Hettie Brittz helps us to understand how our natural temperament is just motherhood by design: God’s design.


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About Our Guest: Hettie Brittz

(From HettieBrittz.com/about)

As a former speech, language and hearing therapist, Hettie worked in a multi-disciplinary practice alongside a paediatrician, psychologist, occupational therapist and other speech therapists.

She gained extensive experience in therapy and parental guidance. She also pioneered an educational upliftment project in Proclamation Hill where she worked with many challenging children (and their extremely challenging parents!), dealing with everything from nutrition and computer skills to molestation and spiritual counseling.

It was while working at this centre that her passion for children and parents started her on a new career path. Since 2002 she has presented seminars across the country as well as overseas in churches, schools and corporate surroundings on a variety of topics related to Christian parenting and education.

Hettie is the developer of the Evergreen Parenting Course and heads a group of more than 200 facilitators in 8 countries who use the course to help families. She also does temperament research which lead to the development of Tall Trees Profiles, the first set of locally researched and validated personal and leadership profiles for use in schools, companies, churches and families with the aim to strengthen relationships through a better understanding of individuals and their interaction with others.

[bctt tweet=”Only the One who calls us by name has the right to tell us how we should be.” username=”HettieBrittz”]

“How is this kid mine?”

Have you ever found yourself wondering how your kids could be so different from you? Whether you gave birth, or adopted your children, every one of us is born with a slightly (if not completely different) disposition.

We cannot disconnect from the reality of who we are and who our children are made to be naturally. Author Hettie Brittz helps us to understand that there is a method, a design, beauty, and growth to be had if we are willing to accept the design in ourselves and our children.

Types of Moms

There is an order and design that God has implemented with all of His creation. We are not simply random in our makeup, but rather planned to fulfill a purpose in God’s Kingdom. Motherhood by design is part of a divine plan to give each child what they need.

Hettie has designed a personality indicator based on her work with psychologists and other medical & social professionals to describe four types of mother personalities.

These types are not meant to put us in a box (Hettie says, “…and if there is a box, I promise you there is no lid.”), but to use as a tool for better self awareness.

Why Trees?

Not every tree is the same. Some are smaller or bigger, some are not fruitful in all seasons, and this is true for mothers as well.

Pine Tree

What you see is what you get, peace, calm, grace, patience. A natural giver, she is open, but is challenged to have a lot of energy to be hands on and disciplined. She tends to need more rest, great with nurturing, but struggles with schedules and boundaries.

Rose Bush

Constantly on the go. Driven, competitive, on all the committees. Action-oriented. Doesn’t like to be slowed down. Struggles with rest. Feels more at home in a career than doing dishes. Roses are on display, you can see their productivity. Thorns because she can be sharp-tongued, loves her children but moves fast and fights for her family. Less patience, wants her children to be grown up today.


Reads all the books, does the research, follows the rules, has templates. When the rules don’t work with her children, she thinks something is wrong with her. She is probably doing better than she realizes, but feels incompetent when things are out of order or do not go according to plan.

Palm Tree

Fun and exciting, lots of energy. Overlooks the messes, and she really sees the children. She loves to play, doesn’t need them to grow up right away. Struggles with routines and schedules, would rather be spontaneous. Enjoys being their teenagers best friend, but drained by having to discipline or be too harsh.

Understanding these types will help you to have empathy for the women in your life, and maybe even your own mother. We often strive to be like the best parts of every super mom we’ve ever met. But it’s just not possible, and it’s not necessarily our assignment.

Proverbs 31: Motherhood By Design

So many women use this as a checklist. This was a mother’s heart’s desire for her own son. She held up this standard, not as a requirement, but as qualities to look for in a women to marry some day.

See our article: Mom’s Advice for Finding a Wise Woman 

We have ideas of what disqualifies us as a mom. Like the functions of a an appliance. Not all models are the same, some functions are not in my model…not in my skill set. But motherhood by design causes us to look to our maker for help. We cannot be the deluxe model and be too self sufficient – then we wouldn’t need God.

Hettie reminds us that God has given us everything we need for godly living, including how to be a godly mom. He decides in His wisdom that what we don’t happen to have is not essential to raise these particular kids…. + the humility in knowing that I cannot be everything. Breaks down our pride and makes us need other moms. #community

Perceptions of Motherhood

[bctt tweet=”My children do not have the same calling as yours. If you keep copy-pasting from my example, you’re going to miss what your children need.” username=”HettieBrittz”]
We need to learn wisdom to see ourselves for who God made us to be, and wisdom in these areas as well:

To realizing that we all have slightly different designs

Send our children to learn from different mom types

Confess our type’s negative effects on our children

The best relationships are not necessarily effortless. Clashing personalities are where we learn self control, compromise, and understanding. We underestimate the value of this struggle.

Training Characteristics vs. Beginning with the Unique Design

  1. Study our Child’s Design
  2. Invest time in those areas where they are gifted
  3. Look at their weaknesses, and make an effort to address those issues.

We end this episode with a special closing message to Boxwood Moms…listen in and subscribe to the Practical Family Podcast.

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