The transformation into becoming a mom includes a lot of drastic changes. You are likely different from who you were before children, but hopefully, you welcome your new identity and stay cool. For this series, we chatted with creative and passionate moms that maintain their cool and embrace motherhood to ask how they balance and define themselves. Throughout the month of May, we will update this series with new interviews and take a closer look into how motherhood makes these women cool.
Mary is the potter behind Mary Carroll Ceramics and mother to 13-month-old Eleanor.
How would you describe your work?
My ceramics as playful and modern with a touch of retro. I aim to make really clean and fresh designs while maintaining the hand made aspect and appeal.
We all aspire to retain a bit of our personal style and interests after children. How do you define a “cool mom”?
Being able to balance your child's needs while also addressing your own self-care is something I admire in a lot of “Cool Moms”. I have found self-care for me means taking time to eat well, dress well, and try to sneak in a morning meditation here and there. A cool mom is a person who is just very comfortable in their own skin, motherhood is not what solely defines them but it is part of them. Motherhood is just a component of their identity, but they have defined themselves through their lifestyles, hobbies, being a maker, etc.
How has motherhood affected or changed your style, your hobbies/activities, or the work that you do?
My personal style has always been very important to me and thrifting/finding vintage clothing is my favorite past time. I have made a point to continue this into motherhood and retain some of that identity. However, I definitely choose some “easier” looks now than I used to and a nursing friendly shirt or dress makes me way more excited than it should!
Motherhood has changed the way I approach my work. Before Eleanor, I would run myself down fitting as many work hours into the day as possible and crashing into bed around 2-3am. I am not sleeping much more than that as a mom, but I am much more intentional about my work hours. When I go to my studio, I know that I only have X amount of hours until I have to go pick up baby. So, I am forced to focus a lot more and be much more efficient with my time. Although I often still bring work home with me, something about motherhood has changed my perspective on my work/life balance and has helped me to create a boundary for myself, if that makes sense.
How do you keep your cool amongst the stresses of motherhood?
Laughter is a big one! There have been some really wild moments and the only thing I could do (other than break down) is laugh it off. I know this is super cliche, but when the lack of sleep is stressing, I tell myself “this is only a season” and I bring my baby to bed and cuddle or rock her. When the house is a wreck, I tell myself “its just stuff, I will get to it when I can.”
It is really important for me to keep this temporary perspective and try to find confidence in knowing that I am doing the best that I can for myself and my daughter. But let's be honest, I still lose my cool sometimes and get really stressed out by order deadlines and crying babies :)
Do you have a tip for a mom or person who has recently welcomed a baby?
Protect yourself from all the other parents’ tips! I was pretty overwhelmed with the amount of advice and opinions given to me at the beginning. There are already a million things on your mind as a new parent and your anxiety level is at an all-time high as is. So, take everything with a grain of salt and remember that when it comes down to it, your motherly instincts are probably the best!
Also, get out of the house at least once a day. Even if it is just for a walk once around the block. It is amazing what a little fresh air will do for your mental state.
The coolest carrier for Mary?
A Tula Carrier that plays up Mary's appreciation for nostalgia yet clean, modern appeal is our Mint Chip Explore Baby Carrier. Mint Chip has a unique minty color with abstract black spots to create a subtle ode to a classic ice cream treat. It would be a yummy carrier to have while Mary showcases her ceramics at a flea market.
Thank you to Mary for taking the time to chat for this blog. You can see more of our her work and motherhood moments on Instagram, @marycarrollceramics, and check out her website, www.marycarrollceramics.com.