Last month, we learned all about Enneagram Type 1 — Reformer Moms. This month in our Enneagram mom series, we are focusing on Enneagram Type 2 — The Helper Moms! Helper moms are typically generous, possessive, and strive to please others. They consistently take care of everyone else. They fear to be unwanted or unworthy of being loved.
Enneagram Type 2 — The Helper Mom
Here are some helpful parenting tips for Enneagram Type 2 moms:
1. Know your worth.
“For every kind soul you meet with a beautiful story to tell, may you know that you are worthy of being seen that way, as well.” – Morgan Harper Nichols, musician
Type 2s tend to fear to be unworthy of love above all else. As a parent who is a 2, please know that you are worthy of love just the way you are. You don’t need to do anything for anyone to earn the love and respect of others. Also, you do not need to explain or validate how you choose to parent your children or run your household. You are a wonderful and loving mother and are worthy of respect and love. Also, take the time to do things to remember your unique self regularly. For example, invest in yourself through artistic creation, research your family’s cultural roots, go on a personal shopping spree, or figure out who you are apart from your relationships with other people. Always remember that you are a good mother and you are worthy.
2. Take inventory of your needs.
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” – Aristotle
As helpers, Enneagram Type 2 moms often put the needs of their children and others above their own, sometimes to the detriment of their health and sanity. As a parent who is a 2, be sure to take a regular inventory of your own needs. Be honest with yourself about who you are and what you require to be happy. You cannot pour from an empty cup.
3. State your needs clearly.
“If you don’t love yourself, nobody will. Not only that, but you also won’t be good at loving anyone else. Loving starts with the self.” – Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, author and self-development speaker
Type 2s frequently struggle to voice their own needs because they are overly focused on helping everyone else get what they need instead. Remember that your family members cannot and will not fill your needs if you never voice them. When you don’t ask you don’t get, so stand up for yourself, kindly but firmly, as much as possible. They may balk at your newfound assertiveness at first, but they will grow accustomed to it in time if you make voicing your needs a habit. And soon everyone will be happier because mama is happy.
4. Set boundaries.
“And she loved a little boy very, very much-even more than she loved herself.” – Shel Silverstein, poet, and author of the famous children’s book, The Giving Tree
Enneagram Type 2 moms are the ultimate givers. Like the used up tree in The Giving Tree book, they often give and give until all that’s left is a figurative “stump” of themselves, and they have nothing left to offer. Then it’s common to become bitter that no one saw their needs. As a parent who is a 2, set and maintain clear personal boundaries with your children and others, regarding your time and energy, to avoid burnout. It’s okay to step away and take breaks from helping them from time to time.
5. Be kind to yourself.
“The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself.” – Maya Angelou, poet, and activist
Type 2s, when you stop thinking you are unworthy of love or need to do things for others to earn their love, others will take notice and eventually show you the love you deserve. Treat yourself the way you want to be treated, instead of always treating others the way you want to be treated. The Golden Rule is great, but 2s tend to take it too far and neglect to treat themselves well in the process. People will generally treat you how you expect to be treated.
6. Take care of your needs, too.
“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we’ll ever do.” – Brené Brown, Ph.D., author, speaker, podcast host, social worker, shame researcher, and University of Houston professor
Enneagram Type 2 moms often spend a lot of their time and mental energy keeping track of and taking care of everyone else’s needs. As a parent who is a 2, remember to take care of yourself and meet your own needs each day, as well. Otherwise, you are likely to eventually find yourself in an unhealthy place of martyrdom and resentment. Don’t neglect your own needs to make your kids and everyone else around you happy. (Because if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!)
Stay tuned next month for more on the Enneagram Type 3–The Achiever Moms!
If you don’t know your Enneagram type yet and would like to find out, it’s as easy as taking a test online. You can take the Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator (RHETI) for $12 or read through The Enneagram Institute’s descriptions of the nine types. There is also a free enneagram type test available through Your Enneagram Coach.