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What Kind of Mother are You?

“Mama leaning into my perfectly decent photo of the chair”

Tia Saxton 2007
What kind of mother are you?
Well, there’s an awkward question! It’s a question I’ve often asked myself, still ask myself.
Sometimes its one of those nasty accusation things circling around my head. It’s a question that reverberates when I feel like I am not “authentic” as a mom. When I don’t feel gentle enough,creative enough or fulfilled enough as a mom. Why is it on the days I want something “other” or “more” or “as well”, on those days I seem to be confronted by images of glowing motherhood? Which in turn results in me feeling awful about wanting something other…etc etc etc.
(Comparison sucks doesn’t it? And its foolish, because a glance at someone else’s life is merely a snapshot. A moment in time that is open to (mis)interpretation. And as such I know the snapshots of my own life can look picture perfect too. Anyway, I digress.)
More recently -“What kind of mother are you?” has reflected a bit of a search I’m on.
Here in the Cities, away from everything there’s lots of time to think. That’s not always a bad thing. And away from everyone, there’s lots of opportunities to explore and rediscover. Thats’ a very good thing. And its made me observe what kind of mother I am, what kind of things I do, what kind of things I have. I was never put under pressure, or “held captive”, but I feel strangely liberated into something new.

Then today I stumbled across MotherStyles .

MotherStyles is a website/book which observes different parenting styles through the lens of the the whole Myers – Briggs personality type thing. It acknowledges that in the same way that every child is unique, so is every mom, and looks at different characteristics that the personalities bring to the table.

Now I know that the whole Myers-Briggs thing is a tool to use, not my DNA. It’s just my kind of tool the kind of thing that I find useful. I found my profile as a mom insightful. So I might get the book sometime soon. In the meantime though, its another signpost on the journey, and again very liberating.

Check out the website, see what you think. In the meantime, here’s a few working definitions Motherstyles came up with.

ISTJ – The “Responsibility” Mother
“I have a serious love affair with to-do lists. I could sit for hours reading, organizing, and rearranging my weekly calendar.”

ESTP – The “Action Adventure” Mother
“I can’t do anything the same way more than one or two times. Today can’t be like yesterday. Let’s do something different!”

ISTP – The “Give ’Em Their Space” Mother
“My feelings are my own business. Not theirs. So I honor their privacy too.”

ESTJ – The “How To” Mother
“We’re the mothers you like to carpool with. Not only are we on time, we organize the driving schedule for everyone.”

ISFJ – The “Tender Loving Care” Mother
“I want my children to feel they have an ally, someone who knows them completely. I want to be a haven for them.”


ESFP – The “Totally There” Mother
“I like to give my children an immediate response. It’s not like there’s one time for hugs and another to make sandwiches.”

ISFP – The “Giving” Mother
“A people pleaser from Day One, it took me 30 years to figure out I could say ‘no.’”

ESFJ – The “Happy Together” Mother
“I like it when my children are happy on their own, but i love it when the whole family is happy together.”

INFJ – The “Know Thyself” Mother
“I believe the joy of motherhood is self-discovery—for them and for me.”


ENFP – The “Kids R Fun” Mother
“Whatever I enjoy—playing tag or singing in the car—I can do it with kids around. And it’s totally legitimate!”

INFP – The “Tuned In” Mother
“Inside our children, I believe, is a truth that tells them what’s best for them. I am always listening for that truth.”

ENFJ – The “Heart-to-Heart” Mother
“We have so many good talks, I think I understand my children better than they understand themselves.”

INTJ – The “Individual Integrity” Mother

“My kids are better off arguing their own point of view than telling me, ‘But everyone else is doing it.’”

ENTP – The “Independence” Mother
“When I held my babies, I always faced them outward so they could take in the world.”


INTP – The “Love of Learning” Mother
“I keep the encyclopedia in the kitchen so we can look up things together while we eat.”

ENTJ – The “Executive” Mother
“My mind is always going. How can I fine-tune the system to everyone’s advantage?”

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