The Things I See On My Daily Walk

Aug24

INFJ Personality and Motherhood

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I’m one of those weird mothers.

I wanted to have a natural birth so that I could experience the experience. Wanted to connect to a higher power, to lay down a solid foundation for my new family.

When my firstborn was two years old, I decided to become a stay-at-home mom. Which meant, my husband had to find a different job to cover our lost wages. And that’s why this Italian New Yorker moved to the middle of the country – a place that doesn’t really do real talk, or laugh hysterically at the dark side of life. Or, at least not where anyone can hear you.

After I had two unnecessary cesareans, I became committed to helping other women not have their bodies sliced open, and only because the doctor wanted a bigger house. It was from assisting at births that I first discovered Midwesterners do real talk alright, and that they certainly understood dark humor. Because if there’s anything that’s a constant in labor, it’s there’s no capacity to hold back.

I’m one of those moms who marched herself back to the gym every autumn. In exercise class, when the other mothers would be raucously celebrating their freedom again, there I’d be, the lone person at the back of the room, trying not to cry that her children were back in school.

I might be the only woman on the face of the planet who said to my kids on a regular basis, “Hey, do you want to stay home from school today? We could go do …” And I’m probably the only mother who had her kids implore, “Mom, we can’t stay home with you again, we have to go to school sometimes!”

There’s more to this sordid tale that I know you’d find even more outlandish, but let me get to the point.

What does an INFJ personality have to do with motherhood?

Everything.

I raised my son and daughter exactly the same way. Still, Tara takes after her straight-laced, cerebral father, and Andrew, poor kid, is just like you know who.

A mama’s boy until age ten – he was so in-love with me – and man was that so great! But then he turned. Seeking independence, my boy has been pulling away ever since. He’s 27 now, and I often wonder why he isn’t putting a move on to disentangle himself from me so that we can get back to having longer conversations. But he’s not ready. He’s still seeking evidence to prove that he isn’t one iota like the woman whose body he came from.

This is where the Myers-Briggs personality test comes in. My son brought it to me one day. And I could tell as he watched me filling it out, that he just knew I’d test out as having the craziest personality the authors had identified.

I’m an INFJ – the Advocate. And yes, the INFJ personality type is very rare, making up less than one percent of the population.

Does that mean I’m crazy?

Those belonging to this group have an inborn sense of idealism and morality. What sets them apart is that they are not idle dreamers, but people capable of taking concrete steps to realize their goals and make a lasting positive impact.

INFJs tend to see helping others as their purpose in life, but their real passion is to get to the heart of the issue so that people need not be rescued. I know this to be true, as my children have heard me say a million times, “C’mon! Help me help you.”

INFJs have strong opinions and will fight for an idea they believe in. They are decisive and strong-willed, but will rarely use that energy for personal gain. Egalitarianism and karma are very attractive ideas, and they believe nothing would help the world so much as using love and compassion to soften the hearts of tyrants.

Last, and most importantly, they know things intuitively, without being able to pinpoint why, and without detailed knowledge of the subject at hand. They are usually right, and they usually know it.

Okay, I admit it. I resonate with the INFJ personality.

But guess what? So does my son.

I wish you could’ve seen the look on his face when the results of my quiz came in. Them revealing that he and I weren’t polar opposite personality types, but exactly the same. Can you imagine the hysterical laughter that ensued, and that, directly in front of a Midwest born and bred boy?

Sucks to be Andrew.