mothering the way you’re wired

parenting styleby Elisa Pulliam, Guest Contributor

I’m not wired for motherhood.

Nope. Not me.

Or that’s at least what I thought for a really long time.

My dad was the one that first noticed how my skills and tendencies might be best used as a lawyer, CEO, or creative visionary of an emerging company. I often had big ideas and the ability to navigate challenging situations with problem solving expertise. I could argue a case through the midnight hours and craft a powerfully convincing letter in my sleep.

My God-given personality seemed perfectly suited for a professional life and not motherhood.

However, a year after graduating from college, I was married and within three years, tossed the saving and preparing plan aside, insisting that we must have a baby…NOW! My close friends were announcing their pregnancies, so there was no way my competitive side was going to sit this one out.

Needless to say, I wasn’t prepared for motherhood, especially with an educational and personal focus on being a professional. It was a shock when my little bundle of love wouldn’t perform up to my standards nor stick to my schedule. Having our second daughter 26 months later certainly stretched my capacity as stay-at-home mom, but it was the big surprise — twins — that truly put in me in crisis over my perceived lack of ability for this calling of motherhood.

I listened to that voice in my head play over and over again, “You’re not made for motherhood.” Even though I was doing a pretty good job at loving on my children, teaching them their ABCs, and engaging them creatively, emotionally, and spiritually, I didn’t feel qualified because I was convinced I was out of my element.

I was sure that my personality type was better suited for a professional career rather than being a stay-at-home mom, because I didn’t know how to embrace —and use— my personality in light of the calling of motherhood that God had placed upon me.

I would dream of sitting behind a desk in a 3-piece designer suit, crafting the next great visionary plan instead of figuring out what shape to cut the PBJ sandwich into for my litle girl. I’d escape to the computer, just to make myself feel productive, only to be tugged away by one more only-mom-can-meet need.

The tug and pull on my heart remained, until I finally sought God for some clear understanding. That’s when I began to study the different personality types and discovered the beautiful way God designs our unique personalities to be used in many settings — not just the one in which we think we’ll find the most sucess.

For example, the reason my dad thought I’d be a great business leader is because I am predominately a Choleric, which is the personality type bent towards leading, casting vision, and getting things done. Obviously, those traits lend themselves toward a being a business woman, but in God’s eyes, my Choleric strengths also make me a great leader within my home — not as head of the family, but as an administrator type who gets the tasks done. I’m the bill-paying, schedule organizing, shopping-for-needs Guru.

Of course, being a Choleric also means I have tendency to lose my patience with non-work-horse types and can become easily angered over the littlest of things. These are certainly weaknesses that can undermine my desires to be a loving mom and wife, so I need to be keenly aware of my tendencies and yield them to God. He’s willing to work through my weaknesses to display His strength (2 Corinthians 12:9), but I need to let Him reign in my heart and life…especially the messy parts!

Embracing your personality in light of your calling as a mother is process. It means taking the time to discover how God has wired you and then looking at the ways your temperment translates into your motherhood calling. There are dozens of online tests that take only a little bit of time to complete (check out these options) or you can look at it from a Biblical perspective using the Littauer’s “Wired That Way” book and assessment.

By pinpointing your personality type, you’ll be able to identify your strengths and weaknesses so that you can make them work for you in your mothering and give God the glory in the process. You may even gain insight into your children’s personality types and discover ways to be more effective in parenting them, too.

God qualifies us for this motherhod role because He called us to it — with all our of God-given strengths and weakenesses wrapped up in our personalities.

Understanding who we are, in light of Whose we are, especially as moms, will radically transform how we approach our calling and embrace our God-given purpose as we serve our families.

Elisa is a trained biblical life coach, mentor, and speaker passionate about equipping women to experience authentic life change for the sake impacting the next generation. She is the founder of More to Be (moretobe.com) and author of Impact My Life: Biblical Mentoring Simplified. Elisa considers her first calling as wife to Stephen and mother to her house-full of children.

Connect with Elisa at http://elisapulliam.com.

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5 Comments

  • What a great post and some great opoints you made! I’m very organized and a planner, and we all know motherhood is rarely organized or planned far into the future! God has taught me so much since becoming a mama – about the differences between personality types and using it as an excuse for certain actions (like over control, etc.). I need to allow God to use my personality to best parent the baby He has given me! 🙂

    Reply
  • LOVE this post! Thank you so much. I have struggled with this same thing for years. I’m great at getting things done and doing things well…and sometimes I feel like I get nothing done at home…and nothing done well. This was a great reminder on a day when I really needed it. Thank you.

    Reply

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