At this very moment my husband is watching a video on “how exactly one makes a bowling ball,” with my kids. Why? Because one of them asked. Also… I suspect this idea is being catalogued for future fun. Because at some point I’ll go to the grocery store or a baby shower and he’ll get to do whatever his experience driven heart desires with our three adventure enthusiasts. Probably all wearing the “Team Taylor” sweatshirt he designed. Maybe you stood before the altar and said “I do,” to an enneagram 7. Maybe you have grown your tribe of two into one including children… and an entirely new level of 7-ness has been birthed in the wake of their entrances. Parenting is an adventure no matter what. Parenting with a 7 is breathless wonder. After about 12 years of parenting together, there are some things I’ve come to expect. For those of you considering parenting with an enneagram 7…
Some things you can probably expect:
- Boredom is unlikely. I know this is occasionally applauded by psychologists everywhere, but it’s possible your kids won’t get that chance. Once I came back from a baby shower and my boys were on the roof, gearing up to launch their “egg drop challenge” creations they pulled together after a trip to the dollar store. They would just need to avoid the items in the obstacle course they had strewn about the yard from the previous hour. The grin on Brandon’s face as he videoed the finale was sincere thrill.
- A new appreciation for last minute. It’s right when I think we were decisively past the point of pulling off a plan to break routine that Brandon will be like, “I think we should _____.” And it’s never anything less grandiose than an out of state vacation or climbing a 14er in Colorado. Once he casually mentioned, “So I think we should get passports for the kids. Because you know… you never know.” Accurate. Get the passport.
- Handoff’s probably won’t go as you imagined. Last Friday I spoke at a women’s group, and so I clarified some schoolwork they could work on independently while I was gone. You know, at a quiet table, maybe even some snacks or with a trampoline break between tasks. As I was walking out the door my husband yells, “substitute teacher is heeeeeeere!” and all the kids run downstairs wearing costumes and dancing to a song about Friday. I can’t even say I was surprised.
- Eternal optimism in the face of risk. One year we went on a last minute vacation (see point number 2) to South Dakota, and on the way home we decided to drive through the Badlands. We spent hours there… and since we were unprepared, we pretty much traipsed around in flip flops, climbed questionably stable rock formations, and took jumpy pictures as close to the edge of cavernous cliffs that we dared. I finally hit my risk limit and told Brandon we should probably scoot a few steps away. His response leads me straight into number 5.
- “It’ll be fine.” I actually was sitting with my sister in law about a year ago, talking about marriage, and I literally almost fell out of my chair when I heard her use this exact phrase. It was then that I realized 7’s invented this phrase. She’s a pastry chef, and just recently carried a beautiful cake into a venue with her 9 month pregnant self without spending a moment of worry over dropping it. Her not pregnant husband (my brother), sweated bullets the whole way. If you’re a 7 reading this take note: A few years into this parenting thing, Brandon will now lovingly ask me, “Hey! Have we hit your limit? I want you to enjoy this too.” Insert applause. My risk tolerance is growing — and then there’s the obvious benefit that we’re still married.
- High likelihood for the trickle down of passions… Your husband is a foodie? Expect your kids to ask for sashimi or steak for special occasions. Brandon has a unique look of disgust reserved for chain restaurants, so our kids probably didn’t know Applebees was a place to eat until they heard about it in a song.
- “Serious mode” might take some coaxing… then again, they might go all in: I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been in the thick of a serious conversation and Brandon inserts some form of hilarity. He’s good enough at it that I’m rarely mad about it — and I can’t even remember what he said, but I laughed through a large part of active labor with my 3rd. When it comes to discipline, overreacting is probably not going to be the thing you have to worry about. Because, you know, it’ll be fine. But then, he also is currently customizing a 5 year mentoring strategy which he plans to walk through with the boys once they turn 13. Because he read a book by John Tyson. Coming of age is going to be epic around here.
If you have ever wanted to maximize life and teach your kids to kick the status quo and do things differently… parenting with an enneagram 7 is your best bet. I love that the kids are normalizing hard, and celebrating perseverance in ways I can only credit Brandon with pushing us towards. As our kid’s dreams develop, they can safely assume he’ll throw whatever he can into it… probably even celebrate with a last minute vacation or a new “logo-ed” sweatshirt.