Hello my fellow tired mommies,
I am 4.5yrs into a 6yr journey (8yrs in total for my husband).
Having your spouse in school is so HARD!!! Especially med school, veterinary medicine included.It’s 4yrs of undergrad, 4yrs of graduate school, and optional residency.
Here’s what I’ve learned helps the most!
Each week on Sunday we go over our schedules. I’ll note days he might be late and the best day to meet him for lunch. Sadly animals have complications, assignments take longer, and study groups go overtime.
Flexibility has major advantages though. Less stress and more impromptu activities 🙂 I’m a totally different person now. I still love to plan but also go with the flow more (still learning).
Since we are both flexible we know the other is always there to help. If my husband is running late I’ll do some things on the farm or make him breakfast/lunch. I’ll even run things to him at school. If it’s been a long day he’ll take the kids. When the house is a wreck he doesn’t say anything and helps when he can. He’ll make breakfast for us on the weekends. We’ll both tackle a project together.
We text each other during the day and know by the end what kind of day it’s been 😉
#2 Manage your money/avoid debt.
Loans for graduate school are almost impossible to avoid, we’ve been blessed, but you can certainly avoid excess loans for cost of living.
The first year of undergrad we were both working full time and he was also going to school full time. The 2nd year I stayed home with my son and he continued to work and finish his last year of undergrad. His first year of vet school I nannied. His second year he picked up a farm manager position, that covered our rent, while going to school. I started teaching online (details) the end of his 2nd year and plan to continue until we graduate. He also plans to continue as farm manager till graduation.
I’m not the best at budgeting by any stretch of the imagination which is why I choose to work. I want us to be done and earning money not paying off loans for years to come.
We didn’t buy new cars, bought used and paid in cash. We shopped sales and Craigslist for baby items and household items we use often. We cloth diaper. We have money in savings and we’re comfortable splurging here and there. It takes sacrifice but we live comfortably.
#3 Get to know other spouses
I have 3 friends, 2 fellow mommies whose husbands are also in the program. In a predominately female field I feel blessed to have so many!
We introduced ourselves before school even started. One couple (without kids) was from the same state as us and we had them over for dinner a couple times and moved together.
It is so important to have someone to relate and vent to when life gets crazy. To set up playdates and have girls nights when you feel overwhelmed.
Search our the forums and Facebook groups! You’ll find them, in a non stalker way 😉
#4 Time for relationships
Time for him. My husband enjoys basketball with his friends and they use to go more but haven’t lately. He will also play the WiiU “with” our son. They have a lot of responsibility and need time to themselves so find what they enjoy and encourage them to do it when they are in need of a break.
Time for you. Arrange time with your girlfriends to go out. I’ll do it when the kids are asleep so he can still study. He prefers studying at school but will stay home when I ask or he thinks I need it
Time for both of you. Date nights are important even in school. Friday night he’ll stay later but be home for bedtime and our date. Once a month we hire a babysitter and we try to go out to do something inexpensive.
Time with your kids. Usually he is home for dinner and often bedtime but I’ve made it a habit to take him lunch one a week (various each week) and he’ll also take our son to the farm when he works.
Time for family. Sunday is the homework free day. My husband has maintained a high GPA despite this day “off”. We still have church and he’ll visit people but it’s often our day to do fun activities together.
The golden nugget is dinnertime. The days I have dinner ready are so much smoother. We’re able to relax, visit and eat good food 😉 studies have proven this again and again.
Find something you love doing and persue it. Many evenings are spent alone with plenty of time to cultivate your talents! Embrace it and make the most of it!
There you have it!
Often times the years go by fast and the days go by slow. Especially when you feel like it’s all on you to keep everything running smoothly. Having little ones full of energy and draining yours makes it even harder.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel though! I’m not fully convinced it gets easier after school. I do tell myself it won’t be worst at least 😉
Make the most of this life!
I’m here if you need a friend,