The Enneagram & Motherhood: “The Helper” (Type 2)

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From The Enneagram Institute: “Twos are empathetic, sincere, and warm-hearted. They are friendly, generous, and self-sacrificing, but can also be sentimental, flattering, and people-pleasing. They are well-meaning and driven to be close to others, but can slip into doing things for others in order to be needed. They typically have problems with possessiveness and with acknowledging their own needs. At their best: unselfish and altruistic, they have unconditional love for others.”

I first heard of the Enneagram a couple years ago when my Bible study spent weeks covering the topic with this book, and I learned so much and have since dug deeper to continue on the path of self-discovery. It takes a bit more than an internet quiz to really figure out what your number is, and it’s been such an enlightening process for me.

I am a 2w3 – this means 2 with a 3 wing. I like to say my 3 (the achiever) takes over when business needs to get done and is most often reflected through my work. My two nature combined with my three wing is what I believe drove me to start Wichita Moms Blog. I felt a fire and a need to start something with the purpose of connecting moms and making their lives easier. Building community and connections is all I’ve ever wanted since I was a child. My dad always reminded me that when I was three and four years old, if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would simply respond “I want a lot of friends”. And to this day, I value relationships with others over anything else in my life. 

But today I’m going to focus on how I’m a 2, and I would love to know if you relate! Moms, especially of young children, often “mistype” as 2 because they are in the throes of being needed and focusing on their family over themselves.

Below are some traits of a 2 that I feel deep in my soul and have since I was a child:

  • sensitive
  • relational
  • insecure
  • vulnerable
  • needs to be needed
  • compassionate
  • makes decisions based on gut/feelings
  • connector 
  • sincere
  • people-pleaser
  • makes others around them feel comfortable
  • empathetic
  • anxious to overcome misunderstandings
  • home is safe and welcoming for others

The above traits infiltrate my life every which way and until recent years, I always put everyone else’s needs above my own. I am a people-pleaser by nature, I want everyone around me to feel comfortable, and I make most major life decisions on a gut-feeling *much to the dismay of my type 5 husband. I’m certainly a work in progress, but my “two” nature is most seen in my relationships – friends, my husband, my family, and definitely my children. 

I’m the mom with a stocked pantry, not just for my kiddos but for all the neighbor kids too. I’ve got plenty of band-aids, the cute ones of course, to make those ouchies better. I bought a new car recently with the sole purpose of fitting more kiddos so I can help with rides and carpool duty and playdates. More than anything in this world, I want my girls to be inclusive, and we talk about it a lot. I can get the shyest of kiddos to open up because I speak to their level and genuinely care what they have to say. My husband teases me because I pack the entire house for road trips so the kids have plenty to keep them happy and entertained. The motto in our house is the more the merrier. *To this day, our neighbors can’t believe we hosted our annual Fourth of July party 2 weeks after we moved into the brand new home we built. We had red and blue frosting all over our walls and carpets. My response was “This is what life is all about!”

As a two in motherhood, I throw myself into making sure my kiddos feel safe, secure, and comfortable. I’ve also realized that the reality of being a two is I feel most valued when I’m needed. When I was a new to motherhood, I made myself physically ill trying to keep up with breastfeeding as a working mom. Even with clogged ducts, a nearly impossible pumping schedule as a teacher, and lack of sleep, I put so much pressure on myself to breastfeed my first daughter. Looking back, I think it’s because I loved that she needed me and it was so hard for me to be away from her during the day. 

Or recently, my husband called me out on going a bit overboard in trying to help my daughter who has trouble sleeping. It’s laughable now. I bought an essential oil diffuser, a stuffed kitty to warm in the microwave that smells like lavender, a sound machine, blackout curtains, and a weighted blanket. I was desperate to make her nice and cozy and help her sleep. Instead, my husband kindly reminded me, she needs to develop self-soothing skills to be able to figure out how to fall asleep on her own. And he was right.

I’ve gotten so much better in my 30s, but I typically have a very difficult time saying no. I’m what some would call an empath as I feel deeply what others are feeling, and I know when something isn’t right the moment I walk into a room. (My team often receives texts from me “You doing ok? You seem off/quiet“). I’m the girl who used to chat with telemarketers when they called or would get suckered into a sales pitch by the pop up shops at the mall selling hand moisturizer. But I’m currently a “healthy two” which means that I have learned to build pretty significant boundaries, and I actually get quite a thrill by saying no. This all started with what I deemed my “year of no”, which was essentially sparked by a very real panic attack after saying yes to everything that came my way and going well above my human capacity. I quit every group and organization I was part of that year, and anything that didn’t fall under the category of family or work (my business), I let it go. It was dramatic but necessary for my mental health. I went to therapy and have since created healthy boundaries and only say yes when I want to, need to, or have to. I help because I want to, no longer because I need to.

To perfectly sum up how I most relate to the Enneagram two is a meme I found (creator unknown):

(on my first day as a cop I arrest a criminal)

criminal: 

me: are you mad at me, be honest

Anyone who knows me well is nodding their head in agreement because, this is ME.

Helper Mom Profile:

Theme Song for Enneagram Type 2 & Favorite Line: “I Want You to Want Me” by Cheap Trick, favorite line: “I need you to need me”. I’ve never felt more understood and really do need you to need me. 
 
Favorite Book & Why: Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, this book gave me the courage I needed to start my business and was the first time I ever heard that there is power in vulnerability. I never saw my vulnerability as a strength until my girl Brene.
 
Your kid falls off their bike and comes running to you in tears. How do you respond? I’m the mom who gasps and runs over immediately, hugs the child (regardless if he or she is mine), and goes rummaging for a band aid. Then I ask a few more times if they’re ok, just to be sure.
 
What’s in my purse right now: 
  • our “calm down sparkly thing” for my 4 year old
  • snacks, games, and extra hair accessories for the kiddos in times of need
  • sunscreen, hand sanitizer, and bandaids (inside the little canvas bag) in case of emergency
  • Starbucks gift card, which I fully intend to use as thank you treats for my team
  • stamps for notes of encouragement and thank yous
  • beautiful ICT sticker by Elisabeth Owens from Open Streets ICT, a reminder that community is everything
  • my fave “get it girl” canvas wallet, gifted by a friend and speaking to my 3 wing
 

Want to read more about the other Enneagram types? Click here!

7 COMMENTS

  1. I am also a 2! And the most freeing self-check for me has been to ask “is this mine to do?” I’m also in my 30s and just now realizing boundaries are good and healthy for me. Great post! Could definitely relate!

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