Three Truths to Remember When You Fail as a Mom

Have you ever BLOWN it with your kids? We all have. #MomFail is a thing for a reason! But, as Stacey Pardoe of shows us in this week’s guest post, there are three powerful truths to remember when you completely fail as a mom. All is NOT lost. Let’s dive in!

It’s quarter ‘til nine on a Wednesday night when I unfurl on the girl I love more than any other girl in the world. After picking up the same fifteen toys a dozen times throughout the day, after the dinner dishes are washed, the little bodies are clad in pajamas, and the little brother is asleep in his bed, I want nothing more than five quiet minutes on the couch before taking my girl to her room.

I stare at the TV and let my mind slip into a different world – some happy family’s world as they live their sitcom-lives. Suddenly, I’m interrupted by the realization that one final toy hasn’t been put away. It rests on the floor in the middle of the room. Did I not just clean this whole room five minutes ago?

“Sweetie, please put away your drawing board,” I politely advise my daughter, who sits across the room on the recliner.

She promptly rises from the recliner, walks to the drawing board, and instead of slipping it into its home between the couch and the end table, she tosses it onto my lap. Read More


Marriage Communication Secrets: 5 Ways to Powerfully Improve Your Marriage

Are you struggling in your marriage? Do you fight & bicker like there will NEVER be a happily ever after? What happened to that fairytale romance you thought you had signed up for? Friend, there is HOPE! Check out these 5 Marriage Communication Secrets to POWERFULLY improve your marriage TODAY!

When we get married, most of us have this idea of a wonderful, romance-filled life ahead of us. Fairytale happy endings dance through our heads – even if we TRIED to ground ourselves in reality before saying “I do”!

But after the honeymoon ends, and we fall into the daily routine of work, paying bills, raising kids, and just living life, we often turn around and wonder, “What happened to my happily ever after? I don’t even KNOW this guy anymore!”

Ladies, it doesn’t have to BE like that! Read More


When You Don’t Have Time to Get Sick

Do you keep going, going, going until you crash? Remember: if you don’t have time in your schedule to be sick, make sure you schedule time for self-care!

For weeks, I had been getting sick.

Now, for most people, getting sick is a pretty quick process. But for a Melancholy-Choleric, getting sick doesn’t fit into our schedules, so we just don’t allow our bodies to break down like they’re threatening to do.

I sucked on elderberry lozenges like hard candy, and I took up drinking Echinacea tea (though I typically loathe the taste of “dead leaves in water”) solely for the purpose of staying as well as possible.

You see, I had four major vocal events to get through that December, and I simply didn’t have time to be sick in bed or lose my voice, so I did anything and everything I could think of to not do so.

The week leading up to that last performance – singing two rather out-of-my-range songs for my cousin’s New Year’s Eve wedding – I had been coughing more frequently and feeling more and more tired.

But, I had no time for that nonsense, so I chugged more tea, popped more Echinacea pills, and sucked more elderberry lozenges.

I made it through, but barely. Read More


How to Be a Gracious Gift Recipient — even if you don’t like the gift!

Have you ever received a completely TERRIBLE gift? One that seemed like it MUST have been intended for someone else? How could they POSSIBLY know you and think you would like that gift? How we respond, however, can make a HUGE difference in our relationships. And some of us have to LEARN how to receive gifts graciously! Let’s figure out how…

I mentioned in The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for Every Personality that I really struggle with receiving gifts, and how often I have been scolded for my less-than-gracious responses to gifts over the years. So, let me tell you about the Christmas I broke my mother’s heart and what I learned from that horrible day… Read More


How to Beat Holiday Overwhelm (+ Survival Tips for Every Personality!)

Are there parts of the holidays you really wish you could just skip? Does the hustle & bustle of the season leave you exhausted & stressed out? Check out these tips for each Personality on how to beat holiday overwhelm!

Would you believe that, according to the APA, 68% of Americans say they feel fatigued during the holidays? Even if we’re not running low on energy, 61% of us say we’re stressed. And 52% say we feel extra irritable during the “happiest time of the year.” What’s “merry & bright” about feeling overwhelmed & unable to enjoy the season? Let’s talk about the best holiday survival tips for each Personality type & how to beat the odds this season! Read More


The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for Every Personality

Are you stumped on what to get that hard-to-shop-for person on your list? Check out the Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for Every Personality!

Can you handle a personal, holiday truth? I REALLY struggle with receiving gifts.

I know! I’m weird! Most people think that CHOOSING a gift is the difficult part, but man… for me, receiving gifts is SO STRESSFUL!

See, a) receiving gifts is WAY not my Love Language, and b) I’m REALLY hard to buy for because I am VERY particular about what I like and need! (I try to be gracious! Really, I do!)

Now, I feel quite certain you have someone in your life who is a lot like me. They’re hard to buy for, they don’t ever seem excited about what you did buy, or their disappointment is written all over their face. They don’t mean to hurt your feelings, but it’s hard to not take it personally.

So, in order to save both you and your intended gift-recipient an incredibly awkward moment this holiday season, here are my best gift-giving tips based on each of the four Personality types: Sanguine, Choleric, Melancholy, & Phlegmatic. Read More


5 Massively Important Life Lessons about Conflict & Confrontation

Do you hide from conflict? Does the thought of confrontation make you want to run away and never come back? Once you master these 5 MASSIVELY IMPORTANT life lessons about conflict & confrontation, you’ll never have to hide again — and you’ll be able to teach these lessons to your kids, too!

Confrontation doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, I would argue, confronting issues when they arise is one of the biggest ways we can grow in our relationships!

Let’s think about it in parenting terms: when our kids do something wrong that hurts our feelings – or a friend’s feelings – we correct them. We address the hurts, explain why it didn’t feel good, how to heal the relationship (apologize), and they learn to do better next time.

Why should confronting OUR peers be any different? When we confront in love, with a true desire to understand, it makes a HUGE difference in our communication and in our relationships. Read More


Love & Logic Tips for Preschoolers

As a high school teacher, I LOVED Love & Logic. Even with my college students, Love & Logic often saved the day. Now, with a 4-year-old pushing every boundary imaginable, Love & Logic is once again coming to my rescue. If you’re struggling with discipline, check out my FAVORITE Love & Logic tips for preschoolers! Read More


An Open Letter to Parents of Soon-to-be College Students, From a Former RD

Dear Parents of Soon-to-be College Students,

You’re about to send your baby off to college. Part of you is cheering — They’re finally out of the house! Another part of you is sobbing uncontrollably — They’re never coming back!! Please be assured that both responses are perfectly natural.

As a former university Resident Director, I’ve seen my fair share of tearful goodbye’s on move-in day. And I’ve talked with a fair number of you on the phone, assuring you that Bessie Mae really is doing just fine. (I’ve talked to many of you, too, when Bessie Mae gets herself in a bit of a pickle, but that’s for another post!) I know you’re all going to be okay.

That said, since you do have such a limited time left with your child, on behalf of all the Resident Directors (RDs) out there, I’d like to ask you a quick favor: Read More


Why You Won’t See Pictures of My Child Online

I just cringed.

A Facebook acquaintance had posted a picture of a whole pile of cash she had found in a junk drawer. Great find! But WHY would you put it on the INTERNET?? Don’t you realize you’re just ASKING to get robbed or mugged?

Maybe I’m too cautious or old-fashioned, but there are just some things that do NOT need to be broadcast for all the world to see. Wads of cash, intimate details of your marriage or sex life, a picture of me when I first wake up in the morning…

Some things the world just doesn’t need to see. With a number of these things, it’s a sanity issue. For others, it’s about privacy. In the case of the huge stack of large denomination bills, it’s a safety concern.

When it comes to displaying my child on the internet, it’s all of the above and more. Read More


How NOT to Use Your MBTI Type

Have you seen those posts floating around about “Discover your dream career with your MBTI type!”?

I’ve seen LOTS of them over the years, and now that I’ve just spent the whole last month writing about The Personalities (click HERE to check out post #1 in that series), I’m seeing even more MBTI posts popping up on my social media and Pinterest feeds, too.

Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate the MBTI. As a Career Counselor, I LOVED walking individual students or entire classes through their inventories and helping them discover what those results meant for them. It’s a great tool.

In the right context.

I’ll explain more about that “right context” in a minute. First, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page about what MBTI types are. Here is a quick run-through of what the eight MBTI function (letter) dichotomies mean: Read More


Personalities in Marriage: Improving Your Relationship with One Easy Tool

One of the easiest ways you can dramatically improve your relationship with your spouse is to understand and VALUE the different Personalities in Marriage. Let’s dive in & see how using The Personalities can help YOUR marriage thrive!

You’ve made it to the very last post in the Improving Relationships with The Personalities series! Congratulations! So far in this series, we have…

Today, we uncover the secret to improving our MARRIAGES with The Personalities!

The bottom line in most marriage improvement strategies is to UNDERSTAND each other. Using The Personalities in marriage is no different in this regard. It’s all about learning to UNDERSTAND our spouse and then COMMUNICATE using this new understanding as a foundation. Understanding and communication. Sounds pretty easy so far, right? 😜

So, here’s the game plan for improving our marriages with The Personalities! Read More


Using The Personalities with Kids: Improving the Parent-Child Relationship

Are you struggling to connect with your kids? Here’s how to begin using The Personalities with kids and start improving your parent-child relationships TODAY!

It had been a HORRIBLE day.

Mom pulled our old, maroon Oldsmobile up to the curb, and I flung my 11-year-old self down into the seat, backpack smashing into my lap.

“Bad day?” Mom asked.

“The worst.”

Mom then launched into her best stand-up comedy routine in an effort to coax a smile from her distraught daughter. It was NOT working.

With the hardest glare imaginable, I ground out, “Why do you think EVERYTHING is SO FUNNY??”

The shocked look on her face said it all. Then, as quickly as it appeared, it was gone, replaced by a smirk. “Girlie girl, I think it’s time you learned about The Personalities.” Read More


Using The Personalities & Emotional Needs to Improve Relationships

Struggling to get along with someone? Take a step in the right direction by using The Personalities & Emotional Needs to improve relationships!

Last week, we kicked off our series on The Personalities with a look at why The Personalities are the EASIEST tool for improving relationships. One of those reasons is that The Personalities are DESIGNED to be relationship-focused. The meat and potatoes of this tool is using The Personalities and emotional needs to improve relationships.  Read More


The Easiest Tool for Improving Relationships

Relationships are HARD. But The Personalities are the EASIEST tool for improving relationships and helping you navigate your way through them. Here’s how!

Relationships are HARD, right? People who think differently than us drive us crazy. People who think exactly LIKE us drive us crazy. Why do relationships have to be so complicated??

I have good news for you: they don’t!

There is one AWESOME tool you NEED to have in your relational toolbox. Are you ready? It’s called The Personalities! Read More


Filtering the Experts

“Plans are established by counsel; by wise guidance wage war.”

~ Proverbs 20:18

It’s easy to gather parenting advice and tips online these days. (Honestly, I wonder how in the world I would be surviving right now without Google!) But today’s devotional reminded me how important it is to make sure that all the advice we’re gathering and implementing aligns with God’s Word. We must test every idea against what we know about God and how He designed us to operate in the world with our children.

Read More


Arguing & Always Being Right

“It is not good to eat too much honey, nor is it honorable to search out matters that are too deep.”
~ Proverbs 25:27 (NIV)
I’ll be honest and say this particular devo had me stumped for several days on how to respond. The devo itself focused a lot on not arguing about things that don’t matter, not stirring up trouble, and just leaving well enough alone sometimes. It wasn’t until I looked up other translations for this verse that I finally got a clue. For most translations, the second half of the verse focuses on avoiding self-seeking glory:
  • “… or to seek glory after glory.”(HCSB)
  • “… so for men to seek glory, their own glory, causes suffering and is not glory.” (AMP)
  • “… and so is trying to win too much praise.” (GNB)
  • “… nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory.” (ESV)
Combine the original commentary about not arguing with this other concept of not seeking out one’s own glory, and my own version of the verse came to light:
It is not good to eat too much honey, nor is it honorable to arguably “persuade” someone into my own way of thinking or insist my way is the only way all the time.

Read More


For My Daugher: A Lesson in Friendship


My best friend and I were recently talking about how hard it is to make friends now that we’re both married and have children. We know how important it is to have friends around to support us, but we both now live so far away from our pre-marriage friends, and it’s hard to keep up just by phone, text, and Facebook now that babies are involved. Making new friends involves a lot of work, time, and energy that neither one of us tend to have in abundance right now.

Read More


Encouragement for the Boundary Phase


Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll all tell you the same thing: Laura is not one to freely hand out praise. I’m not easily impressed, and I expect A LOT out of myself and everyone around me. And then God gave me a 2-year-old…


Granted, my daughter, C, is still very little – though she certainly thinks she’s much bigger than she is! – and it’s easier to have more realistic expectations of her than it is of adults in my life. There are a lot of things she simply isn’t old enough or physically mature enough to do yet. But, I still get really frustrated when she keeps pushing boundaries we have already set for her. (There’s a reason the Danish call this age “the boundary phase.” We just keep dealing with the same ones over and over again!) It takes a boat-load of restraint to acknowledge and correct negative behaviors without crushing her spirit or sending her into a complete meltdown.

Read More


An Overview of The Personalities: The BEST Personality Typing System

Have you ever screamed in frustration, “I just don’t UNDERSTAND them!” If so, it’s time to learn about The Personalities! This personality typing system is the BEST I’ve found — and the easiest to use with anyone of ANY age. Let’s dive in and give you a brief overview of The Personalities to get you started!

I need to apologize to my readers: I had written most of my “Confessions of an Incurable Melancholy” posts with the assumption that anyone who read them would understand The Personalities, which was mostly true when my only readers were family and close friends. However, now that more people are reading these posts, it seems like the perfect time to give a brief overview of the Personalities for those who may not be familiar with them.

So, let’s dive in!

Have you ever screamed in frustration, "I just don't UNDERSTAND them!" If so, it's time to learn about The Personalities! This personality typing system is the BEST I've found -- and the easiest to use with anyone of ANY age. Let's dive in and give you a brief overview of The Personalities to get you started!

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An Overview of The Personalities

You’ll notice I use animal images with each Personality type as you scroll through this post. Those animals are the same ones Gary Smalley uses in his version of The Personalities. I don’t typically refer to the animal names, but if they help you remember the different types, go for it! ?

According to this theory, The Personalities consist of 4 distinct types: Popular Sanguines, Perfect Melancholies, Powerful Cholerics, and Peaceful Phlegmatics. All of us are a unique combination of these four types, but generally, we are predominantly one more than the others with a strong secondary. For example, my type is mostly Melancholy with a strong Choleric streak. My husband is largely Phlegmatic, but has a Sanguine side, as well.

Because I know these names are a little odd — they ARE Greek after all! — I’ve created a handy-dandy, color-coded cheat sheet to help you remember each of The Personalities! You can snag it here:

Let’s take a look at some quick descriptions of how to recognize each type and what some of their main traits may be. (Remember, these are generalizations – not every Sanguine is going to display every trait listed in their description, and there are many more I have not given here. To learn more and explore the COMPLETE Personality picture, be sure to check out the book, Wired That Way!)

Have you ever screamed in frustration, "I just don't UNDERSTAND them!" If so, it's time to learn about The Personalities! This personality typing system is the BEST I've found -- and the easiest to use with anyone of ANY age. Let's dive in and give you a brief overview of The Personalities to get you started!Popular Sanguine

The easiest Personality to recognize is the Popular Sanguine – fun, bubbly, charismatic, and sometimes flighty, these “People-People” are generally characterized by a loud voice, loud clothing (lots of bright colors and patterns), open mouth (always talking), and an open life (no secrets here!).

Everything about the Sanguine is fun-loving and wide open, much like the otter who represents them in Gary Smalley’s typing system. They love people and assume that everyone loves them right back. One of my husband’s best friends is definitely Sanguine and recently told us, “Oh, everyone loves me!” For the most part, that statement is true.

It’s hard not to love a Sanguine, though their tendency to be forgetful or child-like can be irritating. But then they’ll apologize and charm you right out of your frustration, making it difficult to stay mad at them.

You will also see the Popular Sanguine represented by the color yellow — just as bright & cheerful as they are!

I'm a Popular Sanguine! The Personalities are so cool! What is YOUR Personality? Click To Tweet

Have you ever screamed in frustration, "I just don't UNDERSTAND them!" If so, it's time to learn about The Personalities! This personality typing system is the BEST I've found -- and the easiest to use with anyone of ANY age. Let's dive in and give you a brief overview of The Personalities to get you started!Perfect Melancholy

The second easiest Personality to recognize is the Perfect Melancholy, mainly because they are the exact opposite of the Popular Sanguine. Where the Sanguine lives life loud and wide open, the Melancholy is known for his quiet voice (and tendency to mumble), quiet clothing (traditional, no loud patterns or colors combinations here), closed mouth (doesn’t talk much), and closed life (operates on a “need to know” basis).

These “Detail-People” are perfectionists, tending to focus on the individual trees (like a beaver! ?), instead of the forest as a whole, and can detect a flaw in a single leaf faster than anyone else. My radiologist father is a Perfect Melancholy, and because he catches such small details, he is definitely the one you want reading your x-rays and CT scans.

However, when a Melancholy spots an imperfection in her life, she can become depressed. These individuals are generally very intelligent, highly artistic, but tend to be moody when life isn’t as perfect as they would like.

A fitting color for the Perfect Melancholy is blue, like the deep, blue ocean. You could swim forever in their depth!

I'm a Perfect Melancholy! The Personalities are right up my alley. What is YOUR Personality? Click To Tweet

Have you ever screamed in frustration, "I just don't UNDERSTAND them!" If so, it's time to learn about The Personalities! This personality typing system is the BEST I've found -- and the easiest to use with anyone of ANY age. Let's dive in and give you a brief overview of The Personalities to get you started!Powerful Choleric

Powerful Cholerics are the third Personality type and are usually recognized by their “powerful” presence, “powerful” walk, and “powerful” body language. The lion is definitely a fitting symbol for this type!

When a Choleric walks into a room, the whole energy of the room changes: it either becomes charged with anticipation and a knowing something big is going to happen, or the atmosphere becomes incredibly heavy and stressful, depending on whether or not the Choleric is living in his strengths or in his weaknesses.

Cholerics walk, talk, and gesture with purpose and intensity, especially when they’re focused on something important to them, so they can come off as bossy and unyielding if crossed while they’re on a mission. My residents often notice these traits in me at the beginning of the year when we go over policies at our All Hall Meeting and during fire alarms when I’m running around, yelling to get everyone to get out, and then trying to find out what happened, drill sergeant style.

These “Natural-Born Leaders” also make decisions very quickly and often on very little information, making them perfect for taking charge in a crisis.

Red is the color we use most often to represent the Powerful Choleric because of its powerful connotation in color psychology and its association with intense situations — think about the bright red of a fire engine or the red lights of an ambulance springing into action!

I'm a Powerful Choleric! The Personalities are the tool I've been looking for! What is YOUR Personality? Click To Tweet

Have you ever screamed in frustration, "I just don't UNDERSTAND them!" If so, it's time to learn about The Personalities! This personality typing system is the BEST I've found -- and the easiest to use with anyone of ANY age. Let's dive in and give you a brief overview of The Personalities to get you started!Peaceful Phlegmatic

Last, but certainly not least, we have Peaceful Phlegmatics, the “Natural-Born Peacemakers.” Personally, Phlegmatics are some of my favorite people – especially since my husband is one of them! When I’m freaking out about one of those bazillion things in life that goes wrong, Phlegmatics are the ones who can peel me off the ceiling and help me calm down. I’m still not sure how they do it, but with their calming presence, calming voice, and relaxed body language, they simply exude peace.

Phlegmatics are content with life and their place in it and are quite possibly the most patient people on the planet (just like the Golden Retriever!). One of my best friends and her now husband, another of my good friends, dated long distance for two years and were engaged – also long distance – for another year before finally getting married and moving to the same state. Because both of them were Phlegmatics, they were fine with the drawn-out courtship and were willing to wait for what they knew was God’s best for them.

The trouble for Phlegmatics comes in that they can appear disinterested or unenthusiastic to the more expressive Personalities. Generally, Phlegmatics have to be identified by process of elimination. While the other types are overtly something – loud, quiet, strong – the Phlegmatic notes a distinct lack of anything obvious. They are the chameleons of the Personality world, able to fit in with any crowd and assume any trait as needed for the given situation. If you’re ever not sure what type someone may be, or they seem to be ALL of the other three, they’re probably Phlegmatic.

Just like a calm, serene meadow, we often associate the color green with Peaceful Phelgmatics.

I'm a Peaceful Phlegmatic! The Personalities make SO MUCH SENSE. What's YOUR Personality? Click To Tweet

The Personalities Is All about RELATIONSHIPS!

While it’s easy to view The Personalities as just another “put you in a box” typing system, it’s important to understand that this tool — and any personality theory, really! — is simply that: a TOOL. It’s a TOOL to improve our relationships, improve our communication skills, and minimize conflict that arises simply because we don’t understand each other!

Have you ever screamed in frustration, "I just don't UNDERSTAND them!" If so, it's time to learn about The Personalities! This personality typing system is the BEST I've found -- and the easiest to use with anyone of ANY age. Let's dive in and give you a brief overview of The Personalities to get you started!

Learn More about The Personalities!

While this overview of The Personalities may help some of my readers understand the basics of this personality typing system, it is by no means exhaustive. If you’re interested in learning more about The Personalities and how to use this information to communicate well with people of all types, check out Wired That Way by Marita Littauer or Personality Plus by Florence Littauer. I was trained in personality theory by these two women, and I highly recommend their materials.

You can also read more about The Personalities right here on Scattered Woman:

One final, shameless plug: If you’re interested in having someone present The Personalities in an entertaining, informative, and interactive workshop, please let me know. I do these presentations periodically and would be happy to come talk with your Sunday School class, community group, or other events. Just contact me here or let me know in the comments if you’re interested!

Have you ever screamed in frustration, "I just don't UNDERSTAND them!" If so, it's time to learn about The Personalities! This personality typing system is the BEST I've found -- and the easiest to use with anyone of ANY age. Let's dive in and give you a brief overview of The Personalities to get you started!