East Coast Blizzard, Penelope Trunk, and ENFPs as mothers…

It is storming like mad on PEI today. All schools are closed, as are both community colleges and the university. Many businesses and medical offices are closed, Confederation Centre of the Arts is closed, but apparently the grocery and liquor stores in Montague remain open. My husband has a 4×4 and has been driving for 36 years (my age, oddly enough), which, in Guy Speak, means that he’ll get there and back without any issue. It’s not his capabilities that worry me, it’s the other drivers’, but I digress. If he manages to come back with something interesting and yummy that I can make for dinner, and some whisky to warm the soul, then I should just be grateful. This blizzard is supposed to get worse later on.

It was a slow start to the day. I woke up at 5:45am thinking I would devour a few more chapters of a book I’m reading while everyone else slept. I love doing this in the quiet of the morning, while enjoying a mug of fresh black dark roast. Yum. Only today, I curled up on the couch and fell back asleep. My husband turning the morning news on at about 6:30 or so woke me up again. It was a struggle to keep my eyes open, and I was half way through my coffee before I could articulate a full sentence. It was… weird, actually. And all I had before bed was decaffeinated tea. Sometimes my body just seems to need more sleep, and other times I just about bounce out of bed when my alarm goes off.

We found out the island was practically shut down for the day. I fed the younger kids and my husband and myself, and the older kids made their own breakfast. I decided it would be a good sheet and comforter washing day (I’m a little anal about our bedding, pardon the expression), so I tossed the stuff into the washer, and then got hooked on Penelope Trunk’s blog while my husband and kids played Monopoly. I love him for that. The two youngest “played” Monopoly Jr., but I just needed to read. And I got hooked.

After the game he turned on Kidnapped on Netflix, which I am really enjoying. But I was reading Penelope Trunk while watching it, and engrossed. I just like her. I like how she writes because it is dead-on without being arrogant or rude (although some people take it that way). Some people are blatantly ignorant and like to pretend they are simply calling things as they see them, but this is not the case with Penelope Trunk. She researches everything she writes about. And she is not afraid to backtrack and admit she is wrong if she comes across credible information that challenges a stand she has taken in the past. I respect that. She often simply just states the obvious. And then she got into personalities and parenting which was interesting because as much as I love reading about personalities I had never explored in-depth what an ENFP is like as a mother. I barely make it into being an offical extrovert—the preference over introversion is actually quite small. But this is what I found at www.personalitypage.com:

“ENFPs take their parenting role very seriously, but are also very playful.  There’s a bit of grown-up kid in every ENFP, so they get a lot of fun and enjoyment from playing with their children.  However, they consider it essential to pass their strongly-held values and beliefs down to their children, and will strive consistently to create a positive, ideal environment for their children’s growth.

The ENFP may exhibit an inconsistency in their roles with their children.  At one moment, they might be their child’s best friend, laughing and whooping it up, and in the next moment they may appear the stern authoritarian.  This inconsistency seems to be a result of a conflict between the ENFP’s genuine desire to relate to their children on the children’s level,  and their compulsion to follow their deeply-felt value system.  In other words, the ENFP wants to be their child’s friend, but if a value is violated, they will revert to the parental role to make sure their children understand the violation. This inconsistency may be confusing and frustrating for the children.

The children of ENFPs generally feel loved, because the ENFP gives their children plenty of  genuine warmth and support.  They usually value their children as individuals, allowing  them room for growth.  The ENFP’s enthusiasm and affection may at times seem smothering to their children.  This will be especially true for children with strong Thinking or Sensing preferences, who will have a difficult time understanding the effervescence of the ENFP, and will feel at times embarassed by the ENFP’s enthusiasm and tendency to display their affection publicly.

The ENFP is able to take care of day-to-day necessities, such as picking children up at the correct times, getting them to softball practice, getting them fed, etc.  However, it is a chore for the ENFP and is not a natural strength.  The ENFP also has a difficult time disciplining their children, unless a very strongly-held value has been violated.

The rich imagination and creativity of the ENFP parent creates a fun, dynamic and exciting environment for kids.  The ENFP’s strong value system turns experiences into meaningful lessons for their children.  The ENFP parent is valued by their children for their  warm, affirming natures, and their fun-loving approach to living.”

Yep, sounds like me, dead on. Does this make me the ideal unschooling mother? I do feel like I am doing what I should be doing, what my purpose is, and what I excel at when I look at being home full-time with the kids in that sense. No, I do not enjoy housework, and I will never be the ideal housewife, in that… other sense. I try though, and it is definitely not a pigsty in here. I enjoy being home with the kids, exploring, reading, hiking with them, laughing, just doing things together and being together. I enjoy watching them grow into who they are and develop their interests. I enjoy watching their creativity, like when the boys build insanely complicated structures with these thin wooden blocks they have (the official name of these things escapes me) mixed with robotic LEGO who knows what stuff kicking around in their room. This is the stuff, these are the moments that make me go “Yeah…”. But I suck at keeping a regular vacuuming & bathroom cleaning schedule, no matter how hard I try, and generally don’t care if my cupboards have finger prints on them but clean them because I know other people in the house care (and I think that maybe something is wrong with me for not be able to keep my house perfectly clean since I’m here so much).

I think an ENFP personality is great one to have if you’re an unschooling parent. I wonder if Penelope Trunk would agree…

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2 thoughts on “East Coast Blizzard, Penelope Trunk, and ENFPs as mothers…

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