My latest book. MotherStyles by Janet P. Penley. Very interesting. Insightful. And I would guess, beneficial to all moms, regardless of your parenting style.

It helped me understand ME a bit better. Why I mother the way I do. Things I can do to enhance my mothering energy. Why I get drained or overwhelmed when certain things get crazy...

Ya, it's good stuff. Want to hear some of the things I've learned? Even if they only pertain to me?....And you, if you're an ISFJ!

First, if you're not familiar with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (personality inventory), you'll need to understand what the letters stand for.

        Extraversion             or              Introversion
        Sensing                     or              INtuition
        Thinking                   or              Feeling
        Judging                     or              Perceiving

My test results label me Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, and Judging. Not that I can't function in other realms, but this is where I often find myself, with little effort.

The book will describe for you each of these descriptors, then list strengths and weaknesses in relation to being a mom. Then it lists several HELPFUL tips.

For example:
"If you have a very extroverted child, set boundaries to protect your needs for Introversion and his or her needs to interact with you. Retreat to solitude before you reach your limit. You'll avoid exploding and feeling guilty afterward."

These descriptions of the Sensing personality really resonated with me:
"Being overly focused on details and small incidents. Because it's hard for a Sensing mom to see the big picture, she may get stuck on the "small stuff" -- a hair out of place or a dirty dish left in the sink."
"The SJ mom is typically adept at providing security, doing "for" her children and providing what a parent "should". She tends to be traditional in her approach to mothering and strives for daily routines designed to assure stability and consistency in her child's life."

And I love this:
"For the Sensing mom, "taking care of me" means feeding the senses -- avoiding sensory deprivation. Too much dullness and sameness in the things around you can make you wilt. Revitalize yourself with rich sensory experiences."
{Enter, The Symphony or Martha Stewart Living or gazing at beautiful photographs}

There are many strengths of a Feeling mother, such as:
"Tuning in and being responsive to your children's needs. The Feeling mother expresses love by giving to her children and doing things for them and with them. She goes to great lengths to make her children happy, aiming to please, even if it means self-sacrifice." 
BUT, it can be hard to "get your own needs identified and met" and "deal with multiple wants and constant demands". 

Aaaaaaahh, the structured, orderly, planned Judging mother {yep, that's me}. Organized, yes. But needs to "relax and have fun when things still need to get done". A mother's work is NEVER done. So it can be a real struggle for the Judging mother to "live with the never-completed aspects of housekeeping and children". And learn to "function amid clutter, disorder, commotion and MESS".

I'll borrow an insightful blogger's terminology and call this the Difficult, Down and Dirty Training. And I believe I have graduated. Well, maybe not summa cum laude. That is, I have grown to accept a certain amount of disorder while I make haste to clean up the other messes...not altogether in a relaxed and I'm-having-fun state of mind....but I'm getting better!!

I'm know, I'm an odd character, but that's me. Been this way for a few years now... ;p

So, the rest of the book goes on to describe each combo (eg. ESTP or INFJ). I was amazed at how well their description matched up with me. Amazing. Down to the need for appreciation and the mom-guilt.

It tells me that I need to cultivate my own interests and put my needs first every so often. That I'll do better if I structure time to be quiet and alone. See, isn't that insightful? How does the author know me?

I think we'll need a Part Two to this post, since I'm still reading through the sections on DADS and parent/child personality interactions.

I love this book. =)