08 May 2013

Yr 2 Perspective of a Med School Wife: Maren

Maren, too, was so gracious to write a year-in-review post for me again. You can read her year one post here.

What are your responsibilities while your husband is at school this year?

I usually help with the kids early in the morning to let Jared keep dozing, because he's probably been up later than I was the night before, studying. When he is at school, the kids and I will go to the gym do errands. Jared often comes home for lunch to help.  In the afternoon the kids and I take walks or play with friends or at home until it's time to make dinner.

Jared used to come home every day, right when I needed him most, but he's usually at school until 5:30 or 6pm these days. Sometimes we eat dinner without him.  After dinner Jared usually goes back to school to study.

I take care of all our finances, all our household needs, almost all of the chores, almost all the shopping and food-making, a fair portion of the maintenance, our responsibilities as landlords (except for some maintenance), social and future planning, etc. Basically I take care of everything besides Jared's studying.

What did you do differently in year two to support your med student?
This year, but mostly this semester, required more studying of Jared since he's studying for both classes and boards at the same time. He used to stay until all the kids were in bed, but this semester he's only been home about 2 hours per evening. And since we can't converse well when the kids are around, and I'm asleep when he gets home at night, we just don't have much time together. Our relationship is still somehow totally good, maybe because we both can see the sacrifices the other is making (Jared's is trying to be home as much as possible and mine is trying not to nag him or get resentful) and we both know it's temporary. During the times when I'm ready to start yelling and making demands, I remember that we already warned ourselves that this is how this semester would be.

How did you prepare for the lottery and rotations?

For rotations, we thought a lot about how close we would be to family in each location, and also about #1's schooling situation. We wanted to get her into a Spanish Immersion program, and there are only a few areas that offer that. Also, we knew that Jared will possibly be traveling to various Air Force rotation sites for 4th year and I'd better have family around to help me. Those factors were at least as heavily, if not more heavily weighted than what Jared thought the rotations would be like for him. We also figured, one really has no idea of how it's going to be until one does it, and every situation's got it's pros and cons, so there's no point fussing too much about trying to predict whether he'll like the rotation site or not.

What was the most difficult part of year two for you?

The most difficult part of year two has probably been this last two weeks of finals. The schedule has been much more full of tests than normal, and I've had to remind myself a lot that this is temporary and that Jared won't always be this stressed and absent.

Any advice for first years?

My advice to first years and everyone else is to identify what your expectations are, communicate them, decide whether they're realistic, and adjust where necessary.