Attachment style parentingAttachment style parenting

Understanding Your Parenting Anxiety Style Are you a Lover, Fighter, Executive, Visionary or Dynamo?

By Amber Trueblood | Photo courtesty of @ amaliert

Amber Trueblood, MBA, LMFT, is a renowned author, speaker, and coach with 25 years of experience in mental health, spanning community services to personal wellness retreats. She is dedicated to empowering moms to achieve health, wealth, and happiness. Residing in San Diego with her family, Amber co-founded The M.E.C.A. Project, a 501c3 focusing on mental and emotional well-being for teens and young adults. Her book, “Stretch Marks”, led to contributions in significant publications like O: The Oprah Magazine and appearances on TV shows, including E! Daily Pop and Good Day LA.

There are a variety of factors that make it virtually impossible to maintain a healthy emotional state 100% of the time when you’re a new mom. Lack of sleep, hormonal imbalances, physical pain, insufficient nutrition, and isolation from other adults remain some of the trickier obstacles moms must navigate in their journey to improve their emotional well-being. And while all new moms deserve to feel emotionally well, they are not necessarily all wired the same way. What might stress or overwhelm one new mama may excite or soothe another.

Not only are new moms emotionally triggered differently but what soothes them differs from mom to mom. What might calm one mom’s central nervous system might amplify feelings of anxiety and overwhelm another mom. Your new baby only sleeps when she’s in your arms. This could leave one mom feeling completely drained and exhausted and leave another feeling energized and emotionally connected. It’s all okay. Understanding your own Mom Anxiety Style will allow you to more efficiently use the self-care strategies best suited for your emotional needs.

The Five Anxiety Styles 

Lover Moms

Lover Moms are all about the quality and depth of their connections to loved ones. They can feel emotionally triggered when they think a friend is upset with them or doesn’t want to spend time with them. Hearing that a partner will be home later than usual or that they cannot attend a family function across the Country can be an emotionally triggering event.

When feeling flustered or overstimulated, Lover Moms should seek time and space with people who care about them most. Spending time in nature with someone they trust can help improve the emotional well-being of someone with a lover anxiety style. Instead of going for a walk by themselves, lover moms feel safe and soothed when they’re in close proximity to the people and animals they care about most.

Lover Mom Quick Tip: The Seven-Second Hug. Ask for a seven-second (non-sexual) hug from another adult who cares about you today.

Fighter Moms

Fighter Moms are all about protecting others. They learned early on how to save themselves and often spend their time-saving others as well. Fighters are comfortable within a chaotic environment; they feel at home. It can feel so comfortable in fact, that Fighters can feel awkward, sick even, when all is calm and peaceful (because they don’t feel they can truly let down their guard and enjoy it). Luckily, new motherhood is seldom calm or peaceful.

When feeling particularly overwhelmed and stressed, Fighter Moms should reach out to help someone in need. For instance, find a domestic abuse shelter and donate time or maternity clothes. Instead of taking a relaxing bath, Fighters should reach out to another mom in need of support or help.

Fighter Mom Quick Tip: Find an organization or an individual mom in need and spend either time or resources helping them surmount a challenge of their own.

Executive Moms

Executive Moms are all about loyalty, trust and dependability. These moms thrive when they feel in control of their environment and their future. When feeling particularly stressed and overwhelmed, Executives should get organized. Moms with this anxiety style are typically the most responsible and dependable members of their families. Making time to find an app or a book to help structure their days as a new mom will help ease emotional distress. Instead of finding a homeless shelter like their Fighter Mom friends, Executives should get themselves organized and find a system that works best for them and their new baby.

Executive Mom Quick Tip: Spend 20 minutes today researching books and apps specifically meant to support new moms. If newborn sleep is an issue, check out this book by sleep expert Kim West. 

Visionary Moms

Visionary Moms are all about making their big dreams come true. These individuals thrive when connecting with other people who truly understand them. When feeling particularly stressed, Visionaries should spend time with a fellow Visionary Mom. It can be frustrating and draining to focus on the tedious details and relentless tasks of new mom life. Instead of using a scheduling app like their Executive Mom friends, Visionaries should spend time with like-minded women to improve their emotional well-being.

Visionary Mom Quick Tip: Connect with other Visionary Moms either in person, on a call or via text.

Dynamo Moms

Dynamo Moms enjoy getting acknowledgment and accomplishing tasks both large and small. These moms thrive when they feel like they’re making progress and receiving accolades for their hard work. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to feel like you’re making progress when you have a newborn because everything you do just has to be repeated every 2-3 hours. Dynamo Moms should work on a passion project or hobby.  Instead of connecting with other moms like their Visionary Mom friends, Dynamos should do something they love in order to improve their emotional well-being.

Dynamo Mom Quick Tip: Choose one passion project and spend twenty minutes working on it (or even just thinking about it) today.

Using The Five Anxiety Styles approach is one way new moms can improve their emotional well-being. Whether you’re a Lover, Fighter, Executive, Visionary or Dynamo Mom, you can more easily calm your nervous system when you focus on your particular emotional style. When you feel calmer and more fulfilled, you’ll likely find that you feel better, focus better, sleep better, work better and feel more connected to friends and family. You deserve to improve your emotional well-being and your baby deserves an emotionally healthy mama. 

For a deeper dive into anxiety styles, see The Unflustered Mom on Audible.