Okay, not that I'm an expert (I'm not) but my husband is in his 2nd year of medical school and we are 1,300 miles away from our family. So I thought I would attempt to ring in on a couple of Sharyl's concerns and please, anyone else, feel free to do so:
My concerns/worries about the next 10-12 years: Loneliness.
Definitely a legit concern and I was concerned about the same exact thing. Everyone I know with a spouse in medical school's husband handled studying/routine differently. However, what I anticipated for medical school was much worse than the reality of being here. I thought Adam would be in class everyday from 8-5 (some days he is but not on most days) and that he would then study the rest of the night until after I fell asleep leaving us minuscule moments to connect.
So, before we even got here, we tried to rope out a plan that went along with those scary expectations: We would eat supper together. We would have a date night on Friday nights. We would try and work out together.
We did and still do those things but the time commitment hasn't been as bad as I'd anticipated. One thing that helps is Adam is a morning person and gets a lot of studying done before I'm awake, praise the Lord. Second thing that helps is they cannot study ALL weekend, EVERY second. So you carve out times together to do little everyday things. That definitely helps. There are a lot more thoughts about that but I don't want to drone on forever. I hope your reality of med school isn't as bad as your expectation, too!!!
Oh, but also I found close girlfriends and community outside of home. You and your husband can't be equally involved in extracurricular activities so it certainly helps to find your own venues and relationships. We even have a girls' group of women who are married to med. students and we meet once a week and it's a HUGE blessing.
Stress. The place where I feel stressed is money, I think. Because I stress about money more than my husband does. Your husband will probably stress about school, class ranking, etc. I think that's where we come in to encourage and to remind them of the ULTIMATE GOAL. I.E. you are learning information to become a good physician, period.
10-12 years. take it a day at a time. Don't start saying, "Once we get to rotations" or "Once we get to residency" or "Once we get out of residency" because, as my mom would say, "You'll wish your life away." These past two years have been PRECIOUS and I wouldn't trade them. You really go through this experience together and it is stretching but it is full of surprises and simplicity too. Being so far away from everything familiar and safe has really concreted our relationship and who we are as a couple and what we believe.
Money. Yeah. We don't have much. I work full time but don't make very much money. I'm also almost 6 months pregnant and so we will soon have even less as I am staying home with our little bambino! I don't think this is for everyone but I've seen people do it well and we felt really good about taking that step. You learn to budget well and get really creative with date nights and gifts.
Starting a family? See above response.
Being a cliche "Dr's wife". Being "Dr Evans' wife" and not "Sharyl". I sat by these three women at a restaurant and I was so judging them in my head thinking they were total doctor''s wives. Sure, it was wrong of me to judge them but I so don't want to be that lady. I worry about staying "me" once I'm not working and staying home with our son. I pray that the Lord and good friends keep me grounded and reminds me of my identity.
His satisfaction with his chosen profession. His stress and anxiety levels. Grad school for me? Money. Starting a practice. Augh! Does someone else want to touch on these! I'm tuckered.
Good post Sharyl! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!!