I’m Probably a Terrible Pastor’s Wife

Some friends have asked me how life as the pastor’s wife is going.  I tell them the truth: I hardly notice.

I hardly notice because I’m hardly at church.  Aside from the few minutes before and after service (when I’m not running late or needing to dash out the door before Babykins explodes), I don’t see people from church.  I don’t go to Bible study.  I don’t go to the women’s group.  I don’t even go to midweek services.  Really, the biggest impact being a pastor’s wife has on my life is my husband’s energy levels (It’s Lent, he’s tired).

Most of this stems from the vulnerability of new motherhood.  It’s hard to leave the house to attend extra services when there’s a good chance that it will end in tears.  It’s difficult to find the motivation to go to Bible studies when it’s likely that I will have to bare my breast to feed Babykins.  It’s darn near impossible to find the gumption to strike up a real conversation when my sleep-deprived brain is trying to remember how adults interact with each other.

So I keep my distance.  I don’t try to get involved.  I stay out of the members’ lives.

You might say that this is normal.  New mom in a new town and all that.

But the disturbing part of all this is that I don’t care.  Not knowing members doesn’t bother me.  Aside from making awkward attempts at small talk on Sunday morning for the 10 minutes I might see people, I’m fine with not knowing anyone in church.  Sure, I’m lonely throughout the week, but loneliness is easier to deal with than carefully figuring out how to develop any sort of relationship with members of my husband’s flock.

It’s that attitude that probably makes me a terrible pastor’s wife.



Long Term Plans

Today I bought a toddler slide for Babykins at a thrift shop.  She obviously can’t use it at the moment, but I have a project in mind.

Our basement is spacious, but it won’t be a “living” area without some major renovations.  Consequently, I’ve decided to create an indoor toddler playground to utilize the space.  Buy a couple of used toddler playground toys (hence the toddler slide), throw down some cushy mats, and BAM!  Our own personal fun zone for the winter months without the long drive and germs.

Truth be told, while I’m excited about the playground, I’m more excited to be planning for something longer than a year from now.  A year ago, a plan like this wouldn’t have been possible.  We didn’t know where we would be living!  But now that we have no plans to move, we don’t have to cram our house projects into a year time-frame.

It makes me giddy just thinking about it.

The “Lonely in a Crowd” Conundrum

Between Babykins’s cold and the frigid temperatures last week, I hadn’t been leaving the house much.  Consequently, I could count on one hand the people I talked to in a week and a half.  I was getting lonely being cooped up in the house with a baby.

(“But wait,” you may say, “Aren’t you an introvert? How can you be lonely?” Actually, it’s fairly easy for introverts to be lonely.)

On Saturday I realized that church was the next morning.  I would leave the house!  I would see people!  And then this happened:

going out


The End

It actually turned out to be a good Sunday for Babykins and me.  We stayed in the sanctuary for the whole service and caught the second half of Bible study–something that hasn’t happened since she was a month old.  

Book Review: Boob Hell

I’m a little late to the game with this book, but last week I read Boob Hell by Rebekah Curtis.  The book is the true story of a Mrs. Curtis’s breastfeeding journey with her firstborn.  As the title indicates, feeding her daughter wan’t a joyfully magical time that books like The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding portray a breastfeeding relationship to be (to be fair, I did read The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding before Babykins was born and it is a knowledgeable resource.  I just had to separate myself from their romantic notions about breastfeeding).

Boob Hell is a quick read.  While sometimes the character names are difficult to follow (she refers to her husband as “Dad”, her mom as “Grandma”, and so on) and the conclusion could have been longer, I found myself laughing at many of her humorous descriptions of the difficult aspects of breastfeeding.  I also found myself almost in tears in some parts as she aptly described similar situations Babykins and I have dealt with.  From the difficultly of dragging your postpartum self to your newborn’s baptism to utilizing equipment that you didn’t know existed before becoming a mother (*cough* breast shells *cough*), her story relates to my own (although I think I’m going through what she labels “Boob Purgatory”–I haven’t had anywhere near the amount of pain she has described, mostly because a lactation consultant gave me a nipple shield on my second day of breastfeeding).  Most of all, I found myself relating to her anger about how unprepared new mothers often are for the physical and emotional toil to feed our children.

One of her last comments about breastfeeding shows how widely women’s experiences can vary:

Some people have nursing easy and some people don’t.  Some people quit and some people don’t even start.  Some people love nursing and some people hate it.  Some people get skinny nursing and some can’t.  Some babies get huge nursing and some are tiny.  Most people without any personal experience of breastfeeding don’t get how it completely takes over your life, and you just have to be nice to them about it.  Those are the things everybody should know. (pg. 137)

So who should read this book?  Aside from anyone who wants to, women who have experience breastfeeding would probably enjoy it the most–Be that someone who only breastfed for a few weeks or months, are currently breasfeeding, or have breastfeed numerous children.  It would not be helpful for an expectant mother because it may terrify her.  Rather, give her a book like The Womanly Art of Breasfeeding, help her build some sort of breastfeeding support system, and be ready to sympathize with her once the baby arrives and breastfeeding isn’t going perfectly.

Babykins’s First Cold

Poor Babykins.  It’s taken 5 months, but she finally got her first cold.  I suppose we should consider ourselves fortunate that it took this long since I’ve read that babies can get 7-12 colds in their first year, but she’s still been uncomfortable the last few days.

The problem with babies and colds is twofold.  First, giving cold medicine to infants isn’t recommended.  So, no help on the medication front.  Second, babies can’t blow their noses, making even the slightest congestion problematic.  This leaves my husband and me pinning Babykins to the ground and sticking the suction-thingy up her nose multiple times a day.  She’s less then thrilled with that ordeal.

While babies and colds inevitably collide, it’s still been a long few days for us.  We’ve been spending quality time in the bathroom with the shower running since I didn’t have the foresight to buy a humidifier until Babykins took ill.  Sleep is a battle since her poor nose is all stuffy (it’s incredibly difficult to suck on a pacifier when your nasal passages are stuffed up).  In a fit a desperation, I even stuck some breastmilk up Babykins’s nose this morning.  I feel like such a hippie.  However, she took a longish nap after that, so maybe there’s something to that home remedy.

At any rate, Babykins will bounce back soon enough.  Until then, we’ll carry on with the humid bathroom and suction-thingy technique.