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  • Writer's pictureMary

The January List

Happy New Year! We spent the last day of 2020 cleaning and organizing, baking a chocolate brioche, and cooking a big batch of Japanese curry. We enjoyed an afternoon nap, then rang in 2021 with some sparkling apple cider in our living room while on Zoom with some family.

Today, we're continuing our years-long tradition of going to Roberta's for the first meal of the year. It'll be takeout, which is different than before, but I'll take it.

In a matter of days, we'll be meeting our baby. While we're both really excited, there’s a tinge of sadness in transitions such as these. We’re about to end a long and full chapter of our lives in which it's just the two of us against the world.

all smiles at the wedding
Three years ago, making our life partnership official

Our partnership will feel different with a new addition. I imagine much stronger and closer in some ways, but encroached upon, even lost, in others. Forever changed. There will always be another in the picture now. But I also believe that whatever is lost will be more than made up for, and we’re about to know life and love much more deeply.

Even though we have this one big life event coming up, there are still many days that make up the rest of this month. With the time remaining, here's what I'm thinking for January.

Check in with myself and with my husband I'd like to try to squeeze a few minutes in each day to check in with myself. I want to make sure I remember these days as a new mom, and identifying and acknowledging my feelings and mental state will help in that regard. Another tool I have for recording this time is a baby journal that I bought recently, which we've already started on during pregnancy, and will record memories through age 18. One of the goals that Kev and I set together for 2021 is to check in often with each other and make sure that our relationship stays strong as we enter this new phase of life. Change is a rare certainty throughout a lifetime and a marriage, and as we each become the parent versions of ourselves, we want to make sure that our relationship continues to be a priority to nurture and to grow as well.

Put things in their place

Our renovations will be complete this month. We'll need to make time to find new homes for things that are currently stored in temporary locations. We need a few pieces of new furniture, and I've had my eye on some items from IKEA for my pottery workspace downstairs that we've been waiting to get (because IKEA's ecommerce has fallen apart due to COVID). We'll keep checking this month to see if we can score some of those items, while we slowly put the rest of the house back together.

Start with what I know

One of the fears I'm carrying into 2021 is not knowing how much time I'll be able to dedicate to Mammoth & minnow as a new mom. I'm really happy to have seen amazing growth for the business in 2020, and I fear losing that momentum this year. The thing is, making pottery means I need to spend time at the studio. There's no getting around that, and I don't know when I'll be able to do that next.

In thinking about what would help me face this fear, I realized that I've been in a similar situation before. The studio closed in mid-March due to COVID, and we didn't know then when it would reopen. After it did, I was only able to go once a week. Even with these challenges, I churned out many many pieces in 2020, primarily by hand-building at home, and later with dedicated and consistent hours spent at the studio.

So I'll approach pottery-making with a newborn in the same way. I'll do what I can at home, and trust that later on, I'll be able to bring everything in to be finished. I'll try not to worry about greenware pieces piling up. If I'm too preoccupied with mommy duties or too tired to think of new designs, I'll focus on making more of the many designs that are currently sold out.

Test out new routines

I expect it will take a little while for us to have some semblance of a "routine" again right after bringing the baby home. We'll just have to be okay with feeling it out as we form new daily rhythms, making room for new tasks and letting go of old ones.

See every day as an accomplishment

I'm a bit of a productivity addict, I admit. I like to feel like I'm getting things done. I love to make lists and cross things off of them. Every day this month, I'm going to make an effort to say/think "today was a good day because ____", regardless of the state of my to-do list. Accomplishment will also mean something different to me in this effort. For example, if I have a rough day, maybe my thought at day's end will be "today was a good day because I made it through and now I get to sleep."


I'll be a little quiet in the shop, on social media, and in this space in the coming weeks. I'll check in here when I can, as part of a new rhythm of life (when I find it)!

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