An Online Quiz to Eliminate Some of Your Mother Guilt

Mar 26

What kind of mother are you? Other than the guilt-ridden kind, that is. Sometimes it feels like no matter how hard we try to be the kind of parent we think we should be, our efforts often devolve into feelings of guilt over our inadequacies. It doesn’t help that advice-filled articles, blog posts, and workshops abound reminding moms what they should and shouldn’t do to raise well-adjusted children.

Chances are, unless you share your genetic makeup with Mary Poppins, you will never live up to the standards you’ve set for yourself. That is, unless you have a clear understanding of what type of person you are. Because believe it, or not, motherhood is as much about embracing the person you’ve turned out to be as it is embracing the young children you’ve brought into the world.

Not sure who, exactly, you are? Enter the . It is based on the book,, by Janet Penley, which is meant to help women understand, develop, and trust the strengths of their unique mothering style. According to their website, MotherStyles (both the quiz and the book) helps you “break through the myth of the perfect mother and equips you with the self-knowledge you need to become a more effective Drawing on the Myers-Briggs® system of personality type, popular in career counseling and team building, MotherStylesexplains the innate mind-sets that make up 16 distinct mothering approaches.”

I took the expanded quiz, which lasts about 10 minutes and concludes with a description that details your personality type as it relates to your role as a mother with specifics on whether you are sensing or intuitive, thinking or feeling, and judging or perceiving. For me, it was bang-on with what I’ve come to recognize as the type of person I am. Although, for me, this is not particularly revelatory since I’m now 39 years old and undergone 11 years of parenting boot camp (raising three boys), counselling, and constant reading to research why, well, I have sucked at parenting so much of the time (that’s my old guilt talking, by the way). In essence, it has confirmed what I’ve already come to recognize in myself.

Although this quiz may not change any mother’s life overnight, it provides a perfect starting point for anyone struggling with a constant stream of guilt over her parenting practices. MotherStyles accepts that every mother is unique, and once each of us accepts and loves our uniqueness, we can stop wringing our hands over what we’re doing wrong and embrace how to do things right – right, that is, for ourselves and our families.

Here’s my MotherStyle conclusions for the quiz. As I wrote earlier, although I know this information about myself now, it took me ten years of struggle to realize that I do not have to completely conform to motherhood, but rather motherhood can conform to me. I believe that striking a balance between the practical demands of parenting and the personal demands of your individuality is key to becoming the best mother you can be.

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