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.



4 Comments on “I’m Probably a Terrible Pastor’s Wife”

  1. Anna M says:

    I appreciated reading this, because even though I’m not a pastor’s wife, I didn’t have the internal resources to do (or want to do) much of anything beyond babycare, either, for my son’s first some months. I too wanted to pop in and out of church and avoid all the gatherings. Things did change once he reached eight or nine months–his needs were easier to meet, he nursed a lot less, and suddenly I actually *wanted* to be involved in the wider world again. Our minds and bodies go through a lot with the transition to motherhood. That takes a lot of energy just by itself!

  2. Rebekah says:

    Well, I’m sure you’ve heard this that there is no mold for a pastor’s wife. I think we all ought to have a genuine Christian concern for our brothers and sisters, but we definitely can’t be friends with everyone. Everything you said about new motherhood is pretty accurate. I kind of wonder if our personality type is heightened after having a baby. At least for a little while.

    • Katrina says:

      I think my worry is that I’m fairly apathetic about the people in church, and that doesn’t seem like a very Christian attitude to me. :/ But maybe that’s to be expected since I’m technically a “new member”?

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