Happy Monday! Today we continue with the second round of Mamas sharing about how knowing their Enneagram number has transformed their role as a Mama. So many of you have connected with this series, and I am praying daily that every person who reads this series will be filled with wisdom, hope and joy in their motherhood journey.
If you missed last weeks post you are definitely going to want to check it out. You can READ IT HERE
Don’t miss a single post in this series. Every number will hear from a different Mama with their same number twice. Sign up below to be notified of every post in this series!
Type 4, The Romantic Individualist, Heart Triad
My eyes open and the day has begun. I am either overly chipper and ready to tackle the day or straight-up grumpy and unable to process the next minute. By the time I’ve finished the final sips of my lukewarm coffee, my mood has probably changed 12 times. This is what life as an enneagram 4 is like. Our mood swings are rivaled only by toddlers and teenagers, which makes motherhood quite interesting.
The beauty of my conglomerate of emotions is, I can withstand the cresting of one emotion and the crashing of the next with my children. I have a 1 and 3 year old girls. As you can imagine, we are all quite full of drama around my house. Being able to ride those continuously rolling waves of emotions from one tantrum to the next, is a gift that I don’t take lightly. Where one mom might feel overwhelmed by this unpredictability of moods, I am able to move fluidly along with them and empathize well.
As the day moves forward, the tedious tasks of a mother start to pile up. Washing sippy cups, folding the mountains of tiny laundry, wiping bottoms, cleaning the unending messes all start to weight on me. As a 4, I want meaning and purpose in my life and selfishly I find it hard to have the energy to do things that don’t fulfill those feelings. Mundane moments in motherhood don’t always reap instant rewards. I have learned to embrace them for what they are, tasks to complete. It helps me find deeper satisfaction when we are able to do the things that fulfill my 4 side, like craft time or snuggling and reading books.
Hours tick by and I start to feel lonely staying home with my girls. Being a 4, we have a withdrawing stance, so our natural impulse is to isolate. This is around the time I start to mindlessly scroll on social media to feel a connection, what God is starting to teach me is just how much social media is costing me. My heart starts getting overwhelmed by a 4’s deadly sin, envy.
I see the mom who creates the cutest animal figures out of her children’s food and I think I need to be more creative like that mom. I see the mom who is boldly conquering her dreams one day at at time and I think I need my children to see me hustle like that. I see the mom who is always crafting the perfect learning activities for her kids and I think I need to teach my children like her. God has been pursuing me in a passionate way to let me know that I am made, not with something missing, but exactly as He has designed. My gifts are my treasure and my weaknesses are just as much of a treasure because they are constantly pointing me back to my overwhelming need of Him, my Redeemer, my Savior, my Creator.
Letting my emotions travel down the rabbit hole of social media makes me realize that I need to find my purpose. 4’s long for meaning. I can dig so deep into those passions that I neglect my most important job, being a mom. I have recently begun writing, a perfect job for my number. I have found a wealth of purpose in it. If I can get really honest with you, there are days that I get such tunnel vision when I am writing, that I look up and the girls have destroyed the house and are at the “ARE YOU STILL WATCHING” Netflix stage. Their frequent, and sometimes irrational, demands can be a source of frustration for me. This is where God is helping me create much needed intentional time for myself as a mom to cultivate those passions, so I can better serve my children.
After getting some mom-time, I start to feel a twinge of guilt for finding value in anything other than my girls. When I first started discovering my enneagram number, I often found myself identifying with a 2. That is where 4’s go in times of stress, which as a momma to little ones, the chaos makes me go there frequently. I start to exploit my relationship with my children to seek out the validation that I so desperately want. My girls aren’t yet able to verbally give me words to affirm my worth as a mom. If only I could hear, “well done mommy, you really killed it at mothering us today.” So, I find ways to sneakily get them to say they love me more than daddy. At times it can be innocent and lighthearted, at others its my inner self being manipulative seeking validation.
So there it is, a day in the life of a 4 mom. I am beginning to truly learn the wonderful ways God has made me. He has made me deeply empathetic, wonderfully creative, and able to see beauty all around. As a mother this has allowed me to embrace the toddler emotions with tender care. Being a 4 has allowed me to cultivate my daughter’s creativity. Because every emotion is amplified, It has also allowed me to love deeper. My love for my girls is deeper than anything I could have ever begin to imagine. Just when I think I am at the end of it, I discover more and more.
I am so thankful for a God that will go deep with me. That He isn’t afraid of my big emotions, He knows me more intimately than I know myself, and He loves the whole me. “Lord You have searched me and known me.” Psalms 139:1 CSB
Nicole is a momma to drama to two little precious daughters. Most days she is affectionately known as a hot mess, surviving on re-heated coffee, living on a prayer momma. You can find her girl gang in the kitchen having dance parties in their best princess ball gowns. Between the glitter and glam she shares grace in the messiness that is motherhood at NicoleDeannLawrence.com or on Instagram @nicoledeannlawrence, Facebook and Pinterest. You can find her online faith based clothing and home goods store at Our Holy Threads
Type 7, The Enthusiast, Head Triad
Recently, I played the new Annie soundtrack for my boys in a spontaneous dance party moment, as we do. I remembered that as a little girl, I would stand on our family coffee table and belt out “Tomorrow” with all the joy and eagerness that song requires. As I listened to the lyrics, I smiled at the very evident Type 7 in that song and in that little girl on the coffee table.
“The sun’ll come out
Bet your bottom dollar
There’ll be sun!
Just thinking’ about
Clears away the cobwebs,
And the sorrow
‘Til there’s none!”
If you identify as an Enneagram Type 7, you will grin knowingly at this. We are affectionately known as “The Enthusiasts”, chasers of the sunny side.
Before I jump in however, I do pray that through reading this you’ll feel seen, known, and encouraged in your unique personality and what it brings into your mothering. God designed you before the foundations of the earth specifically to mother your children; nobody else can do it the way you do.
If I had to choose, I’d say my greatest parenting strength has always been my sense of adventure. In mothering my two little boys, I’ve leaned heavily on imagination and ready resources. Sometimes it’s looked like makeshift puppet shows, or pretend camping with paper flame campfires and cotton ball marshmallows. In my pursuit to keep things fresh and interesting in “practical” areas, I try to introduce my kids to new textures/flavors of food. Our latest craze has been spiralized veggies, which are more fun to play with than eat, I’ve observed. At least I thought it was practical. Nevertheless, my favorite way to engage with my kids has consistently been through the endless variety of the great outdoors. Whether its visiting a new park with friends, going for a (very slow) hike, or digging in the sand at the beach, my Type 7 parenting shows up strong in my kinesthetic approach to life. I have found that I enjoy my kids most when I’m operating out of this sense of God-given wonder.
Something I’ve begun to realize over the years however, especially in parenting, is my sensitivity to boring. If (and when) things start to feel lackluster, I assume the responsibility to spice things up. When in the throes of changing diapers, potty-training, cooking, cleaning, and all the things, it can feel rather lackluster, am I right? If you’re a Type 7, you really get me here. Can I tell you something you might not want to hear? It’s OK to have some boring! When you’re building a family, and establishing a stable and healthy foundation for your children, boring can be just what the doctor ordered. I think some people call it stability.
As I’ve walked with the Holy Spirit through the more challenging aspects of motherhood, He’s graciously helped me recognize the immaturity in my resistance to being, which can feel like boring. Type 7’s characteristically struggle with feeling trapped, facing personal pain, and being disconnected from their heart center.
While my husband was in grad school over the last few years, we were in a season of dreaming about our life after school. Most of my energy went towards planning and preparing for our next steps. Consequently, my “just thinking about tomorrow” (thanks, Annie) distracted me from some deep inner pain that had been trying in vain to surface and heal. The pain had been nudging for a while, but it felt much easier and way more fun to brush it along and keep dreaming and doing. It’s taken years of training (still in training) to recognize when to slow my frenzy and sit with The Holy Spirit to tend my heart. Maybe you’re like me and your cup runneth over with friends, playdates, ideas, and dreams? Hey, those are all good, until they become a diversion to engaging your heart and facing your pain. I don’t teach my children to ignore pain or negative emotions, so why do I think I can? A scripture that has consistently comforted me in my journey towards this elusive being is from a man I believe presents as a very clear Type 7, King David:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
This might be the antithesis to Annie’s wishful grasp at the future for hope. This scripture invites us into our very present Help. Notice the present tense. Dreaming with God is beautiful, but when we look to the future alone to bring us hope, we will be sorely disappointed.
Everyone tries to avoid pain at some point, whether they are a Type 7 or not. Take a moment. Engage your heart. Ask the Holy Spirit if there’s anything you’ve been avoiding that needs His healing touch. Go there with Him. He’s safe. When you’ve walked it through, ask Him what promise He wants to give you in place of that pain. Whatever biblical, hope-filled words or images you receive are His precious gifts to you. Mama, you are worth it all. Be blessed in your journey of motherhood and may you remember (especially you 7’s), that you are a human being, not a human doing.
Anna lives in sunny San Diego with her amazing hubby and two adventurous boys. When she’s not changing her hair color or style, she’s easily found sweating outside with her boys, and engaging in something crafty or creative. She is passionate about using the creative to minister to the heart of God and partners with fellow worshipers in bringing this blessing to others. Anna finds great delight in writing/singing/song-writing and longs to use her words to ignite hope and inspire joy in others as they adventure with Jesus into their destinies.
You can catch up with her and her lively crew on Instagram. Send her an email too if you want to further this friendship
Type 8, The Challenger, Gut Triad
The day that I discovered I am Enneagram Eight and began to delve into all that means for me, it was truly like a light switched on and illuminated the dark corners of my personality and relationships. I began to understand that as an eight I long for control. I’m passionate and loyal. I’m driven by a strong sense of justice. I’m not afraid of confrontation. I’m bold and confident. When listed independently, these sounds like healthy and good qualities. But they can add up to create a somewhat intimidating or overbearing persona – not exactly qualities the world considers maternal.
I’m still somewhat new to this parenting gig, currently deep in the trenches of toddlerhood. I find that my “eightness” gives me the strength to stand up to my son even in the midst of his most violent tantrum. I’m not one to give in or bend my will to that of others, including the pint-sized dictator with whom I live. I know that this strength and certainty in the midst of overwhelming circumstances will serve me well in the future when my toddler’s tantrums evolve into teenage tantrums.
As an eight, I tend to trust and follow my instincts. Eight is in the gut triad of the enneagram meaning we don’t spend too much time thinking or worrying; we see and we act. This ability to trust my own instincts bleeds over into my parenting and allows me to also trust my son’s instincts. If he’s not hurting himself or others or blatantly disobeying, I’m comfortable giving him the space to navigate the world and learn for himself what works and what doesn’t. I’m not afraid to let him make decisions and then experience the consequences of those decisions.
But many days I worry that I am going to crush my son’s spirit. I see a real little person and personality burgeoning, and I worry that I will overpower him. I grew up in a household with an eight parent, and while I thrived in that environment as another eight, my younger brother, a nine, did not. He felt that his feelings were invalidated by our father’s logic. He struggled to speak up and have his voice be heard knowing that our dad’s voice would be louder and stronger. I see those same tendencies in myself, and I pray that the Lord will help me to keep them in check and give my son space to find out who he is and exercise his autonomy in the world.
I’m also aware of my tendency to protect and take care of my people even if they haven’t asked for it. I will fight battles for my loved ones with or without their permission. As a mother, I have to keep that in check and allow my son to fight his own battles, knowing that if and when he needs me, I’m in his corner ready to advocate for him whenever he asks.
The core fear for eights is being hurt or controlled by others. We try to take the reins and control our world lest someone else control us instead. We tend to convince ourselves that we have significantly more control over our world than we actually do. As a Christian, it’s important for me to remind myself that I do not in fact have the final say, God does. I’ve been deeply challenged and encouraged by 2 Samuel 10:12 (NIV). Before walking into battle, Joab, commander of the Israelite army (who by the way, I am convinced was also an eight), says to his brother, “Be strong, and let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. The Lord will do what is good in his sight.” As an eight, I tend to be really good at the first part of this verse. I am strong and will fight bravely for my people and the causes the Lord has laid on my heart. But I want to think that’s the end of it. I can fight and win the battle on my own strength and terms. But the verse doesn’t stop there. It reminds us that no matter what we do, no matter how bravely and valiantly we fight, the Lord controls the outcome. “The Lord will do what is good in his sight.”
As a parent, this is my prayer of both resolve and release. May I continue to fight for my people with all my strength, but may I never forget that the Lord is one who determines the outcome. I am not in control; He is. What a blessing to my son and me as well.
Sam is a graphic designer and writer living in Frisco, Texas. She and her husband, Spencer, have been married for 7 years and have three children – Max who spends his days in the presence of Jesus, Lachlan who keeps his mama busy, and Meryn who will make her arrival in August. She is passionate about writing and speaking to women navigating early motherhood, especially those who are learning how to live without one of their children. You can connect with her at gloryinhermidst.com and
Y’all this series has been so encouraging for my heart and I have been praying each one of you experiences a new level of freedom and joy in your motherhood because of these posts! I am continuing to pray for you!