Embrace your parenting style

02 October 2013

Early last year, I read a book called Motherstyles by Janet Penley and Diane Eble; partly because I love studying human psychology and partly because the book had rave reviews. 

What I didn't know was that until I read the book, I felt uncomfortable with certain aspects of my mothering style. I wondered if the stress of working outside the home was making me a less than perfect mother. If I had to grade myself, I would have been a strong C. (Half empty cup and all)

Reading this book gave me insight into the concept of "mothering style" and the 16 different styles, their strengths as well as challenges
  • ISTJ mothers are good at raising hard-working, independent kids but struggle with being flexible and perfectionism
  • ESTP mothers are the fun, adventurous mothers every kid wants but they are not domestic divas
and on and on it went. Every personality had something they excelled in and something they totally sucked at in the mothering arena.

After reading the book, I realized that there were other mothers like me out there. We all have our mothering styles and there is no one good style or no one bad style. Up until then, I felt a pressure to keep up with the "mother Joneses", to get things done while being giddily happy around my children 24 hours of the day. 

Suffice to say, my expectations from myself were unrealistic and when I did not meet them, I blamed my job for my mothering "shortcomings". Not true. In all honesty, I would struggle with the same mothering issues with or without a job outside the home. My struggles had more to do with my personality than my job. Coming to terms with my mothering style has been instrumental in my serenity - I accept the things I can't change and change the things I can.  
Dear mom reading this, I've spent the first 2 days talking about the issues related to self-acceptance because balance starts from within. There is no work-life synergy unless you are content with YOU. Embrace yourself.

More Resources for learning more about Mothering styles and personalities
Mothering Personality Quiz
Motherstyles official website

I'll be writing about being a working mother throughout October and sharing my personal experiences. Emphasis on personal. I realise that everyone's situation is different and what works for me may not be the best for someone else.

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