95. Type 4 Mom (the Individualist), Enneagram + Motherhood

The Type 4 on the Enneagram is also called the Individualist, or the Romantic. They have a reputation of being artistic, expressive and willing to feel a range of emotions. 

Which I think makes them very brave and they hold a lot of space for those in suffering and those who long to express themselves. 


The Type 4 is part of the reactive group when it comes to dealing with problems. This means they respond/express themselves and look for an emotional response from those around them. A Type 4 craves been seen and supported in these times. 

Which makes them so adept at expression and emotional attunement. 


When in a place of growth the Type 4 will move towards the Type 1 and become more objective and practical. When in stress they will move towards the Type 2 and become clingy and look for reassurance from others. 


Thank you to the two moms sharing their experience with us today. 

Thank you Shawna and Laura. You can find Laura at Fjord Creative. 


In the Simple on Purpose Community group, I did a LIVE Q+A on the Enneagram and one of the questions I answered was how to tell the difference between the Type 4 and the Type 5. Head here if you want to see it (and other lives)

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Enneagram and motherhood The Type 4


At simple on purpose, I am all about helping you simplify your life, whether it is your home, your heart, your general life, so that you can slow down, pay attention to the things that matter most to you, and show up well for them. I want you to enjoy your life, I want you to enjoy motherhood, enjoy your job, enjoy your home, I want you to enjoy the life you actually have.

We are continuing on this week with our series on the enneagram and motherhood. And today I have a couple of type fours sharing. The type fours are also called the individualist or the romantic, they are very expressive, they are known as artistic types, they are known as people who can just hold a lot of emotional space, they’re very open to experiencing and feeling and making space for their whole emotional range, which I think makes them very brave.

When a type four is under stress, and they’re not feeling very healthy, they’re going to move towards the qualities of a type two, they are going to be clingy and look for reassurance look to a lot of the people around them for reassurance and validation.

When they are in a healthier place, they move towards the qualities of the type one not so much the perfectionist and critical qualities, but the qualities of the type one that allow them to step out of that fantasy world in their mind, and come in and engage in the real life world to be more objective, and to apply themselves to whatever they want to do with a more practical approach rather than an emotional repro approach.

So I’ve been explaining the harmonic groups through these episodes. And that is how each type deals with problems when things don’t go their way. And the type fours are part of the reactive group, which means they are the enneagram types, who will react strongly and look for a response from others. So they’re very expressive. When a type four is handling problems, and things aren’t going their way they seek being seen, they seek someone who can understand them and support them, because they really fear that no one is going to support them and care for them. So they have different strategies depending on how healthy they’re feeling with how they will do that. But Hudson and Riso again, I’m referencing The Wisdom of the Enneagram book, they have this motto that the type four adopts with how they deal with problems, and it is I feel really hurt and I need to express myself.

So expressing themselves is a way that they are seen in the world. And the type fours are known for a lot of amazing artistic achievements in our world. And like I said, they just hold space for us. I think they’re very special type. They’re the most emotionally in tune type. And you’re going to hear that in the moms who are sharing about their experience today. Sorry, I’m dropping the books here.

So I have two mums sharing. One is a mum with smaller kids, which I think is a great insight into that snapshot of life and another mom who is in the teen years. Both of them you will hear are just very aware of their emotional life. And I love that they view motherhood is the arena where they can get a handle on that where they can start to take the driver’s seat of their emotions. You will also hear Laura mentioned that she has this desire to be purposeful. And as I said the type fours are very expressive so their purposefulness is often found in their expressive endeavors. Do you ever feel that need to just make something to just create something like you just want to get it out of your head and into life? That is kind of how the type four is feeling quite often. Alright, so thank you to our two moms sharing today, Laura and Shana. Let’s hear from them.

Hello, my name is Laura. I am a four wing five. I am a full time mom of a almost four year old and a one year old and also a freelance graphic designer. So I have never had trouble seeing how my type shows itself in my chosen choice of profession as a designer. That’s kind of obvious. I love the creative industry. But trying to apply it to my parenting style is definitely something I hadn’t thought about before. I can see how my emotional intelligence that extra bit of understanding what’s going on on an emotional level as a four has really helped me terms of empathy of understanding where my kids are at what’s actually driving their responses and their actions in a way that I can tell like my husband doesn’t quite get nine. So that’s definitely a benefit. I’ve also seen especially being locked at home with my kids, that I have a great creative Arsenal when it comes to coming up with things To do, and projects to try. But that definitely leads to one of the things I struggle with as a four is that constant need to feel like I am working towards a purpose and a goal like I’m not, I’m not trying to achieve things so much as accomplish something purposeful of my day. And I find that often comes in the form of trying to find creative projects for myself that are fulfilling for me, that I’m trying to do in and around my kids, which can definitely mean it gives me life, but it can be pretty distracting and take away my focus, which doesn’t always work out for my kids very well. So it’s definitely something I have to be aware of. I think also, probably any four would say, struggle with your own emotion regulation. And that’s just that much harder when you’re juggling little kids and their big feelings as well. And trying to put aside my own stuff in order to help them deal is definitely an ongoing challenge.

My name is Shawna and I’m a type four on the enneagram. One thing that stands out to me right off the bat about being a type four and mothering. I’ve always had to have my own identity, and then have a mothering style from there. So I see that as different from my other friends and acquaintances, who I think can much more easily become the mum. For me, the mum is an aspect of my identity. And I’ve become very unhappy if that sort of became my identity. Created creativity has definitely always been a focus in our home, as well as trying new things. And the desire for new things and experiences, I think is fueled by the desire for beauty and sensation as opposed to fun, though it is fun as well. So I see this differently, especially with my type seven friends, where the pace of doing new things, or having fun is just very different because I like to just savor that beauty and enjoyment and reflect on it in between. So it comes at a much slower pace for me as a type four. Also feelings and emotions and understanding them is a very big thing in our household. And I have quite a good read on people in general emotionally. And I certainly do have my child, which can be really great. And it can also lead me to a lot of worry if I let that get out of control, and go into that a 10 intense emotional cycle that type fours can get into. Another thing is that I’m in parenting in the mid teenage years right now. So I’ve never longed for one specific stage, I always like the change the new exciting growth of moving into another stage. But one thing about this stage in particular of having a team is that I can catch myself worrying, worrying about my child’s growing independence and self expression. I think that’s related to the wounding of type fours, and how we didn’t see ourselves related to and connected to our parents in any way. So that can be kind of triggering for me as my child becomes her own person that’s different from me, and that’s her job as a teenager. But I can let myself go down the emotional path of, Oh, no, I don’t know who this person is. I can’t see myself in this anymore and then go into a very deep emotional response. if I’m not careful. I think becoming a mother was what it took for me to want to learn to figure out my emotional life and become healthier. And so a lot of my daughter’s early childhood was me trying to figure that out. And I struggled to know whether that was the self centered aspect of a four or whether that was just necessary. So that I could gain those skills and have a much better balance in my life and in my relationship with her. So these are some of my thoughts on being a type four and being a mother.

Thank you, Laura and Shawna for sharing your experiences for being the voice of the type force. I’m also going to link to Laura in the show notes. She has a beautiful design company called fjord creative. Check her out in the Facebook group this week, I did an enneagram q&a live. And one of the questions I answered was, how do you type between being a type four and a type five. So if you want to hear about that, if you want to hear a bit more about how the enneagram can help you help you show up for the different areas of your life, then go and check out that Facebook Live from this week. I’m gonna link that in the show notes. You can join our Facebook community, we would love to have you there. It’s a place to bring all of your questions. If you’re curious about what type you might be. If you’re wondering how you can grow in your type, definitely come there and share it with me there and I will do a live or I will just message you back right in the comments there. All right, friends, Tomorrow is Saturday. Are you on the simple Saturdays email newsletter, it comes out every other Saturday. And this is a fun one. I am talking about baking and cooking with my children, which is something I hate to do, and I’m trying to love. So if you are on the email list, go check your email in the morning. And if you’re not on the email list, why not we have so much fun there it is fun email. I’m going to link in the show notes, a signup form. And I hope you will come and join us there as well. All right, have a great week.




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