Ok…I’m feeling a little sad here, its our final group of Mama’s sharing today about how the Enneagram has impacted their Motherhood journey. Its been such a privilege to get to hear from such incredible Mama’s and writers. My biggest prayer for the readers of this series, is that you walk away feeling encouraged and inspired to embrace who God has made you to be as a Mama and that you are overwhelmed with hope that in Jesus we can have victory over any sin and hindrance.
Before we get started today, I would like to personally invite you to join, our Clarity with Charity Email Community. You can sign up HERE! Not only will you be kept up to date on more encouraging series and some fun giveaways coming up, but I will also immediately send you a FREE Audio and PDF Guide filled with simple ways I have found to teach your kids how to Pray, Hear God’s voice and Love the Bible.
These are simple (no pinterest skills, or big budget needed) things that I am doing with my own kiddos right now, ages 4, 2 and 10 months (ok the 10 month old just mostly hangs out and eats puffs) but still…my kiddos are young and they are already getting excited about connecting with Jesus and learning to hear His voice and connecting the Bible to their everyday toddler world! #win Get your FREE AUDIO and PDF Guide HERE.
If you’re not sure what your Enneagram Type is, you can take a FREE ENNEAGRAM TEST HERE.
If you find yourself looking for a certain number I’ve organized the posts here so you can easily access them! Please note, Part 1 and Part 2 for each number are different links, so you may want to bookmark this page to come back for reference.
Whew….that was a lot…if you’re still here…you’re awesome, pour yourself a cuppa something wonderful…and read on!
Enneagram Type 3, Achiever, Heart Triad
I was first introduced to the Enneagram through a podcast episode with Jen Hatmaker and Ian Morgan Cron (Jen Hatmaker is my spirit animal). I knew from the very beginning, I was a 3…the Achiever.
How? The following strengths and challenges of a 3 could have been placed next to my picture in a dictionary:
-I am motivated by the need to be productive, achieve success, and avoid failure.
-I am optimistic, confident, industrious, efficient, self-propelled and self sufficient.
-I’m a pro at reframing setbacks and failures and able to recover quickly to charge ahead to the next challenge.
-I have a ton of drive, and do more in a day than most people do in a week.
-I do not mind being straight forward or harsh, if I feel it is needed.
-I have an incredibly hard time “putting up with” inefficiency and incompetence from others.
-I have found that always being “on” is exhausting
It wasn’t until I learned about the Enneagram, and further found my type, that one of my greatest weaknesses as a mother soon began to make sense: I have never enjoyed playing with my children.
Goodness gracious that sounds horrible!
But, I want to be incredibly transparent and honest with you. Finding time to play a game, go to the park, sit and watch a movie… anything that could be categorized as “fun” has always been incredibly difficult for me. It felt meaningless. Where’s the achievement in fun? How do you measure success by having fun? If I wasn’t achieving something or moving towards success then I did not place a high importance on the task.
Something else I’m not proud to admit but will in the spirit of vulnerability: It was hard for me to view my children as “gifts” when they seemed to impede on all I wanted to do in a day.
I know I’m not the only mother that struggles with these feelings…and while it’s incredibly hard to admit to feeling this way, I want you to know if you have similar feelings, you’re not alone! AND there’s hope!
In 2017, at the age of 35, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic pain syndrome. As an Enneagram 3 who places all of my value on my achievements, this was devastating to me.
I had noticed less energy and a constant pain for months, but receiving the diagnosis and being told this was my new “normal” was life changing and earth shattering. I have truly been forced to slow down and moderate my pace. And? I have recognized this as a gift from a loving God.
I now try to recognize small moments and enjoy the little things in life. I remind myself constantly that real love is not about what I accomplish…real love has already been given to me by a loving Father in Heaven just for being a child of God. And in turn, I can show that same love to my children.
The main fear of an Enneagram 3 is failure, which I have always tried to avoid at all costs. If I DO fail, I am quick to reframe it as a growth opportunity or a lesson learned. Which is truly a blessing and a gift to be able to think this way.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (KJV)
To me, this verse says that even through failure, I need to trust in the Lord. I need to trust that He knows what is best for me. I need to trust that my path is guided by Him, even in times of failure. Failure is not something to fear when I put it in this perspective.
I have found that my relationships with my children are a great vehicle for growth because it is a real challenge to express my needs and allow myself to be vulnerable.
By doing these things, I am growing as a woman, as a wife, as a mother, as a daughter of God. I am beginning to recognize that I have always placed my value in places where it cannot really be found.
I am learning how to turn from doing to being in order to put my efficiency and skill to use, making the world a better place for myself and my children.
As a mama, I realized my strengths could be used to raise consistent, optimistic, dependable, organized, and responsible children. I knew I could instill a sense of hard work in my children. I knew I could teach them about setting goals and working toward them.
As an Enneagram 3, I have learned one of the greatest gifts I can give my children is the belief that with hard work anything is possible. I have always put more trust in MY abilities and have always relied on myself to fulfill my dreams and goals, yet I am learning that leaning on and trusting in God, anything truly is possible. Yes, we must first do all we can do, but then He will fill in the rest. This is the vision and encouragement I have been given as I learn more about myself and how my “three-ness” as a mother can be such an invaluable gift.
Emily lives in the Sierra Nevada foothills of California with her highschool sweetheart, whom she has been married to for 12 years. They have 3 rambunctious sons and 1 fierce daughter. Emily is the founder of a Kindergarten-8th grade charter public school, a lover of makeup and has a way getting her husband to say “yes” anytime she finds another animal that needs to be added to the family. You can connect with Emily on Facebook, Instagram or EmilyMcVey.com
Enneagram Type 7, The Enthusiast, Head Triad
Its 4 p.m….and you’re invited to a front row seat in my Circus Tent for the Big Show that’s about to unfold.
In Ring 1 we have 2 hangry tigers…errr ummm I mean toddlers… who have been told no less than 15 times in the past 3 minutes to stop wresting on the tile and “if you feel the need to growl, please go outside.”
You catch a glimpse of Ring 2, it holds one adorable looking lion cub…did I say cub? I meant baby…you may be confused between lion and baby because the roar coming from their 10 month frame could rival even the king of the beasts.
And then there’s me…I like to think of myself as the Ring Master…but around this tent they just call me Mama.
My agenda for the rest of this spectacular show involves nursing 1 cranky cub, wrangling the 2 wrestling tigers, answering the inevitable phone call and cleaning up the vomit from the family feline (she really is a cat)…all while cooking something that could qualify as more edible and nutritious than your circus side bag of popcorn and peanuts.
Energy and mental stamina are running thin, as I realize I’ve only munched on 2 chicken nuggets and a few leftover puffs on the babies’ tray.
Its now the Enneagram Seven ring master must make her choice:
Protein, Water and Jesus?
Caffeine, Sugar, and Distraction?
If I choose caffeine, sugar and distraction, I become the worst version of an Enneagram 7 Mom – anxious rapid thoughts, inability to focus, fixating on unimportant details and irritable. The Enneagram 7’s desire for stimulation, excitement and new ideas can lead us into the sin of gluttony. This is an easy sin to fall prey to as a seven because we long for constant excitement and stimulation.
As I have dealt with the monotony of motherhood, I can find myself trying to comfort myself with distraction. For me this distraction can be checking social media, researching vacations I am not taking, or obsessively checking my phone for texts or emails which might provide a momentary distraction from the screaming toddlers and fussy baby. Sometimes I catch myself thinking, if I can just get an iced coffee today, I will be ok.
Motherhood is simultaneously mind numbing and over stimulating
This constant tango of putting out fires while managing a constant stream of laundry, dishes, tantrums, diapers and midnight feedings, can put a particular strain on an Enneagram type 7 Mom because a type 7 craves stimulation, change, and is filled with creative ideas.
The tension I experience as a type 7 Mama between craving adventure and knowing my kids need stability and clean clothes is a place I have learned to press into Jesus to become the best version of the Enneagram 7 Mama.
When my mind begins to feel like a cerebral tilt-o-whirl I stop, drink some water, eat a high protein snack and ask: God what should I pay attention to now?… He stills my restless mind and idea factory and says… look in front of you.
I don’t have to look very far before I see a 3 ft treasure… He whispers “feel the silky texture of their tanned nose as they lean in for another “nose kiss”…
Hear that son?… he’s asking for one more hug…. give it to him and let him squeeze your neck with chubby grubby hands that spent all afternoon in the sand as long as he wants.
See that baby, the one who hates the paci and has decided mama’s boobies are the paci at midnight – just know, he feels so loved by you… you are sacrificing your time your body and some days your sanity but you are loving him well….and because of it he will understand my love better.
The stifling mundane revealing glorious present
Moments meant to be treasures I alone get to uncover as Mama.
The father of lies… he says
Another scroll over the curated, over filtered Instagram feed will feed your creative soul
Iced coffee, perfect sweet, will wake your spirit
Decadent chocolate will provide sustenance for your weary body.
So I indulge in too much… too much
And It’s never enough
Apart from Him… we will always be the restless ones.
When I come to Him with my hunger, my longing for wonder and excitement – He fills me up and I hunger no more.
There was a woman who was always hungering for more … the one who had 5 husbands (John 4:18)… the woman at the well who was always searching to be satisfied by the next “thing”.
Jesus meets her at the well and woos her with His never ending satisfaction.
After what is hidden becomes the forgiven.
She drinks… and for the first time she is satisfied.
“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water, I give them will never thirst. Indeed the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” John 4:13
To the Enneagram seven Mama, He is your satisfaction, your joy, your delight.
I have never regretted going to Him and simply asking:
What do you have for me today, and then stopping to love the ones He has put right in front of me.
He’s given me permission to Dream… when I stop searching for the next high… the next temporary thrill… God gives me His dreams and creative energy.
He has made a way for my creative energy to be used in a powerful way for the Kingdom of God. For me that creative outlet is writing and speaking.
The call to be present in motherhood doesn’t mean a life of only the mundane. When we allow Him to fill us with His powerful resurrection life, we will see the adventure He has placed us in, we will recognize our purpose. He will make a way for our ideas to have feet to stand on.
Use your God given ability to dream, imagine and see the good to partner with Him in what He wants to do.
The scowly faced 2 year old….who is he at 20?
Your marriage… where does God want to heal and restore?
Your family…what would it look like for your family to live with the values of the Kingdom of God?
Your desires and gifts…. how does He want to use them?
Your city… where are the hurt and lonely and how can you help them?
Give yourself space to dream and think of ideas, write them in journal to God… think of it as a love letter between you and Him… tell Him your secrets – every dream, every fear, He won’t laugh and He’ll never say it’s a dumb idea.
Instead He’ll so gently shape them into a more beautiful future than even we type 7 Mama’s could imagine.
Charity is a Boy Momma to 3 of the wildest, and squishiest sets of dimpled cheeks. Most days you can find her top knottin’ it, while prayin’ “Dear Jesus help me not to mess these little lives up”. The power of the gospel is her melody and unleashing women from captives into warriors is her passion. In between totin’ potties and rollin’ in the mini, Charity shares heartfelt and hilarious reflections on discovering hope after tragedy, uncovering joy in the mayhem and how connecting with Jesus will reignite a weary heart at ClaritywithCharity.com. You can also follow along on Instagram @ Facebook and Pinterest
Enneagram Type 9, The Peacemaker, Gut Triad
After my son was born in the fall of 2017, I struggled to bounce back as far as feeling like myself goes. I felt foggy, rearranged, unsettled. And unsettled doesn’t sit well with me.
I identify as a Type 9 on the Enneagram — the peacemaker. But I was struggling to create peace for myself and for my family in a brand new way.
This challenge was due to a combination of factors: the physical recovery, the sleep deprivation, the postpartum depression, the sheer magnitude of this tiny little life we’d been entrusted with. Layer that with the strange guilt that accompanies anything other than complete and total newborn bliss, and you have a recipe for internal disaster.
I felt a deep desire to recover what felt lost within me, to draw closer to Jesus, and to know Him as a friend. But I felt lost and mixed up. I felt like a whole new person and not in a good way. Enter the Enneagram. It was certainly popular at the time, but nothing compared to what it is today. So, I knew a little, but not a lot. And diving in felt a bit overwhelming.
Type 9 desires peace above all else — which I see as a real gift in motherhood. I want our home to feel like a haven, and for my presence to feel like a soft place to land. I hope to create harmony and cultivate peaceful environments. As a 9, I value both deep connection and space, which can sometimes be a difficult balance. But in seeking both, I have drawn closer to my people and to my God.
There are significant perks to being a type 9 mom. I have the ability to see situations from most all perspectives, which allows me to remain objective and empathetic. While I only have one child right now, I imagine this will be beneficial in the long run — it has certainly served me well in my full-time student ministry position. I am thankful for my ability to remain calm in the midst of chaos. And, when I am particularly healthy, I integrate towards Type 3 and pick up what I like to call my bonus traits — extra energy and confidence. Type 9 moms are gifted listeners and observers, which allows us to tend to our families with intentional care.
But being a type 9 certainly has it challenges, to say the least. I struggle with the law of inertia — it is difficult for me to get started and a real challenge to stop. It is a constant balancing act between resisting procrastination and setting healthy boundaries. And while I (generally) remain calm in conflict or while disciplining, I often find it challenging to reset internally. That lack of peace manifests in a physical way, with my chest feeling tight and my brain feeling foggy.
Of all of my challenges in motherhood, the largest has been decision making. I recognize that this is not unique to my type, but for me, it takes the cake. When I am experiencing fatigue, my ability to make decisions, regardless of their weight, becomes virtually obsolete. In my postpartum haze, decisions had the ability to unravel me from the inside out. Ironically, it is decision making — the thing I hated the most — that woke me up to a need to become healthier, to lean into Christ, and to become more fully who I was designed to be. Of course it is. The thing that seemed to bring me the most heartache is the thing He redeemed and used to draw me back to Him. That is the Gospel at work in my own life. Hallelujah, amen.
In my study of the Enneagram, I came to know myself better. This helped me to recognize areas of my life that needed some tending to, and help me shift my approach to a variety of tasks. Here are some practical tips for all
- Prioritize quiet time.
- Set phone limits for yourself.
- Make decisions ahead of time. Here are some suggestions:
- Start meal planning and make grocery lists.
- Develop a weekly cleaning rhythm. I wrote a whole post about that here. It comes with a free download!
- Make small, manageable goals for yourself and your family.
- Before bed, make a small list of tasks that require your attention for the next day.
- Think of your time as a resource.
The basic fear of Type 9 is of loss or separation. The fear of losing any part of my family can send me into what feels like an emotional tailspin — especially when I disintegrate toward Type 6 and pick up the bonus traits of anxiety and worst-case scenario thinking. Interestingly enough, I resort to self-preservation and pulling back when that fear takes hold of me rather than digging in and remaining fully present. I have felt the Lord gently reminding me of three things when those fears try to take root.
- His mercies are new every morning (Lam. 3:22-24), and His grace is greater than my sins or my fears (Rom. 5:20).
- We are not called to live this life alone. We are called to be part of the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:12-14, 27).
- The Holy Spirit is already present and at work within me (John 14:26).
When I trust that I can’t run out of grace, that I was designed to walk through life with others (namely my sweet, little family), and that the power of Holy Spirit is already present in me, the fears seem to fade into peace. A peace which surpasses all understanding.
Jenny feels a deep call to uncover grace in the ordinary parts of life, and she’d love to help you do the same. Her hope is to encourage others to make space for the things that really matter in this life.
She lives in Knoxville, TN with her husband, toddling little boy, and scruffy rescue pup. Jenny serves in full-time student ministry and has recently returned to writing — something she used to think of as a luxury and now recognizes as a call needing to be answered. She loves building deep and meaningful relationships, cozying up their home, cheering on the Tennessee Vols, and spending time with her boys — especially when it involves making Mexican food in the kitchen. She invites you to join up with her at her website, jennydfromtn.com and on Instagram, @jennydcross. P.S. You should join her mailing list where she sends you free printables & lockscreens, lots of her words, and a monthly memo with her favorite things!
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I am praying for you!