you do with it!!!
    Nikki Frank-Hamilton recently posted…# WAYWOW No. 27 And it keeps getting better!My Profile

    1. Reply
      Mum in Brum
      December 5, 2015 at 10:09 am

      Thanks so much Nikki! Here’s to another year of blogging and taking our blogs further still xx

  14. Reply
    Marcel from ByeMould
    December 5, 2015 at 3:50 am

    Happy Birthday Mum in Brum!!

    My site (ByeMould.com) celebrated its first birthday in November and like you I have a lot of ideas going forward. It will be interesting to see where we are this time next year. 🙂

    Marcel from ByeMould recently posted…EcoAir DD122 Mini Compact Desiccant Dehumidifier ReviewMy Profile

    1. Reply
      Mum in Brum
      December 5, 2015 at 10:11 am

      Congratulations to you too! There’s always something else that can be done with a blog to improve and promote it further which is why I love it. Good luck with your plans for next year 🙂

  15. Reply
    Crummy Mummy
    December 5, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    Happy birthday & well done for making it to the first year!x #justanotherlinky

  16. Reply
    Rebecca U
    December 6, 2015 at 2:28 am

    Happy birthday, blog! I’m always so impressed hearing how and why people got into blogging. So addictive isn’t it x #KCACOLS
    Rebecca U recently posted…Food From Around the World | Bulgarian Inspired RecipesMy Profile

  17. Reply
    Mommy's Little Princesses
    December 6, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Woohoo a whole year old, happy blogiversary! Well done on all you have achieved so far hon. Wishing you all the very best for years to come.xx #KCACOLS
    Mommy’s Little Princesses recently posted…Our Sitting Pretty Photoshoot…My Profile

  18. Reply
    Sara @ Handy Herbs
    December 6, 2015 at 11:37 am

    Congratulations Natalie! You have achieved such a lot in your first year!! I know how hard it can be to find the time to keep the blog going and to be happy with what you are posting. Being a first time mum is very tricky and extraordinarily time consuming. Hopefully it will all start to get a little easier now. Good luck with your aspirations – I am sure that you will achieve them! 🙂 #KCACOLS
    Sara @ Handy Herbs recently posted…Herbs help Children explore Science & NatureMy Profile

    1. Reply
      Mum in Brum
      December 6, 2015 at 10:12 pm

      Thanks sara! I definitely have found it hard to dedicate as much time as I would’ve liked, but hopefully I’ll be a little more organised next year now I know what it’s all about! x

  19. Reply
    December 6, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    Happy birthday to your blog! Wishing you many more successes and happiness with it. #kcacols

  20. Reply
    A Cornish Mum
    December 6, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    Aw happy first blog birthday! It’s my first one in January, it’s crazy how fast that time has gone! I couldn’t imagine not doing it now though 🙂

    Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix
    Stevie x
    A Cornish Mum recently posted…#BirchallsBritain – Birchall Tea Blogger’s EventMy Profile

  21. Reply
    Claire at Tin Box Traveller
    December 6, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    Happy first birthday! Doing something for you is so important when you become a mum and that has really become my main reason for blogging. I’m so glad you added the note about sharing this post with Mum Muddling Through too as I thought I was seeing double 🙂 #KCACOLS
    Claire at Tin Box Traveller recently posted…Victorian Festival of Christmas at Portsmouth Historic DockyardMy Profile

    1. Reply
      Mum in Brum
      December 6, 2015 at 10:14 pm

      So true – I’ve loved having the blog and creating something out of nothing – apart from a baby of course! 😉

  22. Reply
    Julie Downes
    December 6, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    Congratulations on your blog 1 year anniversary. I wish I’d started mine when my children were born but not sure I would have had the energy to keep it up then. You’ve done really well x #KCACOLS
    Julie Downes recently posted…My Sunday photo #2My Profile

    1. Reply
      Mum in Brum
      December 6, 2015 at 10:17 pm

      Thanks Julie! It has been great to have a record from day one for Taylor, but yes – a challenge at times to keep it going and sometimes I’ve wondered why I’m bothering – but it’s because I love it really! 🙂

  23. Reply
    Mummy here and there
    December 7, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    Congratulations on your first year of.blogging, amazing how blogging can change with style and how it can change you as a person. Here is too many more years X #PicknMix
    Mummy here and there recently posted…FTMOB – 07/12/2015My Profile

    1. Reply
      Mum in Brum
      December 9, 2015 at 2:59 pm

      Thanks so much. Blogs really do evolve with time don’t they – that’s why it’s so much fun! x

  24. Reply
    A Moment with Franca
    December 8, 2015 at 9:10 am

    Oh wow 1 year blogging, Congratulations lovely!!! It needs a lot of discipline and determination to blog constantly for 1 year!! You are doing a great job with your blog and I love all your posts. They are all interesting in their own way. You have a unique style that attract instantly to readers. I was actually just thinking yesterday that I need to write my 6 months blogging anniversary! It is amazing all the feelings that we get through having a little space in the internet! I seriously feel that my life have changed completely since the moment I started blogging. Anyway, congrats again for your 1st year and for many more to come!! I’m sure you will be there for a while!! Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. I’m so happy to have you again this week!! 🙂 xxx
    A Moment with Franca recently posted…My Sunday Photo – Choosing our Xmas Tree!!My Profile

    1. Reply
      Mum in Brum
      December 9, 2015 at 3:02 pm

      Thanks Franca that’s so sweet. Lovely to know that you enjoy reading my posts as I really do love writing them. It really is great how much of a passion blogging can become isn’t it. I can’t believe you’ve only been blogging for six months – I didn’t really blog ‘properly’ until after that initial period when I was figuring it all out. You’ve done so well! xx

  25. Reply
    #WAYWOW 28! You All Are Great! - View From In Here
    December 9, 2015 at 4:51 am

    […] Natalie from Mum In Brum – Happy 1st Birthday Lovely Blog […]

  26. Reply
    Mary-the boondocks blog
    December 10, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    Congratulations on your one year Natalie. It is a great accomplishment and I have to agree with you it is hard work, but also very rewarding because of all the freindships we make. I’m also with you on the less is more, I prefer to post quality over quantity! Looking forward to your second year.
    Mary-the boondocks blog recently posted…The Roasted Christmas Tree –  Χριστουγεννιάτικο Δέντρο για ΨήσιμοMy Profile

    1. Reply
      Mum in Brum
      December 12, 2015 at 2:30 pm

      Thanks so much Mary. You’re right – all of the hard work is worth it thanks to being part of such a great community x

  27. Reply
    Something Crunchy Mummy
    December 10, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    Happy blogiversary! And what a great blog you have built. Thanks for linking up to #justanotherlinky xx
    Something Crunchy Mummy recently posted…‘The Night Before Christmas’ – A Parragon Book ReviewMy Profile

    1. Reply
      Mum in Brum
      December 12, 2015 at 2:29 pm

      Thanks lovely xx

  28. Reply
    December 11, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    Happy Bloggibirthday! (I am aware that isn’t a real word-but I like it!) You’ve achieved lots in your first year, so well done you! You’re right when you say people think it is easy, I have tried so many different ways to get a balance but still haven’t found the magic cure yet! I found myself abandoning everything else to sit at the laptop! I had to think of a new plan…it’s still in progress! I only discovered you through #KCACOLS a few weeks ago and think your blog is fab!!! Good luck for the next year…and beyond! xx
    Clare recently posted…Spectrum Sunday #3My Profile

    1. Reply
      Mum in Brum
      December 12, 2015 at 2:26 pm

      Ah thanks so much Clare that’s so nice to hear! Let me know when you come up with that plan – I may have to steal it! 😉

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