Kristy from the review of year one. It was so nice of her to answer my questions again, and this time she included a fun picture of her family!
What are your responsibilities while your husband is at school this year?
I stayed at home with the kids and did mom things. Two or three days a week I was part of a home school/preschool group with other med school families and that takes most of the weekdays. I still try to keep order and take care of as much of the finances, shopping, handyman duties, planning for moving, and such as I can to keep my husband free to focus on his studies.
What did you do differently in year two to support your med student?
Second year was much more intense for Josh, it seemed. So I tried to step up even more to keep him free from having to deal with details that come with running a household. I don't know what was different in terms of what I was doing to support him, it was just more efficient. We all (including the kids) just got better at doing what we needed to do so that we could maximize our family time.
How did you prepare for the lottery and rotations?
Josh and I talked a lot about what we wanted to experience in rotations. We both wanted to be in a small town setting if possible, and we wanted to be where Josh had as little time away from home as possible (where most of his time was in one hospital rather than several cities). We also looked into schools since our oldest is starting Kindergarten this fall, and we wanted to make sure she would be able to have a good experience with that. We loved the idea of Astoria from when we first heard about it, and when lottery time came it felt like it was the perfect fit for what we wanted. The particular Astoria track we chose based on how the elective and vacation slots were scheduled. We wanted to try to have one of his electives in Idaho Falls where we are from and wanted that to be either right before or right after the vacation slot. It worked out perfectly for us.
What was the most difficult part of year two for you?
I think financially it has been pretty hard - worse than the first year. You have to be so super frugal and learn to get by without much.
Josh had a more intense study schedule, especially during the second semester when he started more aggressively studying for boards. The kids had a hard time understanding why he was gone even more than ever, and it was hard for Josh and I to get time with just the two of us since the kids missed him so much. It really was a growing experience for me, and I have learned how to take charge of my own life since I haven't been able to rely on Josh for things that he used to take care of.
Any advice for first years?
Just keep at it. Keep taking advantage of the little bits of time your spouse has. Find ways to save money wherever and however you can. And just keep pushing ahead. It goes so fast that it wasn't too bad!