My wife, Karen

Last week I remembered how much my wife helps me with my role as a State Representative and I realized (again) that there is no way I could serve our state without the support and assistance of my wife. I’m pretty sure the same can be said for all elected official’s spouses and their families!

By now, you know the numerous hours House and Senate members spend in session from January through June between floor debates, caucus meetings, committee meetings, and constituent service. Our time out of session is equally challenging because there are so many demands placed on our schedule.

Without her support at home and in other ways, the job could be overwhelming.

The thing that really makes me realize how important she and other spouses are in our lives is that spouses have so many other responsibilities in addition to the challenge of dealing with situations they never signed up to handle.

For starters, my wife is just as involved in the community as I am and she’s also the one keeping things together at home. Being a stay-at-home mom for our three kids, Sarah (11), JC (3) and Emma (2), keeps her busy but she always lends a hand when I need help.

I almost hate to ask her for help because she’s already busy enough at home with the children and in the little “spare time” she has, she’s often volunteering her time somewhere in the community.

At Riverland Hills Baptist Church she works with M.O.P.S (Mothers of Preschoolers) serving as a Discussion Group Leader/Crafts Coordinator.

With the Columbia Junior League, she’s a Vice-Chairman of the Holiday Market Decorations Committee. (And has meetings basically every week).

And, of course, there’s the everyday routine of taking JC and Emma to and from school, picking up Sarah from school, coming/going to Sarah’s cheerleading practices and also helping with homework while I’m away. I do try to always be home by “tubby-time” (JC/Emma) so we can hopefully tuck them in bed and say their prayers together.

She also fields questions from others when she’s out on errands at the grocery store/mall/church/etc. and she gets phonecalls at all hours of the day….7:00 a.m for questions about pet ordinances….during the day for requests for me to speak to organizations….in the evenings for constituents looking to speak with me before the morning.

Last year, she was asked to speak to the Freshman Class spouses to give them an idea of what to expect as the wife of a state legislator.

You know, come to think of it, I hope she’s happy being the elected official’s wife and not the elected official. She’d be tough to beat and I’ve already lost to her once, year’s ago for the Chairman of the Carolina Young Alumni Association!