September 30, 2008

Kids and Med School?

As I read some of the comments on previous postings, I saw that a couple of you had asked about how kids and med school works. Up until a month ago, our group of ladies had no experience in this area and couldn't really give much firsthand advice. Now, Sarah has welcomed little Addy...but still, we don't have tons of experience yet!

My husband and I were married 6 months before coming to med school, so for us, waiting to have kids until residency seemed okay. We did get the baby itch early though and I am now 6 months along with our first! (My husband will be in the middle of his fourth year when the baby is born.) Now that we are working out the details of finances and schedules and such, I can see how it would have been possible for us to have kids earlier if that is what we decided.

But anyway, I wanted to share the experience of another med school wife who has TONS of experience with kids and med school. Nicci's husband started med school when their son was about 10 months old. I know that the first year was hard for her because her husband studied mostly at the library. I think he tried to study at home, but their son would tap and tap on the study window so it was a bit distracting!! But, they made it through the first year fine. From what she said, the second year was easier because they had more of a schedule. Still, their little boy had a hard time not being with daddy when it was time to study. Cute story...sometimes they would let him go "study" with daddy and the little boy would pack up his picture books into a backpack, put on this huge pair of reading glasses and his little kid scrubs, and sit on the office floor next to his dad for some "study time". Very cute. Nicci did have a hard time telling him that daddy didn't need a study buddy all the time though! (I think the little boy might turn out to be a nerd after all of that study time at a young age!!)

Anyway, halfway through second year, Nicci and her husband welcomed baby boy number two. Her husband didn't get much time off when the baby was born, but he juggled his schedule to be home when he could.

This is where the amazing part of the story comes though. Nicci's husband is in the army and decided to do his rotations through the army - which meant all over the country!! I have really been amazed at how Nicci has handled this situation. For the most part, she tries to travel with him each month. Sometimes they stay with family or friends for the month, other times they are in army housing, and one month, they had to live in a one room hotel! You may think that Nicci is crazy (and I will admit that I couldn't do what she did!) but she and her boys have seen some AWESOME places. They have been to Texas, Arizona, Washington state, Utah, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and...HAWAII! (They were in Hawaii for 2 whole months!!) The key to Nicci's success is that she is super adventurous and views each new location as a chance to explore. For example, they have visited the children's museums in almost each city they have been to, they climbed Mt. Renier in Washington together (slowly!), went dune sledding in the desert in Arizona, swam every day in Hawaii, they take walks and explore parks in each new city and have even attended some big sporting events together. Nicci really looks into the area's attractions and they make family outings together on the weekends. I really admire her sense of adventure and although moving monthly could be traumatic for some kids, I think her attitude and flexibility help to make it a great experience for her kids too! Now her oldest is almost four and the youngest is one and a half and she has a third on the way! It takes work on her part, but I think she really enjoys most of their time traveling.

Now, traveling around the country may not be for everyone but it is possible. I think most things in life are possible with the right attitude...including moving away from family to go to med school, or even have kids while in med school. Other med school friends who have small children seem to band together and support each other. I know a group of ladies in our area that has weekly play dates and mommy outings. It is possible and many people do it well! Any of our readers have children in med school? (Or in residency...I am curious about that because it is coming up for me!)


the Jennings secede from the South said...

Good Post! It's definitely a personal decision but it can be done!

wacoans said...

Enjoy your blog! My wife recently finished a Radiology Tech program while pregnant and I will be entering the Nursing program soon. Its interesting to see other brave souls juggling relationships and kids with school. P.S. We had Tanner on Sept. 23rd!

Brooke & Freeland said...

Lauren! Glad you posted & shared her story! I know having kids is one of the biggest questions a lot of people have in med school. I think you have a great perspective to share! I cant wait to meet your little nugget!!