96. Type 5 Mom (the Observer), Enneagram + Motherhood

The Type 5 on the Enneagram is also called the Investigator. They are someone who is watching and observing and analyzing how everything works.  They gather knowledge on how things work and how to navigate the world with their competence. 

They do have a focus on managing their own needs well so that they aren’t reliant on others. Let’s hear from Liz and Melissa on how being an Enneagram Type 5 empowers their motherhood and how it shows up in stress. 



When the Type 5 is in stress they move towards the Type 7 (adventurer) and become more restless and agitated.

When they are in a place of growth they move towards the full body empowerment of a Type 8 (maverick).

I also discuss the Harmonic Groups, this is how the Enneagram Types handle problems. 

The Type 5 belongs to the Competency Group, meaning they rely on logic (rather than emotion) to handle their problems. 


In this episode we will hear from Liz Squires, you can find her here at Fearless Birth Project And Melissa, from Enneagram Paths. 

Thank you, ladies, for sharing your motherhood journey with us and giving a voice to the Type 5 experience. 


Make sure to tag me in your Instagram and show some love to the ladies who have been coming on to share their stories!

If you want to listen to the LIVE Q+A where I answer the difference between the Type 4 and Type 5 then head over to the Simple on Purpose Community group to watch it. 


Enneagram and Motherhood, The Type 5



I’m really excited to continue on this series that we’re doing enneagram. And for those of you who haven’t heard of the enneagram, and you want to go back and listen to it, head on back a few episodes to what are your motives. The enneagram looks at our motives, more than it looks at our outward behavior. Like being an introverted extrovert, it looks at why we’re doing it instead of just what we’re doing.

It’s a really fascinating tool that I love to use in my coaching, that has just helped me so much in my life, in my relationships in my parenting, I just have a lot of passion for it. I think it is very powerful and brings a lot of awareness to us in our showing up in our life. And you know, me, I’m all about showing up for life showing up well for your actual life.

So today, we’re covering the type five, also known as the observer, or the investigator. And I have a couple of great type fives sharing with me. One is one of my online friends, Liz Squires, and the other one is an enneagram coach herself, Melissa. So thank you to both of those ladies for being the type fives who will come out of the shell, and share with us today.

So the type five, the observer, there’s someone who are always watching, they’re always observing and analyzing how the world works, they really want to figure it out. So that they can use this knowledge as a way of making themselves capable and competent in the world. They long to be capable and competent. And they are also someone who has a skill of reducing their own needs, so that they are not reliant on other people, they keep their needs very minimal and meet them themselves.

So when the type five is in a place of stress, they move towards the type seven, they become restless, agitated, distracted, scattered. When they are in a place of growth and strength, they move towards the type eight, and more so in that they take on the confidence in the empowered stands of a type eight, as they kind of fill up their whole body full of empowerment, because the type five lives in their head a lot. They want to be capable, they want to figure things out, they rely a lot on thinking about it, figuring it out, finding a way, and they spend a lot of time in their mind. So when they are in a place of strength, they’re going to occupy their entire body and their mind as well.

As I’ve explained in the past episodes, we’re talking about the harmonic groups. And these are categorized in the enneagram types by how they solve their problems. And the type five is part of the competency group, they are relying on a logic to solve their problems, especially the type three and five, they have a reputation for dissociating from their feelings and relying on facts. The type five, when it is faced with the problem, it wants to, to be the expert on it and wants to figure it out, it’s going to start researching facts and process. And they really do split off from their feelings. I love the five is stance to the system to the cultural norms to how things are done, that they are someone who also rejects the system. And I think it’s kind of interesting that they have a lot of power here where they gather all this information. And then they decide what they’re going to do with it. They don’t conform to really what everybody expects of them, or what society wants from them. So Hudson and Riso, in The Wisdom of the Enneagram, the book that I’ve been referencing, when I talk about the harmonic groups, they give a model to have the type five deals with the problems and it is this there are a number of hidden issues here. Let me think about this. So let me overthink my overthinking sometimes, the type five as you’re going to hear from these two moms, they are also focused on conserving their energy. They are the type who withdraw other people might exhaust them, they need to keep coming back to themselves and their solitude and just figuring out how to still be capable how to still be competent in the world. Alright, let’s hear from Liz and Melissa.

My name is Liz Squires, and I’m an enneagram type five. My type empowers me in my parenting to create a safe home for my kids. My home is my castle. And it’s really important for me to have a place that I can feel sheltered from the rest of the world to recharge. And I want to create that same place for my kids to recharge and feel a sense of belonging for all of us. On the flip side, it’s really hard for me when I feel that that space is being messed up or wrecked by kids because that’s what kids do. But I also feel empowered to want to be the mom that kids can come to with any question and I will have an answer. I feel valued by the knowledge that I have and when I can provide answers to questions, I feel like I have value as a mom. But it’s easy for me to detach from emotions and vulnerability when I’m under stress. And I don’t always feel super warm, and maternal in those moments. I’m really, really independent, which makes me a fantastic single mom. And I can handle a lot on my own. But I also don’t know how to ask for help when I actually do need it.

Hi, my name is Melissa, I am a type five. I’m an enneagram coach with enneagram pads coaching, and I am the mother of two children, one adopted and one biological, one is white and one is black. So we are also a mixed-race family, I find that being a type five parent empowers me to be incredibly observational with my children, I love learning about them. I love giving them a neutral space to become more of who they are. And I feel like it is a superpower to be able to constantly seek to understand who each child is in their own unique self. Areas of stress for me as a parent is a lot around energy, I have much less energy than both of my children who seem to be assertive stances at the moment. And my husband has also a sort of stance. So it’s three assertive stances with me withdrawing. And so energy is a big issue in our family. And they are very aggressive and what they want and need. And I have to work really hard to be able to provide the stimulation that they need and deserve. As well as just the relational aspect of needing time with mommy. And I don’t always have the energy and stamina that they require of me. And so it’s a dance between understanding what is good for them, and also what I need for myself in order to recharge, and rest and recover so that I can then go back into parenting as my best self. So that is me as a type five parent.

Thanks for having me.

Thanks again, Liz and Melissa, for sharing your motherhood experience with us. And I will be linking to Liz at Fearless Birth Project and Melissa at Enneagram Paths, go check them out. And if you want to hear a bit more about the type five, head on over to the simple on purpose Facebook community. Last week, I did a live on enneagram q&a there and one of the questions was how do I tell the difference between being a type four and a type five. So I’ve run through the type five in a bit more detail there if you want to check that out. And I would encourage you as you’re listening to these episodes, please share it please share it with other moms and share it and tag me on Instagram because I want to share it too as a way to show the moms who have shared their voices hear their experiences hear that people are listening and it is helping them. So let’s give these moms a thank you. Tag me on Instagram @simpleonpurpose.ca and let’s show them some love. Alright, I’ll talk to you soon.


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