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What’s Your Mom Style?

November 25, 2014

Written by Marykate O’Malley, mother of three wonderful children, Gladwyne, PA 


Myers Briggs I am ENFJ. Disk an I with some S style. Predictive Index low A, high B, C on the line, and high D. Strength Finders my top stregnth is Connectedness which Donald Clifton says I could spend a lifetime focusing on that just that one alone. Connectedness is followed by Developer, Strategy, Responsibility, and Input, with Positivity, Ideation, Futuristic, Empathy, Individualization, and Maximizer to follow.

As a teen I used to scour tests in the back of 17 Magazine with my sister, in our room, filling in each small circle to reveal the core truth of who we are – would you rather go to the movies or read a book? Soda or hot chocolate? Walk in the woods or city streets? Today there are tests all over Facebook – what city should you live in? How happy are you? What Dallas star are you? What car should you drive? Who are you really. 


photo (15)

Photograph courtesy of Rachel McGinn photography


As a mom my Connectedness looks like – “you guys are able to work this out, you are saying the same thing here”… My Positivity can at times border inappropriate with “well, I know that you just tore your favorite shirt / broke your new toy / dropped your ice cream in the street but the good news is….”  said with a sincere smile. Usually met by a bewildered look or an expressionless face on which I can paint the words swarming in your little head like an active hive of bees about your out of touch / she doesn’t get it / what is she talking about mother. I just tore my favorite shirt / broke my new toy / dropped my ice cream in the street. Except I do get it! I just choose to see the upside. Even when insensitive or inappropriate.

My Predictive Index on the line C looks like little patience for waiting in a long line, or waiting for anything I don’t want to wait for. Which is everything. And yet with children, and people in general, my patience seems limitless. It takes a lot, like a lot, to tip the scales. That is my high B, connecting with others pulling through, and my Developer who sees the potential in everyone, and wants to cultivate that.

Mom styles, and kid styles. They say children are too young for assessments, and I agree that a lot of living has to happen until you are fully baked. But my oldest has a Predictive Index high C completely hard wired already – she has a process for everything. I am rather certain she has a Gallup Arranger talent as well. She is able to manage 2 instruments, 2 sports, academics, a leadership club at school and then time for friends and family because of her processes. She has her routine and projects planned out and sticks to it. It works for her.  My son is dominated by a Strength finders Competition theme.  He is in it to win it. Getting on the school bus, walking to the front door, helping to carry in groceries from the car, all of these are a chance for him to prove himself and arrive first, and first, and with the most bags, with the most goals, the highest math grade, with the best piano technique. And I understand the gift of this strength, it makes him better. My youngest is all Disc I she is enthusiasm, happiness, sunshine, and rainbows, and every day is an adventure. She is all about her “BFF”s and an old soul truly connected to others. She is hardwired for connection, expression, and communication.

Only time will tell if these themes remain as they grow. What I do know is that they all reach the same results using different ways to get there. Any maybe when it comes to styles, and talents, and preferences, it is really about what makes you better, and stand out. What a beautiful diverse world we live in, my Connectedness understands this, and that despite all of these surveys, and tests, and different ways to be, we have far more in common than we do as differences.

What’s your Mom style?



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  1. cathy

      on November 25, 2014 10:44 pm

    Love this! :)


  2. Anne Schenendorf

      on November 26, 2014 12:13 pm

    I loooooove this MaryKate!!!!! As I Mom, I too run on positivity, to similar reactions- Greg and I howled laughing reading this. As you have said I am a maximizer, I can’t go down the stairs without bringing a load of laundry, topped a couple forgotten toys that belong downstairs. I also can’t resist after wiping my guys faces, using that same wipe to get up spilled food off the floor before throwing it out. This is just how I operate. 😉


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