According to Penley, who self-published The M.O.M.S. Handbook, the key to making mothering easy and enjoyable is to become aware of ways of interacting in the world (e.g., being extroverted or introverted, sensing things based on facts or feeling them intuitively) and balance personal needs with external demands. Penley developed her "Mothers of Many Styles" (M.O.M.S.) program to free women of the image of the "perfect" mother and help them identify their strengths and weaknesses first as mothers, and then in all relationships. Based on the Myers-Briggs personality inventory, Penley's questionnaires and evaluations may aid some readers, but others may find the system—it involves 16 personality types and 16 corresponding mothering styles—complicated and time-consuming. Perhaps the most valuable aspect of Penley's program is her focus on self-care and her recognition of the unique gifts that each woman has to offer her children. However, trying to work with Penley's system on a daily basis could, ironically, add more stress and yet another layer to the image of perfection: the thoroughly self-aware mother who can respond appropriately to her child in all situations. (May 1)
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