ISTJ - The “Responsibility” Mother
(Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging)

“I have a serious love affair with to-do lists. I could sit for hours reading, organizing, and rearranging my weekly calendar.”

  • The ISTJ mother has a highly developed sense of responsibility: for work, home, family ... particularly her children. Whether she’s overseeing daily baths or insisting on a 10 p.m. curfew, her efforts are largely focused on providing her children with order and routine. She wants them, regardless of age, to be able to count on her and the structure she provides.
  • In carrying out her commitment to her responsibilities, the ISTJ mother is organized, industrious, and detail-oriented. Because her focus is the day-to-day realities of life, her children are likely to feel secure and well provided for.
  • The ISTJ mother also sets a good example and provides her children with practical guidance on being a productive, responsible individual. Still, with all her seriousness, she may delight family members with her quick wit and observations about the details of life.


ESTP - The “Action Adventure” Mother
(Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving)

“I can’t do anything the same way more than one or two times. Today can’t be like yesterday. Let’s do something different!”

  • Active and spontaneous, the ESTP mother can turn ordinary life into a fun-filled adventure. She makes dull routines exciting and chores a “let’s do it again” kind of game. Her best times are those spent with her children actively doing, particularly if it’s spur of the moment, innovative, and unconventional.
  • Full of energy and enthusiasm for living in the moment, the ESTP mother gives her children every opportunity to experience all that life has to offer — touching, seeing, moving, doing ... and meeting people. She’s interested in stimulating their senses so they can take life in and live it.
  • The ESTP mother is matter-of-fact—“what you see is what you get.” She mothers without hidden agendas and takes life and people as they are. Her children know where they stand. She is able to develop a close relationship with them based on honesty and a strong family orientation as well as sharing a wide variety of experiences.

ISTP - The “Give ’Em Their Space” Mother
(Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving)

“My feelings are my own business. Not theirs. So I honor their privacy too.”

  • Non-intrusive and respectful of differences, the ISTP mother gives her children the personal space they need to develop as separate, self-sufficient individuals. As children grow and mature, she enjoys observing how each one becomes his or her own person. She seeks to accept and honor each child’s interests, opinions, and choices.
  • The ISTP mother does not believe in authority or control for its own sake. Instead, she favors a non-directive approach. Yet she has high expectations for each child’s self-discipline as a key to self sufficiency.
  • To these ends, the ISTP mother wants to “be there” for her children—to meet their basic needs and keep them safe. Her goal is to help her children think for themselves and take responsibility for their own actions.

ESTJ - The “How To” Mother
(Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging)

“We’re the mothers you like to carpool with. Not only are we on time, we organize the driving schedule for everyone.”

  • Organized and comfortable being in charge, the ESTJ mother knows “how to” get things done, make things happen, and accomplish much on behalf of her children. Whether she is encouraging them to get involved in organized activities or talking with them about their personal concerns, children of the ESTJ mother learn “how to” succeed in life.
  • Upbeat and matter-of-fact, the ESTJ mother is intent on her children having the best. She puts her skills and talents to work to this end, from planning trips that supplement their studies to raising funds for new playground equipment. She is happiest when her efforts produce concrete results — children who try out for teams, participate in academic competitions, or are leaders among their peers.
  • The ESTJ mother runs a tight household. She is apt to have predictable expectations, consistent routines, standard procedures, and well-defined boundaries, all of which help her children feel protected and secure.
ISFJ - The “Tender Loving Care” Mother
(Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Judging)

“I want my children to feel they have an ally, someone who knows them completely. I want to be a haven for them.”

  • Gentle and kind, the ISFJ mother provides her children with generous amounts of tenderness, affection, and the comfort of daily routine. Her aim is to “be there” for her children, physically and emotionally. She is sensitive to their feelings, offering closeness, understanding, and quiet support.
  • Loyal and devoted, the ISFJ mother has a strong sense of duty and consistently puts her children’s needs first. She delights in taking care of the little things that matter to a child, making each one feel loved and special.
  • To provide her family with security and warmth, the ISFJ mother tends to the practical and domestic, aiming for a smooth-running household and an attractive home. She also observes and conveys the value and importance of family traditions.

ESFP - The “Totally There” Mother
(Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving)

“I like to give my children an immediate response. It’s not like there’s one time for hugs and another to make sandwiches.”

  • Energetic and people-oriented, the ESFP mother lives in the moment, “totally there” for her children — totally focused on them when she is with them. She enjoys being with her children and can respond to their needs “on the spot,” ensuring that they feel loved and cared for.
  • Fun-loving, friendly, and outgoing, the ESFP mother actively engages her children in a wide variety of experiences. They can count on her to strike up a conversation with a fellow shopper at the market or with the bus driver, introducing them to the joys of people everywhere.
  • Devoted and practical, the ESFP mother also enjoys doing for her children. She is attentive to their feelings and is deeply touched by every joy or hurt they experience.

ISFP - The “Giving” Mother
(Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving)

“A people pleaser from Day One, it took me 30 years to figure out I could say ‘no.’”

  • Quiet and unassuming in her devotion, the ISFP mother is responsive to her children’s needs, offering behind-the-scenes love and support. She is gentle and non-intrusive, flexible and adaptable.
  • A “be there” mother, the ISFP takes pleasure in physically caring for her children and doing for them. Her best times might be “doing little things” with each child one-on-one.
  • More than anything, the ISFP mother wants her children to know they are loved. And she enjoys being needed in return.
    Dedicated to raising children who are responsible and care for others, she favors a non-directive approach: instilling values by setting a good example. She may be a strong role model for community service.

ESFJ - The “Happy Together” Mother
(Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling, Judging)

“I like it when my children are happy on their own, but i love it when the whole family is happy together.”

  • The ESFJ mother has a highly developed sense of family and what it takes to be happy in life. Capable and personally invested, she strives to create a happy family where togetherness and harmony flourish. Whether it’s taking her children to the park or putting on a holiday feast, her efforts are directed toward having everyone be “happy together.”
  • To many, the ESFJ personifies motherhood. She promotes traditional values, tends to the practical and domestic, provides the family with order and structure, and is directly involved with her children’s day-to-day living. The ESFJ mother is a “doer,” and she’s never happier than when she’s “doing” for her family.
  • Believing the home is central to family life, the ESFJ mother excels at creating an atmosphere that is attractive and offers security.
    Energetic and people-oriented, she is drawn to community and the social scene. She helps her children discover the joys of people and groups.

INFJ - The “Know Thyself” Mother
(Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging)

“I believe the joy of motherhood is self-discovery—for them and for me.”

  • Sensitive and family-focused, the INFJ mother looks for and encourages the unique potential of each child. Self-knowledge may be her byword. Her aim is to help each child develop a sense of identity and cultivate personal growth. In fact, she may value the mothering experience as a catalyst to her own personal growth and self-knowledge.
  • The INFJ mother spends time observing and understanding each child. She is drawn to intimate conversations and seeks a free exchange of feelings and thoughts.
  • Sympathetic and accommodating, the INFJ mother strives to meet the important yet sometimes conflicting needs of each family member in harmonious and creative ways
  • She is conscientious and intense as well. Probably no one takes life and child-raising more seriously than the INFJ. She approaches mothering as a profession requiring her best self.

ENFP - The “Kids R Fun” Mother
(Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving)

“Whatever I enjoy—playing tag or singing in the car—I can do it with kids around. And it’s totally legitimate!”

  • Playful and energetic, the ENFP mother finds her children to be good company and enjoys being with them. In fact, she says being with children justifies her own “being a kid again.” And children say she’s fun to be with — spontaneous, hearty, and imaginative.
  • Naturally drawn to introducing her children to the joys of life, the ENFP is something of a free spirit. She is less concerned with rules, routines, and schedules, and more inclined to give her children plenty of free time to play, explore on their own or with her, and have fun together.
  • Tuned in to her children, the ENFP mother enthusiastically encourages each one’s individuality and unique potential through a great variety of experiences. She is also quick to identify with others’ feelings and thoughts, making her an empathetic supporter of her children, not to mention her mate and many, many friends.

INFP - The “Tuned In” Mother
(Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving)

“Inside our children, I believe, is a truth that tells them what’s best for them. I am always listening for that truth.”

  • Aware, astute, and understanding, the INFP mother is sensitive to her child’s needs, feelings, and perceptions. By observing and listening to the cues of the whole child, she is “tuned in” and naturally develops an intuitive feel for what he or she needs. Responsive and helpful as well, she tends patiently to those needs as they arise.
  • The INFP mother is comfortable letting her children follow their own course of development and make their own choices. She offers encouragement and uses her insights to head off trouble and difficult issues.
  • The INFP mother takes vicarious pleasure giving her children good experiences and watching them enjoy childhood. She’s happiest creating pleasant, memorable times for the whole family.

ENFJ - The “Heart-to-Heart” Mother
(Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging)

“We have so many good talks, I think I understand my children better than they understand themselves.”

  • Expressive and warm, the ENFJ mother is adept at talking about personal concerns, both her children’s and her own. She is likely to initiate heart-to-heart talks frequently and provide her children with an open forum for articulating their feelings and perspectives.
  • Tuned in to each child as a unique person, the ENFJ mother nurtures her children through affirmation, praise, and encouragement. She takes great pleasure when they reciprocate, offering admiration and encouragement of her, a sibling, or a friend.
  • Organized and energetic, the ENFJ mother is a competent, efficient family manager. She is involved in her children’s lives, providing structure, direction, and guidance.
  • The ENFJ mother is also socially adept, relating well to people wherever she goes. She strives to keep her children connected to family, neighborhood, and the larger community.

INTJ - The “Individual Integrity” Mother
(Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging)

“My kids are better off arguing their own point of view than telling me, ‘But everyone else is doing it.’”

  • Individualistic and independent, the INTJ mother is both a role model and teacher of how to be an individual and live life with integrity. She is introspective, defining her own success from within, and generally confident in her decisions. She is unlikely to be persuaded by her children saying, “But all the other mothers are doing it.”
  • The INTJ is competent in providing for her children’s basic needs, but she is likely more focused on developing their self-esteem and confidence. Observant and insightful, she puts great importance on independent thinking and self-sufficiency, yet she is comfortable providing protection and boundaries.
  • Self-motivated and intense, the INTJ works hard and takes life seriously. As a mother, she lives for those moments when she can impart knowledge and offer her children perspectives on life and important issues.

ENTP - The “Independence” Mother
(Extraverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Perceiving)

“When I held my babies, I always faced them outward so they could take in the world.”

  • Full of energy and confident in her own self-sufficiency and competence, the ENTP mother encourages her children—as a role model and as a teacher—to be independent and confident on their own in the world.
  • A “big picture” person, she points out options and possibilities along the way. Objective and logical as well, the ENTP wants her children to evaluate their choices and learn from the consequences of their own decisions.
  • The ENTP mother is resourceful and action-oriented. She likes going places and doing things with her children, exploring all that life has to offer. She is less concerned with rules, routines, and schedules. Introducing her children to new concepts and activities, challenging them, and stimulating their intellectual development are top priorities.
INTP - The “Love of Learning” Mother
(Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Perceiving)

“I keep the encyclopedia in the kitchen so we can look up things together while we eat.”

  • Intellectually curious and patient, the INTP mother relishes those times with a child when they are learning something interesting together. Whether they’re at the zoo or computer terminal, she sparks to answering his or her “whys” with in-depth responses or new knowledge.
  • The INTP mother is also objective and introspective. She listens to and discusses children’s ideas and questions as she would those of a peer, fostering self-esteem and confidence. Open and non-directive, she allows children the freedom to do for themselves and quietly encourages them to believe they can do it.
  • Independence, autonomy, intellectual development, and self-reliance are probably the INTP’s highest priorities for her children. An avid reader, she naturally imparts an appreciation and love of reading as well.
  • Drawn to all types of learning, the INTP may also value her mothering experience for all the new insights about life it provides her.

ENTJ - The “Executive” Mother
(Extraverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging)

“My mind is always going. How can I fine-tune the system to everyone’s advantage?”

  • Competent and confident in a management role, the ENTJ mother organizes the needs and schedules of family members into a workable family system. Within the system, she provides her children with care-taking, direction, and limits, but she also gives them space to develop their own self-sufficiency and judgment.
  • Analytical and adept at problem-solving, the ENTJ mother listens to her children’s concerns empathetically and then strategizes with them how to improve the situation—either by intervening on their behalf or backing off to let them solve problems on their own. She particularly enjoys watching them take responsibility and accomplish something they find important on their own.
  • Intense and insightful, the ENTJ mother is cued in to her children’s intellectual and emotional development. She uses her quickness and communication skills to talk things through and help her children connect with people and better understand life.

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© 2013 Janet Penley