Thursday, September 11, 2008

My favorite parenting book EVER

My friend Heather recommended the book "MotherStyles: Using Personality Type to Discover Your Parenting Strengths" by Janet Penley. Of all the parenting and baby books I have read, this is the one book I would recommend to every parent. THIS BOOK IS AWESOME.

The premise of the book is to take your Myers-Briggs personality type to explain your unique mothering style. There are sections on your parenting strengths, your parenting weaknesses, and tips to help you become the best parent you can be. It also includes sections on dealing with your spouses type and your children's types.

For me, what really took this book over the top was the Introduction. In it, she states there is no perfect mother, and good mothers come in many different styles. It was the mothering manifesto I've always wanted to read.

The most important lesson I took out of this book is the road to being the best mother you can be is honesty with yourself and who you are.

This book helped me see that I am the mother I am because of my inate personality. It helped me see the most common mothering frustrations I have are due to my personality type. THIS BOOK IS AWESOME.

I am an ISTJ - Introverted (need alone time to recharge), Sensing (use senses rather than intuition), Thinking (use facts rather than emotions), Judging (prefer planning to winging it). This is how the book described my mothering type - The Responsibility Mother:

* Highly developed sense of responsibility
* Efforts are focused on providing kids with order and routine
* Organized, industrious, detail-oriented
* Quick wit and delightful observations about the details of life (ummmmmmm blogging?!)

My strengths are providing for children's practical needs, providing security, preparing my kids for life in the real world, and teaching my kids to work hard. My struggles are flexibility, being too hard on myself, and exhaustion (drained by disorder and children's commotion).

Seriously THIS BOOK IS AWESOME. It was like going to the best mothering therapy appointment ever. This book made me realize that I'm not a bad mother because too much noise and craziness makes me grouchy. This is who I am. I can't change it because I was born this way. And it also helped me see that others are the way they are because of their personality type. There's no need for me to compare because I am not that way and I never will be. (For the record, Jon is also an ISTJ. This is why our life together is harmonious. )

And for anyone who knows me or reads my blog and sees the crazy projects I undertake, I hope they now understand I do these things because this is how my brain works. I thrive working on solo projects quietly while Jon is gone. I thrive on creating order out of chaos. I thrive on being industrious and working through details. I love having a to-do list and working through it. I don't do it for the accomplishment. I do it because it is what fulfills me.

Tell me your Myers-Briggs personality type! You can take the test here and then you can read more about your personality type here. I've linked to my personality profile (in one word, superdependable). And thanks to Bridget for providing these links on a previous blog post.

I would definitely recommend this book to any mother. I take two important lessons from this book. First, I need uninterrupted quiet time every day to recharge. Second, the reason having twins has been so hard FOR ME is that I thrive on order, quiet, structure, and routine. From day one, life with twins is pretty much the exact opposite of those characteristics.

Thank you Heather for this recommendation. For the first time, I feel like I can let go of a lot of my mothering guilt. If you're thinking about reading this book after my glowing review, consider getting it at a library. It is a very fast read.


Threeundertwo said...

This sounds great! I have to look into it.

The Myers-Briggs is such an interesting tool. I've done it a few times.

Joanna said...

I'm an INTJ, so I can relate to many of the same things that you can. I struggle the most with finding time to recharge every day. Andy doesn't seem to need it, but he is pretty respectful of the fact that I do.

Eva said...

I'm an ESTJ so similar to you in many ways (though I'm always borderline on the T/F front, whereas I'm really high on the J front).

Goddess in Progress said...

Ooh, I'm going to have to get that book!

I'm an ENFJ (Teacher), and I think the J part has come out much more since I have been with M. I used to be more P, but J is now much more fitting. I'm not sure about the part it says about imagination, but otherwise it's pretty close to me. Very interested in what it says about me as a parent.

M is an INTJ (Mastermind), and it describes him almost to a T. But you can guess the ways in which we sometimes butt heads. :-)

JenFen said...

I am also an ISTJ and I think you hit the nail on the head about our strengths and struggles as a mother. I am going to see if the library has that book when I take Jadyn to story hour tomorrow. Jungian theory and the Meyers Brigg were one of the reasons I eventually chose to major in psychology even though my personality type would not make me a good psychologist. LOL!

I always found the introvert/extrovert dichotomy fascinating. As someone who was a manager and group leader at first I did not understand why I was not an extrovert. But then I realized that I feel drained after being with a group of people and that it is solitude that recharges me and precisely why I love my blog and blog friends. I never feel drained after some down time on the computer. LOL!

-Bridget said...

I saw you had left the recommendation on a comment. I was interested then but now I'll really have to make sure I check out the book. Thanks for the recommendation and great insight and review!

Jim said...

INTJ here.

edie & ella said...

Your type is: ESTJ

That's me..what a cool tool!!! sam

HeatherV said...

So glad you liked Mother Styles too. Much of it was not a suprise to me, but I really realized how my relationship with DH can be connected as we are so diffeent and gave me alot to work on.

Picked up YOUR recomendation picked up Twos, Terrible or Tender. Gotta love those bad late 80's clothes in all the picutures. Just from looking at the first chapter, I think it will be helpful. Kudos to you for doing another 1/2 marathon!

Anandi said...

Woo! Thanks for the recommendation. I'll totally pick this up. I too am freaked out by chaos (which is why I put off having kids for so long!) so maybe this will help ;)

Leigh said...

I'm an ESTJ :)