Sam Mac may have a plum role as Sunrise weather presenter, but his number one job in the world is being a dad to his daughter Margot.
The Channel 7 star and his partner Rebecca James expanded their family in September 2022, with Sam set to celebrate his first Father’s Day this Sunday.
While being a dad changes everything, for Sam it has led to a “big awakening in a positive way”.
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Not only for his own priorities but for the stronger connection that he and Bec now share – and the “reality check” about his appreciation for his own parents.
“Instantly, you have a new number one priority and that is your baby,” Sam tells 7Life of when Margot was born.
“Then obviously, there’s a lot that flows from that.
“Things change, like how you look at your partner, just these extra layers of connection, love, respect and admiration.”
Sam Mac, Rebecca James and their daughter Margot. Credit: Instagram / sammacinsta
But Sam says other relationships that parenthood changes are “how you look at your own parents”.
“I think most of us just take for granted that our parents look after us, feed us, do all those things, because it’s always been that way and they’ve always been there,” he says.
Sam says it “really dawned” on him just how much his own parents sacrificed, something that made him emotional.
“I was behaving like a spoiled little brat, so I think it’s a bit of a reality check, and that really makes me appreciate my parents and what they have done for me,” he says.
“That’s been a big awakening in a positive way.”
Rebecca and Margot. Credit: Instagram / sammacinsta
Through fatherhood, Sam is seeing the world through the eyes of someone seeing life for the first time.
One example he cites is the swing he “walks past every day” and “barely notices”.
“But all of a sudden, Margot’s on the swing for the first time,” he says.
“And seeing her face light up to this level that I’ve never seen before, and her leaning back and just staring up into the sky, it was just blowing her mind.
“I love little moments like that, little experiences like that.”
Sam shared this sweet photo of Margot on his Instagram page. Credit: sammacinsta/Instagram
Although Sam often visits zoos and aquariums for Sunrise, he says he now has a “new level” of excitement for them.
“Now that I’m thinking about taking Margot there, it’s a whole new level of wow factor, because I’m going to be seeing her pointing at a shark at the aquarium, seeing a giraffe in real life,” he says.
“It absolutely changes how you see everything because everything is new.”
Describing his daughter, Sam says she is “very alert and very observant”.
Sam Mac is about to celebrate his first Father’s Day. Credit: Instagram / sammacinsta
“Every parent thinks their child is a genius,” he jokes.
“But I’ve noticed if she sees a tiny animal on a logo on a shirt you’re wearing, or if she notices a reflection of a light behind you, she really wants to explore them, and fixates on them.”
A recent milestone for Margot was learning to clap via the famous tune If You’re Happy and You Know It (Clap Your Hands).
“In the last few months, she has learned to clap, but she’s at a point now where she starts clapping before I’ve even finished ‘If You’re-’,” Sam laughs.
The delighted father says he “loves that on so many levels” because his daughter clearly understands the song and game and is “alert and aware of everything that’s happening”.
The McMillan-James family in Italy. Credit: Instagram
Although Margot is not even 12 months old, she has already developed into her own person.
And the beaming dad is able to spot little signs of both his and partner Bec’s personalities in her traits.
Sam says Margot is “very refined”, just like her mum – a surprising trait for a baby.
“She really picks little bits of food and then gently puts them into her mouth – she’s quite an impressively clean eater,” he says, noting that he is quite the opposite.
Meanwhile, Margot and Sam both enjoy “quirky out-of-the-box things”.
Sam delightedly reports that Margot has picked up on both her parents’ love for the Harry Potter series, sharing that she laughs every time she sees her doll of the elf Dobby.
Margot smiles at the Dobby toy. Credit: Instagram / sammacinsta
“She really laughs at the Dobby doll that we have,” he says.
“Bec and I both love Harry Potter and Dobby’s my favourite character and Dobby, you know, is a quirky freaky-looking little elf, and obviously adorable and cute.
“But she loves something about the shape of the face, the googly eyes and, whenever we move that around, she’s so captivated by it.
“So hopefully she’s got my sense of quirkiness and thinking a bit outside of the box and I’m hoping that she’s got a sense of humour.”
Three key life lessons
Sam has much to teach his daughter about life and the world.
But for him, three key future lessons come to mind.
“I guess the main thing for me is pretty simple really – and that is to be kind to everybody,” he explains.
Sam, Margot and Bec. Credit: Instagram/Sam Mac
The second is “to never lose your sense of humour” and the third is to have a “sense of wonder”.
As for the McMillan family’s first Father’s Day, it will all be a surprise for Sam.
“It is completely in the hands of Bec and Margot, which is great for me. I don’t need to plan anything or be organised,” he laughs.
“I guess I’ll find out. It’ll be a surprise of some sort, Bec does love a picnic.
“I really don’t mind what we do as long as I have some good quality time just the three of us together, and that’s all I care about.”
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