17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

"When I'm 29, I hope I'm married to the Bishop...." gag.

Ok, now I'm ready to be 30.

I have been lamenting the impending 3-0, but no longer. My DH has a new job at church. He's the Bishop.


Ok, he's well into his 30's, so he's alright....but I seem a little young for this don't you think?

I know it's not unheard of to have a young Bishop (and wife), in fact our previous Bishop was younger than me (so I guess his wife is too? not sure, maybe we're the same age)... but growing up in the church, my experience's with Bishop's always equaled a man at LEAST in his 40's if not 50's....and his wife followed suit. My own MOTHER is a Bishop's wife right now....I mean my children's DAD and Grand DAD are Bishops!

One of our middle-aged congregation members approached me last Sunday and called me mom, because I am the Mother of the Ward.


Even though our Stake President outlined my role as "Bishop's Wife" as a definite integral role, I have been relieved to find that for the past 2 weeks of being the Bishop's wife, my role has been limited to being patient, long-suffering, enduring, and keeping the house a little tidier than normal. I have also refrained from watching television while my DH is trying to study or have quiet time (we live in a small condo, so there is a lot of overlapping space).

From my perspective, so far being the Bishop isn't THAT much different from being a counselor. He still has to be at his 5:45 meeting, I still wrangle the children alone on the bench during Sacrament Meeting, and we still miss out on Dad time for some of the afternoon on Sunday. Our phone rings more often, and he attends to his blackberry a little more. Overall, I am ok with this situation, but let me repeat, it's only been 2 weeks! I am sure I will need all the advice and support I can get. And being the "Mother of the Ward" at 30 will feel a little more welcome than in this decade we call the 20's.



  • Kage, I feel it. DH was 30 when he was called to be the bishop. I think the hardest thing for me was the fact that everyone in the ward assumed that I knew everything that was happening, when really, I was the last one to know. DH never told me anything about even casual conversations. And suddenly, all the relationships changed, because I wasn't "Mrs. M" anymore, I was " The Bishop's Wife". It was a hard time, but it was a time when we also felt really blessed. I was so grateful for the RS President, who really was the Bishop's right hand man, at least as far as welfare issues were concerned. I hated being called the Mother of the Ward, but I know people meant it well. I wish you well!
    posted by Blogger Mrs. M at 7/26/2008 08:31:00 PM  

  • My dad was a bishop at 28 and my mom was 25 and about to have me. So they started off their married life in the realm of church leadership. I think my dad's youth was an asset at that time when the ward had so many problems with their youth.
    My husband was called as a bishop last November. So I'm less than a year or so into "The Bishop's Wife" thing. My husband is 37 and I'm 36. People say to him all the time, "Wow, you're a young one to be bishop aren't you?" He just thinks it's funny.
    I would say that the blessings are powerful and abundant, but there are some times when I feel a peculiar loneliness. The man that I have shared everything with is now not sharing a huge part of his life with me--that takes some getting used to.
    I also think the Relief Society President is way more the "mother of the ward" than I am. If I was the mother of the ward, holy cow, there'd be some serious time outs given and a whole new ward chore chart!
    One quick funny story-
    My 4 year old had some toys lying around and her dad asked her to pick them up. She said, "Dad, you have to help me with my dolly." He asked her why he needed to help her pick up her toys. She replied, "Because, Dad, you're the Bishop and you have to help people."
    That pretty much sums it all up. No matter where we are in our lives, the Lord needs faithful strong people who are willing to help others.
    Thank goodness for your family and your faith.
    Rock on!
    posted by Blogger normal mom at 7/26/2008 11:35:00 PM  

  • Good luck! Our Bishop's wife is really young (just over 30), and she really takes a "hands off" approach to the ward--she has a few little kids and is late to church sometimes, isn't always at activities, etc. I always think, "good for you!" because she spends a lot of time putting her family, instead of the needs of the ward, first, which unfortunately her husband can't always do. I think you can be different types of bishop's wives and even bishops at different times in your life. Really, good luck!
    posted by Blogger Kate at 7/27/2008 01:29:00 AM  

  • Kage, I would feel the exact same way if I were in your shoes. I would have been very shocked at the moment my husband was called. In fact, I probably would have been a little upset and worried about such an overwhelming undertaking for my husband to take on. It is a HUGE responsibility to be a bishop and leader of a ward. It sounds like your husband is a great man and up for the challenge to bless the lives of others through his service.

    Sometimes the younger age bishops have certain strengths that the older ones don't. However, I think a young bishop's family has a lot of extra stress on their shoulders. I agree with mrs. m, the RS president really should be the bishop's and ward's person to rely on for welfare issues. I think the stereotype of "bishop's wife" or "bishop's daughter or son" puts on a lot of pressure. I think that all that you should be required to do is love and support your husband throughout his calling.

    I think that while the bishop does the best he can as the leader of his ward and being an instrument in God's hands, his family should always be the first and foremost in his life. It will be a big balancing act. I know that your family will be blessed for your efforts and service, though. It will probably be a wonderful experience overall!

    My husband works every single Sunday and I am alone with my four little ones each week wrestling with them during the meetings. It's frustrating and I'm late or out in the hall most of the time, but I just deal with it and do the best I can. I have learned in my own life that the Lord knows what He is doing, even if it seems completely crazy at the time. :)

    Good luck! If anyone can do it, you can, Kage!
    posted by Anonymous Utah Mommy at 7/27/2008 08:11:00 AM  

  • When DH was called to the bishopric we had 2 (then 3) young children. The bishop suggested to DH that it might be worthwhile (i.e. help me out and teach the ward that fatherhood was more important than sitting in an honored place) if DH kept a child with him on the stand. This worked out very well. Perhaps if your new bishop felt similarly you would be able to recharge more during sacrament meeting. Just a passing thought.

    posted by Anonymous clv at 7/27/2008 10:02:00 AM  

  • My husband was called to be bishop 3 months ago. He is 30. I am 29. It's nuts.

    I am sooo not the typical bishop's wife. Man. I was at a wedding last night workin' it on the dance floor when a woman from the ward gently and kiddingly reminded me that I was the Bishop's wife. Granted, I know her well and she was totally teasing me but I had to think about that for a while. A little bit less hip action on the dance floor is in order I believe.

    Here is a post I wrote after it happened:

    Good luck. It's tough, especially with little ones.

    I'm here if you need to vent.
    posted by Blogger Likely at 7/27/2008 11:37:00 AM  

  • oh, and more than the mother of the ward I hear Sister Bishop. ???? It seems you lose a bit of your identity eh?
    posted by Blogger Likely at 7/27/2008 11:38:00 AM  

  • Ok. Funny Story time. (100% true.)

    My dad was bishop when I was a kid, but my little brother was only about 4 at the time. He didn't love Primary, especially singing time.

    (As an aside, his voice had something of a foghorn quality to it, and the primary chorister complained that the children didn't sound very pretty. One song, my brother didn't sing, and the chorister commented that it was the most beautiful the children had ever sung. So he decided not to sing ever again. Hence, he didn't like the singing part of primary.)

    Anyway, one Sunday, my brother was out roaming the halls instead of being in singing time. He (remember, a 4-year-old) was visiting with all the adults who weren't in Sunday School. Our home teacher saw him and asked him what he was doing. His response: "I'm about my father's business."
    posted by Anonymous Paul at 7/27/2008 01:47:00 PM  

  • I think you'll find it's really not so bad. Or maybe you just get used to it. My husband was called as the bishop of our ward a little over 2 years ago now. He was 32 at the time and we had 4 kids. Now we've added a 5th. I don't really see myself as "mother of the ward". Perhaps that's because there are so many awesome women that are older than me. He's definitely busier than he used to be, but we've adjusted. I agree with what mrs. m said above, I am always the last to know anything. Everyone assumes I know and my husband tells me nothing. I don't mind too much, though. I find out eventually! :cD
    posted by Blogger Jennifer at 7/28/2008 05:37:00 AM  

  • While my DH is a branch counselor not a bishop I feel the same loneliness that 'normal mom' does.

    And I have to say that the calling varies greatly depending on the area you live. We are in an inner city spanish branch and there is SOOO much work. I remember our bishop back in Colorado coaching hockey and enjoying his boat regularly - which I'm so glad he was able to do - but not doable here. People are on the edge of eviction, deportation, starvation, parole, divorce, etc. BTW this info doesn't come to me through DH, the people themselves spill their guts to me, I don't want to know!!
    posted by Blogger jendoop at 7/28/2008 02:19:00 PM  

  • I just turned 23 this week. I get the "your husband is going to be a bishop" comment a couple of times a month, usually with a "some time soon" added in there. I know he's a great guy and I'm sure he will be the bishop some day, but I just hope it isn't quite yet!
    posted by Blogger Natalie at 7/28/2008 02:29:00 PM  

  • Eeeek. That's my worst nightmare. Luckily, my husband is a little anti-social, so I think we're safe. :>
    posted by Blogger Sue at 7/28/2008 02:44:00 PM  

  • Kage, you really must read "Called To Serve" by Jeffrey R. Holland. You can look up the talk from lds.org
    It is a general conference talk that I stumbled on a few months ago and sent it to my sister-in-law who's husband had just been called as a bishop.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 7/30/2008 10:07:00 AM  

  • Now I will for sure call you with all my problems. Maybe I'll even bug your DH with a few too. :)

    And you're right, having experience with being a counselor before being a bishop was definitely a nice transition for your family. Not quite so shocking.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 7/30/2008 10:11:00 AM  

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