ENFPs: Somebody Show Me the Manual!

Preface: I started blogging in 2005. Nobody blogged in 2005. That was pre-Facebook, so our “blogs” were more like our current Facebook walls. In 2007 I married a New Zealander and moved down under. Then I joined Facebook to keep up with all the friends and family back home, and my blog sort of faded away.

Fast-forward to 2011, when I found myself pregnant and sick and bored, and I discovered that about the time I fell off the blogwagon, it really started moving! Look at all those blogs out there! Since then, I’ve toyed with the idea of blogging again, and jotted down ideas here and there and mulled them over at the sink or in the shower or while feeding a baby… only to put myself off because there is just SO much to do ALL the time!!!! And I have to finish transporting all of my old xanga blogs into this new one, and be sure I have the right categories to sort everything into, and invent the most appropriate tags, and… blah. Enough. Now or never!

So here goes. Maybe I only post once. Maybe this starts a trend. Time will tell. For now, just gotta get this going, if only for me!

Topic for the moment: how the heck do I manage myself and my life, given my personality, my strengths, and my (seemingly overwhelming) weaknesses? Lol, that’s not too broad for one post, is it?

Recently I went searching for inspiration (a frequent activity given how often I feel uninspired and downright depressed with the little I feel I accomplish in a day), and turned to a blog formerly known as “Sorta Crunchy.” After rabbit-trailing around her revamped site for a while, I came across this post that bullet-points beautifully what it feels like to be an ENFP. (I had to double-check to verify that I am, in fact, an ENFP, and found this particular online test helpful, and its questions refreshingly different to many other online measures I’ve tried. Yup, ENFP is me.)

I’ve been wrestling with this issue for–well, my whole life, really! But the older I get (and the more children I have), the more intense the wrestling match becomes, and the more I feel I’m being pinned to the floor by life. I don’t know a great deal about the MB types beyond the E/I distinctions, so no doubt researching this a bit more would help me understand/frame my questions a bit better. But no time for that right now. I need help!

Source: http://www.franchisecompany.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/FranManuals-img.jpg
Instruction Manual

As a wife and mostly-at-home mom of three small boys (currently 1, 2.5, and 5), I am daily struggling to maintain some semblance of order. Some days I feel for a brief, sunny moment as if maybe, just possibly, I might have clicked onto the secret, and my household might be headed for that glory-land of smooth-running order that I imagine will bring relief to my cluttered brain. Generally this chimera of hope has evaporated by the time the bedtime Olympics have concluded, and if I’m still standing (i.e. not crashed on the bed from coaxing the baby to sleep), the reality that tomorrow with all its challenges is on the way pretty much stamps out any wisp of hope remaining. Back to the business of survival.

I’ve found a lot of articles addressing survival mode: Megan Tietz’s one I did find helpful, but perhaps too simplistic for my needs right now. I’ve gone back multiple times to several posts on Conversion Diary that encouraged me, but still didn’t quite hit the spot. And there are others I’m sure I’m forgetting.

Something inside me prods me to keep searching, a sense that if I just hunt long enough, I will discover the secret to organizing my brain and therefore my life so that it all flows. So that I have enough time to do the things I want to do. So that I don’t crumble into bed at night (or early morning) feeling for the millionth time that I’ve flunked the test.

At the same time, I stifle a creeping feeling that actually, there IS no solution. This is just my lot in life. I have to learn to cope with my strengths and weaknesses as best I can. The baby steps I’ve accomplished here and there are not going to magically add up to the brilliantly organized life I dream of, because it really only exists in my dreams–reality can never be so concise.


So I take a step back, try to count my blessings, and also remind myself of the realities of this complex life:

– My husband–I have a husband! I waited a long time to meet him. He’s tall (6’4″ YUSS!!), good-looking, a deep thinker, a brilliant musician, a devoted daddy to our boys, and he loves me in a hundred beautiful ways all week long, like sharing the last of the chocolate stash with me! I could say lots more, but that’s a good start.

– Three sweet, blonde, blue-eyed boys. Wow. I try to just soak that in at least once a day, and it is stunning. I am the mother of three boys! The wild, exciting, exhausting ride of getting to know them has really only just begun, and already I am overwhelmed at it all. Just wow.

– The basics. Shelter, food, clean running water, clothing, beds, and so on. More than what the majority of humanity on this planet will ever dream of. Seriously.

– Eternal hope, plus daily joy in the knowledge that God (as in the God who designed the universe–and me) actually loves me and actually wants to interact with me. I get distracted by stupid mundane things too often and forget to let this one soak in and take effect, but it’s still there.

– Family, friends, and all the joy they bring. As well as the support they offer in so many ways!

And the biggest reality right now is that we ARE in survival mode. Please somebody tell me that it won’t last! Sleep deprivation must end sooner or later, right?! Maybe all my questioning could really be answered in that one issue: getting 6+ straight hours of sleep for more than one night at a time might just solve the bulk of my problems! Or not.


In any case, this rambling post must come to an end. I hope that somewhere down the line (though I can see no further ahead than perhaps this week, which seems quite long and sleepless already), I will be able to look back on this piece and see that I’ve made progress. That I have found more sleep and more peace and less chaos. For now, any useful tips (and helping hands) gladly accepted!


4 thoughts on “ENFPs: Somebody Show Me the Manual!

  1. I hear ya hun. Life with young kids is just plain hard and to me, any Mum who pretends otherwise is either lying or surreal. The glimpses of hope do appear more and more often though, and sleep does improve.

    The best thing you can do for yourself though is to not beat yourself up. Life is what it is, and you’re doing your best, and for that you already qualify as a supermum! 🙂

    Hugs x

    1. Thank you, sister! You have actually seriously blessed my life (and my family’s) by sharing our lovely Deborah with us! She is a ray of sunshine and so so helpful–definitely has given me hope in the past few weeks 🙂

      You are a beautiful and strong Mama as well, and I admire your dedication to both your family and your dreams. Thanks so much for your encouraging words! xo

  2. “He’s still working on me, to make me what I ought to be. It took Him just a week to make the moon and the stars, the sun and the earth, and jupiter and mars. How loving and patient He must be. He’s still working on me.”

    Two peas in a pod you and I. I’ll be keeping watch for any good advice that may come. LOVE YOU!!!

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