Self-Care for the Pastor's Wife
The position of Pastor's wife can be so rewarding. We get to share precious moments with families as they come to follow Jesus, we get to celebrate births and marriages and graduations with families and we get to witness incredible "Come to Jesus" moments.
However, being the wife of a Pastor also comes with it's unique set of struggles.
According to Lifeway:
69% of Pastor's Wives say they have few people they can confide in.
68% say they are worried about having enough money for retirement.
36% say they worry about making ends meet every month
60% say say the compensation paid by the church isn't enough to support their family.
59% say church commitments limit family time.
49% say "If I were honest at church about my prayer needs, they would just become gossip."
50% say they won't confide in people at the church because they've been betrayed before.
When it comes to feeling like they have people they can depend on:
12% say they have relatives they can call on
10% say they have friends within their church to depend on
9% say they have other Pastor's spouses to connect with
As the wives, it's not uncommon for us to take on the burdens (spiritual, emotional, physical) of church members. We weep when one of our families loses someone close or is diagnosed with a terminal illness. We move our schedules around so we or our spouses can be present during a time of need. We miss out on family functions due to church scheduling conflicts.
It's also not uncommon for us to fill in the gaps at the church. When a nursery worker can't be at church, we fill that role. When the bathroom runs out of soap, we hunt down the keys and the replacement soap and change it. When we fall short on volunteers, we enlist the help of our own children.
It's simply what we do. And, truth be told, most of us are more than happy to do so. Because it's what we are called to do. But it does get more and more difficult to pour from an empty cup.
Girl, fill your cup.
On the daily:
Get in the WORD!!!
Pray - for you, for your spouse, for the church.
Get dressed. (I know this sounds silly to some, but for those who stay at home all day, this can be a game-changer.)
Go to the gym.
Journal - be creative or just simply write about the details of the day.
Sleep. For the love. Get some sleep.
Things to do on the regular:
Go to a movie by yourself.
Have dinner with your best girlfriend.
Have your spouse take the kids out of the house so you can work on your hobby completely uninterrupted for a few hours.
Take a class or choose an experience that would make you step out of your comfort zone.
Read a book or listen to an audiobook.
Go for a hike.
Spa day anyone?
Visit an art gallery and really take your time.
Skip your church and attend a different church's service. (I promise, it's okay to see how God is moving in other churches.)
To prevent burnout:
Get on the books for a great therapist.
Plan a staycation.
Reevaluate your priorities and scheduling. Scale back on your obligations.
Attend a women's conference.
Attend a ministry wives retreat.
Being proactive and preventing burnout is easier than recovering from it. Being married to a man in ministry is a blessing that can quickly become a burden if you're not taking care of you. We are called to this ministry, we didn't stumble upon in by happenstance, even if it may feel like it.
You, My Dear Sweet Sister, were created for this.
Do you have any self-care tips to share? I'd love to hear about them in the comments.