INTP.

For all you psychology majors out there, you know what that means. It’s my personality summed up in a nutshell according to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). According to the all-knowing Wikipedia, an INTP tends to be quite and reserved and keep their focus on the big picture instead of the details. INTPs also give more weight to objective criteria as opposed to personal preference and try to delay important decisions in order to keep their options open should circumstances change.

Before kids, I was happy with my little ole INTP life. I was used to it. I knew how I dealt with certain situations and I knew what things made me comfortable and uncomfortable. I had built a life with a husband who understood, respected, and was compatible with my personality. Enter: The kids.

Once we had children, everything changed. Gone were the days of my predictable INTP life. I had gone from zero kids to four in a matter of 16 months and Dr. Myers and Dr. Briggs just didn’t know how to categorize me anymore. I was a walking personality disaster courtesy of the changes multiple children brought to my life. Who was I anymore? Definitely NOT an INTP. My tendency to be quite and reserved was moved aside in order to make room for a more gregarious personality that was necessitated by four children. I couldn’t be quiet when chaos was constantly erupting around me. I also couldn’t be shy and reserved when I had strangers approaching me to offer everything from advice to scathing comments when they would see me with four small children in public. I now lived my life from detail to detail instead of the INTP philosophy of focusing on the big picture. There was also no more delaying when it came to making important decisions. If a choice had to be made, it had to be made NOW … no more hemming and hawing over the possibilities and future options.

Where was my nice, predictable life that I had grown so accustomed to? I now found myself conversing with complete strangers, only thinking as far ahead as the next meal or nap time, and making important decisions in a matter of seconds. The introduction of four little people into my life had made me into a completely different person. Someone I didn’t know. At first, I wasn’t sure how to handle these changes. I liked the old me. But you know what? I liked these four new little people in my life too. I liked them a lot. And if a little change of personality was what was needed to bring them into my life, I figured I could handle this “new” me. I could hatch from my safe little INTP shell and become something that would mesh with my kids and my new, now crazy, life.

So now what’s my personality type? Who knows! It changes daily with whatever circumstance I’m placed in. I’ve learned to love the unpredictability and just roll with the punches. I guess you could say I’ve morphed from an INTP into a PALS (Peyton-Adah-Luke-Sam). The kids determine my personality now. And I’ve come to embrace and love it. They are a part of me and have changed my life in the process. My personality is a reflection of them … and I’m only better for it.

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