Thursday, September 26, 2013

Ok...one more book.

I may as well change my blog's name to Lydia's Book Club.
That's all I talk about anymore.

But I think that will change soon.

We are gonna start house shopping soon. And so I'll probably forget all about books.

(I am SO excited to house shop I literally could not sleep. And it had nothing to do with babies. It was all in my head. <SIGH> I am just seriously lacking on so many sleep-fronts!)


Anyway...

One more book.

I was looking at blogs before about how to cope as an introvert mom.

Because once I had two kids it really dawned on me that I AM an introvert.
I've always known I was one.
But once I had two kids, I have been DYING for my introvert-down-time to recharge.

I could recharge during naps with one baby. But now with a baby and a toddler/preschooler  at once I feel like I do not get ANY chance to be alone and think and hear nothing around me. (Man before I had kids, I gave myself SO much of that.) And I gotta say -- it feels like sleep deprivation to me. Like even if I was getting enough sleep I would feel the same twitchy, irritable, foggy, just-wanna-eat-to-maybe-fix-this? feeling I get from not getting enough sleep. Because I am not recharged. (So when you mix that with not actually sleeping as well -- sheesh!)

Anyway,
on one of these blogs I started reading the comments and someone mentioned this book.

I looked it up and was automatically fascinated. (I was able to get it as an interlibrary loan.)

MotherStyles: 

Using Personality Type to Discover Your Parenting Strengths



Yes the cover is terribly terribly ugly and weird and unappealing. But....let us all remember:
"You can't judge a book by its cover."
(But those of us who like pretty things do wish we could give some makeovers!)


Its essentially taking your Myers Briggs Personality and applying it to being a mom.
So this is for extraverts just as much as introverts. It covers all the Myers Briggs Personas.

It pulls out your strengths and struggles in motherhood.

I like the author.
This may have something to do that she is my personality type. :) INFJ (And I get excited to meet or hear about someone with my type because it's really rare -- less than 1% of the population -- explains why I often feel like an odd ball!)
But I also like that she goes on to really lay out there what we kinda let happen in our minds when we try to be "super mom."  Like the idea that we should be always be consistent but we need to be flexible. I mean: yeah. In some ways. Yeah. But personality types have a way in which we lean -- more consistent or more flexible. And we can end up beating ourselves up trying to be it all, all the time.

In reading this book, it was the first time I was able to really let go of the idea of super mom. (And I didn't think I thought I wanted to be super mom to start with. But I did.) I've seen blogs posted on Facebook saying "Its ok if you are not super mom" but I always just got annoyed at those for one reason or another. This book was so clear in showing that super mom is kinda just a compilation of every mom mixed together -- and once I saw that I was like "oh....then....yeah...I can only be me." And since the author tells you what your strengths are, you feel more happy about that.

Also in the same sort of vein of super mom, I was able to see that some of my mom's strong strengths are my most direct weaknesses. And somehow reading that helped me to kinda let go of trying to make her strengths happen in my home. Because it's just really, really, really, really hard for me to even get close. And its never going to be my strong point. I have different ones. And that's ok.

She also lays out there a few ideas on how to cope with your struggles as a mom.
And I gotta say -- I felt really validated by what she wrote on mine. Because I had been making game plans to do what she was saying to do in my head (planning on implementing once we move -- since its kinda hard to do in transition-land) but I was feeling super guilt ridden about it. I felt like it made me wimpy. But just reading that its a good idea -- makes me feel like "ahhh." And more adapt to actually do it because I can see its a real need for me -- not a "wimpy-ness."

She also talks about how we can glean help and strength from other moms. And somehow in the clarity of seeing it laid out like this, I got the concept much better. Instead of mom-envy I can have mom-appreciation.

And she talks about how personalities can fit together in families. Kids and dads with moms.

I found it validating reading through all of it, including the part where she helps you figure out your personality type. Because despite having already known mine, she walks you through it with examples of being a mom. So I could sit there and think "Oh man I SO do that!" And its nice to know other moms do to.

I wish I could have read this before I became a mom. I think I would have liked knowing this stuff before hand. I doubt that I would have really grasped it or taken it seriously enough. But it would have been cool if Blake and I could have looked at it and talked about how to allow those coping ideas into our lives more readily, easily and earlier on. As well as budget for them. I think we could have supported each other in a more in-tuned way as we entered parenthood. (And even though this book is written to moms, you can look at your partner's personality type and still see his essence coming through loud and clear. So you can see what he likes and needs too. It will just be in a man way.)

Anyway...
If you are wanting to know your strengths as a mom,
Or needing a bit of "how do I work with myself on the stresses" advice. (There isn't TONS on that, but the small amount can feel really reassuring.)
Or just want to figure out a friend of yours, or a mother-in-law or sister-in-law etc,
Or you just really like Myers Briggs stuff,
then I think this book would be a great read for ya!

I'm really enjoying it and very happy I learned it exists!

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