Confessions of a Terrible Pastor's Wife

I can't play the piano.

The terms and conditions of marriage.

You know how when you sign up for an online service or activate a new phone or credit card, or basically any time you buy anything ever, you have to sign an endless, detailed, coma-inducing document known as the terms and conditions? No one ever reads it, but next thing you know, you’ve agreed to plant 100 trees, karate chop the elderly, and let Apple/Verizon/Walmart tattoo its logo on your face.

Marriage is kind of like that.

The basic agreement covers the general stuff:

to have and to hold from this day forward,
for better or for worse,
for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.

But here’s the fine print.

#1) You are now your spouse’s primary physician.
You are now required to analyze your spouse’s intimate health concerns with them. When your spouse comes home and confesses to you that they haven’t had a normal bowel movement in 3 weeks (usually it’s the husband, ¬†amiright ladies?) ¬†or they’ve discovered a mole/lump/growth in a deep crevice somewhere on their body, your first reaction may be, “Why are you telling me this? I’m not a doctor!”. But there you are 20 minutes later, flashlight in hand, squinting as you google pictures of cancerous moles or asking questions about color and consistency. Word of advice: stay away from WebMD.

webmdgood

#2) Bodily functions happen and you must deal with them.
Your alarm goes off at 6:30 AM. You hit snooze and roll over to snuggle your still sleeping spouse, stealing some peaceful moments while the world is quiet and the sun has just started to peek through the blinds. Your spouse snuggles a little closer to you, lets out a quiet, contented sigh and then…farts on your leg. Now, I’m not saying this scenario happened in my marriage last week, and I’m not saying that the guilty party texted her best friend and sister-in-law to tell them all about it later that day, all while stifling giggles in an effort not to wake the sleeping baby in her arms, but I’m not NOT saying any of that happened, if you know what I mean. Look, bodily functions are a normal part of life and you can’t spend the rest of your marriage sneaking into the bathroom to pass some gas or shifting in your seat to let out a silent one. And your husband is living in a fool’s paradise if he thinks you don’t fart.

 

#3) The silent stand off over the dishes (or some other, equally unpleasant chore).
I hate doing the dishes. So does Christopher. The first house we lived in after we got married did not have a dishwasher. Which meant every few days, the dishes would pile up in the sink and we would begin our own Cold War. We’ve never admitted this officially, but we both knew we were just waiting until the other one cracked. More often than not, I was the one to give in, because I would need a certain dish to cook and there were too many dishes in the sink to wash just one. Christopher had the upper hand however, having lived with roommates for a year and a a half before we got married.

#4) The struggle of the snacks.
One of the simple pleasures of life is having a special snack that only you enjoy. That way, you can keep it in the house and not worry about coming home to an empty bag or box one day. But that dream is shattered when your spouse decides to try it, after months of saying how gross it is, and discovers what they’ve been missing out on. Then, you feel guilty for over-indulging, especially if you eat the last of your tasty treats. Until your spouse shamelessly admits to taking more than their fair share. Then the gloves are off.

These are just a few of things about marriage that you didn’t (knowingly) sign up for. What are the terms and conditions of your marriage?

 

The baby accidentally chewed the dog toy.

So, the other night, our son Solomon chewed on the dog toy. I know it sounds disgusting, and it was. We have a siberian husky named Luna and she is in the height of shedding (also known as “blowing” her coat), so her hair is EVERYWHERE.

2014-07-06 15.04.11

Luna lounging on a bedspread that she has now chewed two holes in. Husky owners cannot have nice things.

And when I say everywhere, I mean absolutely everywhere. Her hair especially likes to congregate on our stairs, under the couch, and on our clothes. I’m convinced that one day the hairs will become self aware and come together to form a phantom Luna. But I digress.

On the evening that Solomon snacked on Luna’s toy, we were somewhat mortified. It may be one of our biggest parenting blunders in our short, 6 month career.

But you know what? He didn’t get sick. He didn’t choke. He didn’t have a sudden allergic reaction. He is fine.

As I reflect on that incident, I realize that there are some moms out there who would seriously, hard core judge me for that. And I think there’s something wrong with that. Any mom with even the slightest iota of experience knows that you cannot prevent every possible disaster from happening. Lots of things are preventable using some simple common sense, but you could bust your butt all day trying to keep your kid safe, nourished, napped, clean, and happy, only to discover him playing in the toilet the minute you take your eyes off of him. But so many moms are hesitant to share those experiences because there’s always the mom who makes some snide remark or facial expression that somehow degrades mom points.

Why do we do that to each other?

I have some theories, which I will discuss in a later post, but for now I think we can all agree on one thing.

No matter how you decide to parent your kid- cloth diapers or disposable diapers, breast feeding or formula feeding, sleep training or co-sleeping, spanking or timeouts, homemade baby food or store bought jars, homeschool, private school, public school, or whatever- the most important thing you child needs is total and unconditional love.

I have a friend who is getting ready to welcome her baby girl into the world. At her baby shower, everyone shared some advice or a thought as to why she was going to make a good mom. I shared some advice about not being afraid to put your baby down (one of my rookie mistakes) but what I wish I would have said was this:

“Jaimee, there are a lot of hurdles that you are going to face throughout this child’s life, and a lot of different way you and your husband can handle them. But I know your capacity to love is so great already, and it is going to grow leaps and bounds the moment you set eyes on her, and if you just keep that at the forefront of your mind, she’s going to be just fine.”

So maybe my son got a taste of some doggy drool. But he is incredibly loved by so many people.

 

Confessions of a Terrible Pastor’s Wife

During my childhood as a pastor’s daughter, I swore up and down I would Never Ever marry a pastor. Or a youth pastor. Or a music pastor, children’s pastor, deacon, elder, Bible study leader or anyone with any kind of church leadership responsibilities whatsoever. Not even the guy who folds the bulletins. I had spent enough time in the fishbowl of a pastor’s family and I had no desire to continue in it.

Then I married a pastor. And God said, “HA!”

It was an accident! To be fair, he officially became a pastor AFTER we were married, though he was already pastoring in many ways. It’s sort of a “chicken or egg” scenario. And he is ridiculously good looking so I couldn’t really resist. The bottom line is I ended up in the exact situation my teenage self swore would never happen. (For future reference, my teenage self was pretty dumb.)

Growing up in the church during the 90s and 00s left me with some pretty strong impressions about what a pastor’s wife should be. She plays the piano. She works in the nursery. She wears floral, ankle length dresses and never cuts her hair (except for a trim twice a year, Christmas and Easter). She organizes all the women’s conferences, retreats, church potlucks, and families making meals for couples with newborns. She is endlessly kind, soft spoken, and good with small talk.

I am none of these things.

Sometimes I think I can play the kazoo. I’ve never been into taking care of little kids. My mom couldn’t wrestle me into a dress no matter how many times she told me I would look “SO CUTE” and I’ve wacked my hair off too many times to count
(I usually regret it too.). I avoid women’s conferences and retreats like the plague, I forget to bring a dish to church potlucks on a regular basis, and the thought of bringing dinner to families with newborns never ever occurred to me until I had a baby of my own. (And he is ridiculously good looking, just like his father.) I am tragically awkward with small talk. Every time I read a “socially awkward penguin” meme, I horrifically have the dawning realization that I am socially awkward penguin. Seriously, I do almost every one of those memes.

So basically, I am a terrible pastor’s wife. And this is where I will chronicle my journeys in wifery, motherhood, and my flailing attempts to live up to Proverbs 31.

wedding

So stinkin’ handsome.