What Each Myers-Briggs® Personality Type is Like as a Mom

Have you ever wondered how your personality type impacts your parenting style? A lot of mommy blogs and mom magazines assume a “one size fits all” approach to parenting that may alienate mothers who don’t fit the stereotypical definitions. Introverted moms, for example, may not be thrilled to spend afternoons at playgroups and intuitive moms may struggle with the practical details of parenting. While no two moms are alike, there are some common ties that each type seem to have in common. Let’s take a look!

Not sure what your personality type is? Take our new personality questionnaire here. Or you can take the official MBTI® here.

What Each Myers-Briggs® Personality Type is Like as a Mom

Disclaimer: This article will discuss healthy versions of each type. We’re not going into the types when they’re imbalanced or under stress. Not every single mother will fit these descriptions 100%.

What Each Myers-Briggs® Personality Type is Like as a Mom

The Introverted Sensing (SJ) Parents

Common Characteristics of Introverted Sensing Parents:

– Practical
– Routine-Oriented
– Loyal
– Structured
– Responsible
– Dependable
– Community-centered

The ISTJ Mom – Dependable and Structured

The ISTJ mother shows her love for her children by creating security, routine, and consistency. She is there for her kids no matter what, and has a plan so that life never feels out of control or unpredictable. She is reserved yet thoughtful, taking in everything around her and trying to decide what will give her kids the best future. She savors each moment, trying to remember each detail so that she can re-play them in her mind in the days to come. She may be strict, but this strictness comes from a place of love. She wants her children to feel prepared for their lives as adults and know how to handle the hardships of life, show respect for others, work hard, and be honest citizens. When her kids come to her with a problem she listens attentively, considers all the facts and details, and tries to think of the most logical and efficient course of action.

The ISTJ mom might struggle with the haphazard nature of life with children. Noise, messy rooms, and children who don’t like structure or to-do lists maybe overwhelming to her. She may feel the need to lecture and create more rules or better plans to create some semblance of order in her home. It’s important for her to schedule quiet time for herself so that she can recharge and clear her head after those inevitably exhausting days.

The ISFJ Mom – Generous and Nurturing

The ISFJ mother shows her love for her children by showing affection, creating structure, and diligently attending to their daily needs. She is a gentle and compassionate mother who loves to wrap her kids in her arms and listen to their thoughts and feelings. Practicality is in her nature; hair will be combed, schedules will be planned out, and to-do lists will be checked off. The ISFJ mother truly enjoys the day-to-day details of parenting and loves being able to provide hands-on care for her children. She takes her responsibility very seriously and will try to be a positive role model in all she does. When her children come to her with concerns she will take their feelings and values into consideration. She may sometimes struggle with giving “hard truths” if it may hurt her children’s feelings or disrupt harmony.

The ISFJ mother can forget to take care of her own needs in an effort to create a harmonious atmosphere for her family. She may struggle with finding alone time, or pursuing her own interests and hobbies. If family members don’t acknowledge her care and consideration she can feel very depressed and disillusioned. She may also find herself worrying about her children’s safety and security more than the typical parent. It’s important for the ISFJ mother to get regular feedback and affirmation, as well as make time for her own needs. When it comes to her children’s safety, it’s important for her to find practical tools she can use (like a Personal Emergency Response GPS Watch or instilling some basic safety guidelines) to put her mind at ease.

The ESTJ Mom – Efficient and Dedicated

The ESTJ mother shows her love for her children by teaching them responsibility, giving them structure, and encouraging them to participate in their communities. She is an affectionate, persevering mother who believes that boundaries are created for the protection and security of the child. As a result, children know what’s expected of them, and can count on a well planned-out routine. ESTJ moms can seem strict, but this is done from a place of love. They believe that a disciplined, hard-working child will have a more successful future and they strive to give their children the character and tools necessary for a happy, independent adult life. When her children come to her for advice she will give straight, common-sense answers.

ESTJ moms may struggle with knowing how to handle emotional children who act on their feelings instead of thinking through problems logically. They may also struggle with children who place more value on theory and imagination than the practical concerns of the day. ESTJs tend to have very “black and white” thinking and it can be difficult for them to give credence to “shades of gray”. They can also be so hard working and hold themselves to such a high standard that they burn out. It’s important for them to take time to recharge; whether that’s meeting with a friend or resting at home with a good book.

The ESFJ Mom – Thoughtful and Encouraging

The ESFJ mother shows her love for her children by giving affection, warmth, and consistent dedication. They adore nurturing their children, especially in the infant years when they are so desperately needed. They are friendly, kind-hearted mothers; sure to give plenty of hugs and cuddles and kiss away tears. They believe it’s important for children to feel part of a community, and they will often encourage their children to participate and get to know other people. They will take their children’s friendships seriously, ensuring they have a solid support system throughout life. When it comes to order and structure, the ESFJ mother has that under control. She believes consistent routine and reliable boundaries keep her children safe and secure in a steady environment. When her children come to her for advice, she’ll give them practical but conscientious wisdom and insight.

ESFJ moms may struggle with feeling over-protective of their children. They can worry a lot about dangers and threats and can feel a push and pull between being a helicopter parent and giving their children the freedom to be independent and confident. It’s important for them to get support in this area and to find balance. It’s also important for them to give more introverted children some space and not to pressure them into too many social engagements.

The Extraverted Sensing Parents

Common Characteristics of Extraverted Sensing Parents:

– Open-minded
– Realistic
– Practical
– Experience-driven
– Fun-loving
– Independent

The ISTP Mom – Open-Minded and Resourceful

The ISTP mother shows her love by giving her children freedom, acceptance, and knowledge of practical life skills. She fosters self-sufficiency in her children and gives them the tools necessary to feel that they can handle life without hovering eyes. She’s a realistic and loving mother; her children will probably know how to get out of a scrape effectively and they may even pick up on some handy survival skills too! The ISTP mom believes that her children have a right to their own opinions and she doesn’t try to push her agendas on them. She truly respects and admires her children’s own unique interests and is ready with the tools when they need some guidance or hands-on assistance. When her children come to her for advice, the ISTP mom is ready with common-sense, logical answers.

ISTP moms may struggle with knowing how to handle emotionally-charged situations with their children. Because they have inferior Extraverted Feeling (Fe) it can be difficult for them to know how to handle meltdowns or the emotional drama often inherent with parenting. They may not know the right words to say or the right questions to ask when a child gets moody or needs some counseling. That said, their open-minded patience and common-sense realism can be just the thing for many children who don’t like the emotional hovering that many moms rely on. It can also be difficult for ISTP moms to connect with other mothers and find the support they need. It’s important for her to take time for herself and her own interests. It’s also important for her to recognize and utilize her unique strengths and not feel bad that she doesn’t fit the stereotypical sensing-feeling mom stereotype.

The ISFP Mother – Gentle and Accepting

The ISFP mother shows her love by giving her children acceptance, empathy, and unforgettable experiences. She may be on the quiet side, but this doesn’t keep her from showing her children all the wonder and experience life has to offer. Whether it’s dancing together in pajamas or whipping up a batch of chocolate chip pancakes on a Saturday morning, ISFPs enjoy the many ways they can help their children embrace the beauty/sights/sounds/tastes of life. ISFP moms are amazing listeners who open their minds to understand their children’s unique perspectives. They will give their children the freedom to explore their own pursuits and passions, and they’ll provide practical help when it’s needed. ISFP moms rarely hover or get overly-controlling. They take pride in fostering their child’s own individuality. When their children come to them for advice, the ISFP mom provides empathy and offers conscientious, common-sense wisdom.

ISFP moms may struggle with burning out more than other types. They have a tendency to give, give, and give in their relationships and can forget to take time for themselves. They can also struggle with knowing how to handle discipline. Because ISFPs are naturally non-controlling of others, and because they empathize with their children so greatly, it can be hard for them to be consistent in discipline. They tend to feel conflicted and overwhelmed when discipline is needed. It’s important for ISFP moms to get time for themselves to recharge and meet their own needs. It’s also important for them to find support with their partner in coming up with a consistent approach towards discipline that doesn’t violate their values.

The ESTP Mom – Practical and Exciting

The ESTP mother shows her love by giving her children exciting experiences and balancing that with practical, hands-on knowledge and common sense. The ESTP is a fun-loving mom who truly enjoys the art of playtime; whether it involves throwing a ball around outside or competing with her kids at the arcade. She sets an example of how to enjoy life “in the moment” and make the most of any opportunity. She fosters independence in her children and tries to give them the practical life tools necessary for self-sufficiency. She appreciates each child’s unique characteristics and tries to give them the freedom to discover their own unique path in life. When her children come to her for advice, she’s logical, practical, and often uses humor to show understanding or help her children lighten up or smile.

ESTP moms may struggle with the routine and structure parenthood naturally entails. They don’t like feeling “tied down” and can get frustrated with the mundane details of daily life. It may be frustrating for them to maintain a consistent schedule and they may get restless with parent-teacher conversations and playdates. They also run the risk of being misunderstood in their communities. The majority of other women are SFJs and SFPs, and ESTPs may find it difficult to find other moms they truly connect with. It’s important for them to get regular doses of excitement and adventure, and it’s also important for them to have families who support their action-oriented/straight-forward nature.

The ESFP Mom – Playful and Affectionate

The ESFP mother shows her love by being open-minded, affectionate, and providing fun and laughter. These moms are charismatic and lively, full of ideas and experiences that capture the timeless joy and exuberance of childhood. They are good listeners, affectionate, and ready to engage with any new game or activity that will make their children smile. They bring humor and adventure into their children’s lives, and they also teach them the joy of living in the moment. In the words of my own ESFP mom, “everything will be alright! No use worrying about tomorrow when you can enjoy today!”. When children come to an ESFP mom for advice, she offers common-sense wisdom along with empathy and creative solutions.

ESFP mothers may struggle with the structure and routine of parenting. While this varies from mother to mother, they often find that the “rules” of parenting can be confining. Making it to parent-teacher conferences, being consistent in discipline, and adhering to pre-ordained schedules can feel overwhelming to them. It’s important for them to get daily doses of freedom and also to get acknowledgment for the joy and generosity they infuse into every family relationship.

The Introverted Intuitive Parents

Characteristics of Introverted Intuitive (NJ) Parents

– Future-focused
– “Big picture” oriented
– Strategic
– Philosophical
– Loyal
– Driven

The INTJ Mom – Independent and Intellectual

The INTJ mother shows her love by providing her children with structure, logical guidance, and the tools to be independent and confident in themselves. These are mothers with a long-range plan and vision. They seem to have an innate understanding of their children’s gifts and weaknesses. They encourage their children to be brave in the face of obstacles and to see deeply into situations to find unique opportunities and possibilities. They are pragmatic but also thoughtful and caring, loyally devoted to their children and determined to put their best face forward. When their children come to them for advice, INTJ mothers listen carefully and provide rational thought and strategic insight into how to overcome problems and achieve goals.

INTJ mothers may struggle with relentless perfectionism. They hold themselves to an incredibly high standard and also have high expectations for their children. They can get frustrated with themselves and others when life inevitably gets overwhelming and things don’t line up with their vision. They also can struggle with multi-tasking and dealing with the mundane details of daily parenting life. It’s important for them to get regular alone time to recoup and engage in their own interests. It’s also important for them to assess their expectations and give themselves permission not to be “perfect” all the time.

The INFJ Mom -Visionary and Empathetic

The INFJ mother shows her love by providing her children with affection, empathy, and insight. These mothers lead by example and are determined to foster each child’s unique gifts and abilities. They can easily see how events may play out in the future, and as a result, are careful to ensure their children are given the tools and encouragement needed to reach their goals. For the INFJ, being a mom is a divine calling and a terrible opportunity to waste. She will put every effort into being a safe haven and a place where her children can express their thoughts and feelings freely without worry or fear. When asked for advice, she will try to empathize and see the child’s unique perspective and find the best strategic solutions.

INFJ mothers may struggle with perfectionism and anxiety when it comes to their parenting abilities. They often try to do everything “perfectly” from having a perfectly clean house to always knowing just the right words to say. The reality of parenting; laundry, cooking, disciplining, and dealing with drastically different personalities from their own, can be daunting. INFJs tend to dislike mundane chores and they can feel confused with discipline because they empathize so strongly with their children. It’s important that INFJ mothers get regular breaks and alone time to recharge and re-assess difficult situations. They also may need to work with their children to come up with a written agreement for duties and discipline, so that they can be consistent more easily.

Want to discover the unique joys and struggles of the INFJ life? Check out The INFJ – Understanding the Mystic

The ENTJ Mom – Confident and Strategic

The ENTJ mother shows her love by creating structure, modeling responsibility, and motivating children towards their potential. She is organized and planful, giving her children safe boundaries but also encouraging independence. She is an excellent troubleshooter who finds innovative solutions to complex problems and encourages her children to think for themselves to find logical courses of action. She is an excellent teacher who tries to find opportunities to challenge her children and make them think and find creative solutions. When her children come to her for advice she provides logical, straightforward answers or strategic insight into dealing with struggles in their lives.

ENTJ mothers may struggle with the often slow or distracting pace of parenting. They like to have focus and clear direction, and they like to accomplish goals quickly and efficiently. Dealing with dawdling, tantrums, and the inevitable delays of parenting can be frustrating for them. They can also struggle with the emotional issues involved in parenting. Because ENTJs have inferior Introverted Feeling (Fi) they can have difficulty with understanding their children’s intense emotions or staying patient during meltdowns. They may not know the right words to say or they may try to “fix” the problems their kids are having instead of simply listening and empathizing.

The ENFJ Mom – Understanding and Inspiring

The ENFJ mother shows her love by giving affection, encouragement, and by believing in her children whole-heartedly. She has a unique ability to see each child’s potential and inspire them to reach it. She is organized and goal-oriented, with a clear vision for the future and a strong desire to see her children’s dreams become a reality. Life is never dull with an ENFJ mom; she is lively, charismatic, and usually has an adventurous streak as well. Empathy comes naturally to her and she will rejoice in her children’s joys and relate to and comfort them in their sadness. When asked for advice, the ENFJ mother offers understanding, guidance, and gentle encouragement.

ENFJ mothers may struggle with being over-protective or “smothering” their children. They have very strong values that they want to be recognized and adopted by their children. When these values are ignored or when their efforts aren’t appreciated they can feel overwhelmed and lost. They may also struggle with handling disharmony in the home. Conflict is so stressful for ENFJs that staying consistent in discipline and dealing with disagreements can cause them emotional turmoil.  It’s important for ENFJs to get plenty of time with good friends and confidantes they can rely on for emotional support. It’s also important for them to get support from their partners and come to a mutual agreement with discipline that both can feel good about.

The Extraverted Intuitive Parents

Characteristics of Extraverted Intuitive Parents:

– Open-Minded
– Future-focused
– Innovative
– Imaginative
– Spontaneous
– Visionary

The ENTP Mom – Enthusiastic and Innovative

The ENTP mom shows her love for her children by listening to them, engaging with them, and giving them the freedom to explore their own unique passions and gifts. These moms have an infectious enthusiasm for new ideas and possibilities and they adore bringing their children along for the journey. They believe in thinking outside-the-box and giving their children freedom and independence to innovate and experiment as well. They also believe in giving them logical ways to troubleshoot real life problems. They are natural teachers, who enjoy learning alongside their children and seeing them explore the world around them.

ENTP moms tend to struggle with the mundane daily chores involved with parenting. From getting kids to school on time to fixing meals or doing laundry, they can sometimes feel stifled by tasks that don’t stimulate them mentally. It’s important for them to get time to themselves to explore their own interests and ideas, and it’s also important for them to have friends with similar interests who they can discuss interesting topics with other than parenting.

The ENFP Mom – Creative and Charismatic

The ENFP mom shows her love for her children by inspiring them, accepting them, and helping them believe in and achieve their dreams. She is always looking for ideas and potential, always open to a new thought-provoking question from her child. She can be adventurous and daring, but she can also enjoy those quiet moments with her children where she listens to their hopes, worries, and ideas. She tries to infuse every day with imagination and optimism for the future. Her children will feel truly accepted, listened to, and encouraged in their dreams. It’s unlikely that a home with an ENFP mom will ever be boring or rigid or highly-structured. When her children come to her for advice she will try to respond with empathy and creative solutions.

ENFP moms tend to struggle with the day-in and day-out chores of parenting. Doing laundry, bussing kids back and forth to school, all these things can feel draining to the ENFP. They can also find themselves overwhelmed when conflict surfaces in the home. From dishing out discipline to handling disrespect, all these issues can raise up numerous conflicting emotions and ideas inside her. She may have a hard time deciding which action to take because she identifies so strongly with her children. It’s important for the ENFP mom to take time to focus on her own needs and to find friends who share similar interests outside of parenting. It’s also important for her to find support and shared goals with her partner so that there don’t collide over conflicting opinions about discipline.

The INTP Mom – Inventive and Intellectual

The INTP mom shows her love by teaching her children, giving them acceptance, and patiently answering a thousand “why’s” without losing her cool. She is a steadfast mother who loves the curiosity and imagination of her children. She may be on the quiet side, but she can share in deep, creative conversations with her children about the nature of life and the possibilities within it. She doesn’t try to control or mold her children; instead, she tries to notice their natural gifts and give them simple tools for succeeding in life and being independent. The INTP mom loves teaching her children and seeing them experiment and question things. This acceptance and open-mindedness helps her children to feel like they can come to her with any concern or problem and she will take them seriously and discuss it with them. When her children come to her for advice, she will listen patiently and offer logical solutions.

INTP moms can struggle with the mundane routines involved with parenting. From picking up toys to doing the laundry, all these things can feel like an interruption to her thoughts and independent activities. She can also struggle with the noise and commotion involved with parenting. It’s important for her to get regular alone time so that she can pursue her own interests and enjoy some peace and quiet.

The INFP Mom – Imaginative and Compassionate

The INFP mom shows her love for her children by giving them acceptance, empathy, and insight. She is slow to judge and abundant in her compassion. She adores being able to inspire wonder in her children, to be able to read to them and furnish their imagination with beauty and possibility. She is an incredible listener who enjoys hearing about her children’s unique hopes and dreams. She is also extremely empathetic to their troubles and tries to find ways to help them go through life with companionship and true understanding. When her children come to her for advice, she will offer empathy and imaginative solutions.

INFP moms can struggle with the noise and chaos of family life. They can also struggle with over-empathizing with their children and being unsure of how to discipline as a result. Being consistent with rules can be a struggle for them, and they can also feel intense pain when their children experience hardships in life. They may find themselves worrying excessively about their children’s emotional well-being. It’s important for them to find time for themselves to assess how they are feeling, and how to handle the challenges inherent with parenting. It’s also important for them to find ways to separate themselves from their children’s emotions; not totally, but enough so that they can try to look at the situation objectively and not become overwhelmed by emotions to such an extent that they feel confused or unsure what to do.

What Do You Think?

Do you have any advice for moms of your type? Share your thoughts in the comments! Also, I’d love it if you shared this post with any of your friends who might find it helpful!

Find out more about your personality type in our eBook, Discovering You: Unlocking the Power of Personality Type.

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  1. My mom is an ISFP, but due to my father being a strong ISTJ influence, she can actually be pretty controlling/have a lot of “hover mother” tendencies–I think she’s caught in a web of Inferior Te, which she is unused to using 😛 (def not the most logical person out there, and she is pretty spontaneous…) It’s funny bc this implies they don’t really have a “controlling” side…. well, given under the right circumstances, ISFPs CAN have some very controlling tendencies. She genuinely struggles with the idea of me leaving the nest permanently, and often obsesses over things like my bank account, what I wear, etc, which is unnerving to me. (I’m INFJ, so it took a bit of guts to tell her, an equally sensitive type, that her actions made me resent her)

    1. I’ve had a similar situation though reversed. my father is an isfp and my mother an istj.
      hes genuinely messed up over things that would be hurtful to those hes stressed out about but my mother isn’t. she is able to touch him and reach his mind for us kids but instead of smothering us i felt the cold shoulder a lot from my mother and hurts from my fathers sides of things. i am an isfj, , a, 4w5 so basically i live for the practical and meaning but not as strictly scheduled as most istjs or isfjs either. i took after my mother too just not as strongly as my fathers side of things. which might be why i am 1 point off from being an isfp. my son is an infp. a lot of these descriptions didn’t seem plausible pattern-wise to my experiences either.

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