10+ Year Member
- Apr 8, 2008
Sorry - I don't feel comfortable posting personal info here anymore.
My children are currently 12 and 9 and I'm an MSII. My kids still need me - especially to keep them on the straight and narrow, help with homework, work their way through puberty/dating/dances/bras/first wet dream/social angst/fighting with each other/etc and generally grow up. Having children in med school makes some things tough: I don't do study groups very often. I don't do the "extra" stuff like working in free clinics, conferences, etc. I have a whole lot less time to study than my fellow child-free students, and I get a lot less sleep. I'm still a Mom taxi for track, little league baseball, music lessons, etc.
BUT. I eat a lot better because I'm making dinner from scratch for the family almost every night. I have a life. I have a place that is NOT med school. My husband and children are a wonderful break from med school and they remind me daily why I'm going through this hell they call med school. They're my soft place to land.
Living. My husband works, but he had to take a 50% pay cut (and it was the best paying job in his field where we moved to). His hours are horrible, and there are lots of days we only see each other for literally 5 minutes a day. We don't even get to sleep in the same bed at the same time - he works graveyards. It sucks. But we realize it's temporary. The kids are.. well, kids. Some days they're great. Some days I think I'd give them to the nearest passing band of gypsies.
Finances. We were pretty good at living within our means before, but it is a bit tighter now. We shop at the farm a lot (beef right from the farmer, etc.). We have a chest freezer for food, so we can get things cheaper and store them (and it's room for the beef). I knit and sew, and fix clothing when it tears. We fix the house ourselves so no repairman bills. We buy winter coats the year before when the 70% off sales hit and buy them a size or two bigger than the kids are now. And vacation: What's a vacation? BTW: I'll be about $280K in debt when I'm all done. OUCH. BIIIIGGGG OUCH.
The guilt factor. Ok, this one is pretty darn big. I sent my husband's career back to ZERO. And I mean ZERO... no vacation. The worst hours. The worst pay he's ever had. EVER. I ripped my kids away from the only home they ever knew, their friends, their schools, their extra-curriculars. We aren't saving for retirement anymore. We aren't saving for kids' college anymore. Ok, we aren't saving ANYTHING anymore.
BUT: they're very proud of Mom. Living somewhere else is an adventure, and it gives them a breadth of experience living in very different parts of the country. There's lots of historical stuff all around the country, and we're doing our best to see a lot of it where we're at now. As for the kids' college funds. Well, I borrowed money for my college and worked for the rest. They can too. And if I'm working and have a nice chunk of my own student loans paid off when they're in college, I can help out.
Has it been worth it? So far. My husband/best friend/cheerleader/etc. is the BEST. Supportive. Takes up the slack that I've dropped. Lets me vent my stress (which is pretty frequent given the stress of med school, the guilt, the stress of finances, family, etc.). And he writes me notes that I find on my car at school or clinicals or in my bag, my email, written on my desktop, etc. telling me how proud he is of what I'm doing. (That man is SO going to retire early when I'm done! Hopefully I can support him in the lifestyle he would like to become accustomed to - he deserves it.)
But having said all that above, there are plenty of med students who had "stable supportive" marriages/families who are getting (or already got) divorced through this process. Its hard unless you have someone who is extremely understanding of the time commitment medical school is. Undergraduate looks like a vacation in comparison. But I also think it depends on how you learn, what kind of school you go to, etc.
Ok. I've rambled enough. Next parent?
Glad to hear you've got the spouse on your side. I think that's a huge bonus. I take it you're off to the Virginia Tech DO school?[/quote]
I'm a 4th year with a 13 yo daughter. Med school as a mom has been tough but we have all made it through. She has gotten used to the words "sorry, mommy has to study." Once when she was sick, I was up all night with her, the night before an exam. Another time I came home dead tired after an exam, with no sleep, and played with her because I hadn't had time lately and I promised her. I did well with my grades, but there were definitely a few grades that would have been higher if I wasn't trying to be a mom and a student at the same time. It's not easy to balance the two, but I did my best. The hardest thing for her is that she hates when I am on call and have to stay overnight at the hospital.
My biggest concern in your case is that your wife is not on board. This isn't a solo undertaking - it will require team effort from you, your wife and your kids to make it work. If your wife isn't on board, you may end up in an unstable or deteriorating marriage - just try focusing on your med school work with that going on. Also, if she is resentful of your decision, your kids will pick up on that and resent it too.
good luck - I hope you and your wife can work something out to allow you to pursue this.