The 9 Enneagram Types and Motherhood

9 Types of Enneagram Moms

The Enneagram shows us there are nine basic ways of being human in the world. There are nine numbers representing each of these types.  No one type is better than another, they are just ways we adapted to our environment and people in our lives as we grew up.  We are all human and all relate to each of these numbers in some way, but one type worked better for you in your early years and that became the type you lead with, the one number you most connect with.  Remember to consider your motivation for your behavior and that will lead you to your type.  It can a while to truly understand which type you are, but thinking about it in tandem with motherhood might lead you to some insight.  For fun, I’ve given each type a “mom” nickname, though these are different from the nicknames you will find in other Enneagram resources.  Remember the Enneagram isn’t meant to keep us locked into stereotypes and characteristics.  It’s a tool for self-discovery and growth.  Also keep in mind that most of the time we see our types come out stronger when in stressful situations and when we are pushed to our limits – if that doesn’t describe motherhood, I don’t know what does!  We tend to lean into our types in a mostly unconscious way to regain a sense of control, safety, and/or connection to others. 

Type 8 – The Mama Bear (aka The Challenger or Protector)

This Mom has a ton of energy, which is an amazing asset when raising little tornados!  She also is very protective of her family and will advocate for them.  She is strong, independent, and can be competitive too.  The 8’s primary motivation in life is to be strong and avoid any signs of weakness. They feel the world takes advantage of the weak, but they can make it through by meeting any situation with strength.  Because of the need to always be strong, this Mom may find herself intimidating others around her. She may be a Mom that is angry and yells, and while she has the best of intentions she can be unaware of how she comes off to those around her.  She also thinks she’s right (and possibly is) most of the time.  She’s not afraid of confrontation and wants others to be as strong as she is. She can also forget that she is not superhuman because she does feel like she is most of the time. She may forget she has physical limitations.  This self-forgetting tendency comes from the need to remain strong and in control at all times.  This is a Mom who you want on your team and who will have your back once you earn her respect.  

Type 9 – The Cozy Mama (The Peacemaker or Mediator)

This Mama is like a warm sweater and cup of tea on a chilly day.  She is comfortable to be around and a great listener; she makes her babies feel understood, and she can really understand others’ points of view even if they have opposing opinions.  She is a natural pacemaker and wants to stay in connection with her people at all costs.  Her motivation in life is to stay connected and comfortable as much as possible.  Because of this, she is happy to go with the flow; she can do this so much that she may not even know what she wants after a while.  She may not realize her own desires have gone to sleep in the service of keeping things harmonious, and when she does realize it, she can get angry.  She won’t often say she’s angry or feel it right away, but she can become stubborn or passive-aggressive when she’s pushed too far and this often takes her by surprise.  When this Mama can find her own sense of purpose and really knows who she is she becomes unstoppable! 

Type 1 – The Good Mom (aka The Reformer or Perfectionist)

This Mom has a gift to see how everything can be structured and organized the right way.   She strives to make everything the best it can be.  She wants to make the world a better place for her kiddos and she inspires everyone to do their best.  She often thinks in terms of the right way and the wrong way things should be done, it’s black and white in her mind.  She lives with a little voice inside, that doesn’t often let up, telling her how to do everything better.  This comes from her primary motivation to be, above all things, good.  Others might see her as the “perfect” mom but she’s always left with a feeling that she’s missing the mark, or that she could do better and this leaves her feeling guilty a lot of the time.  This is a tough way to live.  She can get angry and take it out on those she loves, and it often happens in the form of irritation and resentment.  As much as this can be a struggle for the 1 Mom, it also gives her kids a sense of justice and fairness.  She has the ability to be very consistent in her parenting which provides stability for her family and loved ones.  

Type 2 – The Giving Mom (aka The Helper or Giver)

This Mama has a gift for knowing what her family needs before they do.  She’s always on the lookout to find ways to help those around her.   You name it, and if she can help you with it, she will!  She’s also very intuned to her kid’s emotional needs as well. She is good at being present with her family and letting them know they are loved. While she has a sixth sense about what others feel and need, often she doesn’t know what she needs.  It’s the classic dilemma of not putting on your air mask first when the plane’s going down.  Her primary motivation is to be a helper and to be needed, this is how she feels valued and loved.   She has the best of intentions by helping others, but when they don’t step up to meet her needs she feels hurt and unappreciated.  She has a hard time voicing her own needs and just wants her people to figure it out as she does for them.  When this Mom can learn to express her own needs and allow others to meet them she can give in a truly unselfish way, and it’s a beautiful thing to behold.  

Type 3 – The Go-Getter Mom (aka The Achiever or Performer)

This Mom is a goal-achieving powerhouse.  Whether she has a career or stays at home, she gets things done!  She is fast, focused, and efficient.  She is a great cheerleader for her kids and pushes them to reach their goals.  She keeps her family on track and organized.  She does all of this in service to her primary motivation to be successful and capable.  She feels valuable when she is successful and is afraid of failure.  Because this Mom is so very busy and always pushing to get things checked off the list, she struggles to be present with her kids. She may also push her kids too hard and care too much about what others think of her parenting or her children.   Approval and being liked are very important to the 3 Mom. However, when she can find her true identity and realize her family loves her with or without her achievements, she can slow down, and enjoy her family and their love.

Type 4 – All the Feels Mama (aka The Individualist or Romantic)

This Mama has a deep capacity for feeling a wide range of emotions and she has so much empathy for her family.  She can hold her little ones when they cry without having to “fix it.”  She can just be present with them in their pain and help them learn how to accept all their emotions.  In fact, others’ emotions can often feel like her own, and this can be difficult and confusing for her at times.  She has a motivation to be unique and special, while at the same time, she has a feeling she is missing some part of herself she can’t quite find. She often feels misunderstood by others.  She can sit with sadness or melancholy for long periods of time and often finds herself with a sense of longing for what was or what will be; this makes it hard for her to be present with her family sometimes.  All this emotional energy can often find its way out in creating things like art, poetry, or songs.  This creative vibe is often not appreciated in our culture and the 4 Mom can struggle with fitting in, but to those who know and love her, she is a blessing beyond compare.

Type 5 – The No Drama Mama (aka the Observer or Investigator)

This Mom is a more intellectual type, she lives mostly in her head, watching and observing life.  She has a desire to always know more about those things that are important to her and can research like no one’s business!  She can seem more reserved than other moms and is not as comfortable with expressing emotions.  This doesn’t mean she’s not emotional. Because it takes a lot of energy to have emotional interactions and the 5 mom lives with the idea that her energy is very limited she may tend to “think her feelings.”  This is hard for her as a Mom because she loves her kids and she needs her alone time.  It’s hard to find the balance when children are needy by nature and she feels she only has so much to give.  Her primary motivation is to meet the world in a competent way and therefore not expend too much of her limited energy.  This mom may feel drained by the drama of raising kids, but she is wise.  She hardly ever speaks without thinking, at least about the important things, and she watches and learns from her observations.  She is an excellent teacher to her kids, giving them the gift of critical thinking.

Type 6- The Watchful Mama (aka the Loyal Skeptic or Guardian)

This Mom is hard-wired to be on alert for the safety of herself and her family.  For the 6 Mom, the world is a dangerous place and there are two ways to deal with that.  One is to always assume the worst will happen and be ready, while the other is to deny fear and face it head-on.  This Mama can do both as the situation calls for.  She is vigilant in protecting her children from harm which can lead to anxiety.  She can worry about being worried.  She doesn’t see this as being pessimistic, she’s just being realistic.  Her primary motivation is to find security.  This can make her a very organized mom who likes to stick to plans and routines.  Family is very important to her and she finds security in her loved ones who she trusts, and in return, she is incredibly loyal to her people.  

Type 7 – The Fun Mom (aka The Enthusiast or Epicure)This Mom, like the 6,  is also a Mom who lives in the realm of fear – the fear of missing out on something fun and exciting!  7 Moms are lovers of life and always up for an adventure.  This can be great fun for their children (and themselves).  This Mom loves to have fun and hates doing the same old boring things day after day.  She may like structure to her day but likes to mix it up and make it exciting.  She loves to plan things for her family to do like: parties, vacations, outings, and special events, but sometimes she has more fun planning and anticipating than actually doing the thing she planned.  She does all this “fun” to serve her primary motivation to not feel pain or sadness and to feel fully satisfied with life.  This Mom has lots of energy and may have a hard time slowing down when her kids are little.  She also may take on too much, trying to make her kids happy all the time, never wanting to see them sad or disappointed which leads to burnout.  When 7 Moms can learn to slow down and accept that pain and sadness are a part of life, they can round out all the high-intensity energy and be present and grounded with their kids.  

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