One of the Diva’s asked me to share some tips about how my husband and I spend time together while he is in podiatry school. The first thing that came to mind was Make friends with the other wives. Yes, a lot of my time is spent with my little guy or other wives of students, but Justin and I try to make our marriage and our family our number one priority. I’ll share a few of our ideas, and these aren’t limited to medical school. If your husband is in any grad school or even super busy with work, these could work for you!
Us at the White Coat Ceremony – a big deal in Med School World!
- Make the most of your weekends, or days he has off. The times Justin doesn’t have to study (or is taking a break) we try and do something fun. We are in Iowa right now, so we have made a habit of taking a mini-day excursion every month to somewhere we’ve never been. Museums, new towns, bakeries, lakes, etc. We get to chat the whole drive and then thoroughly enjoy ourselves while away, without the pressure of opening a book or working on school stuff. We have the time just for each other.
- Quiz him for his tests. I’ve helped him memorize flash cards, ask questions from his notes, and been a “patient” for him as he practiced for his practical exam.
- Have dinner together every night. Even if Justin has to go back to school to study he always comes home to enjoy a meal with us. (This is especially important if you have children. My husband stays around to bathe and put our little guy to bed so that I have a much needed break as well. Happy Wife = Happy Marriage!)
- Visit him at school. Take him lunch, drop off a treat, or just stop by to chat with him and give him a break from his studies. My husbands school is very family friendly and we enjoy the chance to visit.
- Take advantage of FREE events (dates) hosted by the school. We just attended the “Winter Gala” aka Med School Prom in January. It was SO much fun. The school went all out with a band, food, decorations, invitations and it was all free. We dropped the little guy off at some friends and enjoyed a night dancing! A lot of graduate schools do something of this sort. I have a friend that goes to Dental School Prom every year in Oklahoma. Check it out, I’m sure your school has something similar. Also, the school often discounts events around town for spouses and families. We’ve gone to a baseball game, picnic, guest speaker night, hockey game, barbeque, and other fun activities.
- Start up a babysitting swap for Date Night if you have kids. (I haven’t done this – yet, my little guy has been too young, but a lot of the other students here do this.) You watch a few kids one Friday a month, and then the other Friday’s you drop your kids off and enjoy the free babysitting and a DATE with your hubby. This is a good way to guarantee you do a date night at least once a week. And it helps your poor student budget.
- Communicate! If your husband has a test coming up and needs to do some serious studying, put it on the calendar so you know to give him the time to do so. It’s very frustrating to think you will have a husband coming home and spending the evening with you, just to find out that he has to head back to school.
- Enjoy a hobby together. Pick one night a week that you will watch a favorite show together, and then try hard not to miss it. We enjoy snuggling on the couch and relaxing together without the pressures of school. Pick a book to read together and read one chapter a night.
- Join the Significant Other support group through the school. Our school has a group of “Significant Others” that meet once a month and often times do things for their husbands. They’ve made holiday treats, planned events, and did other things to support their spouse. It also gets you down to the school more often to see/support your husband.
- Be Patient! I often remind myself that this is why we are here in Iowa, and that it is only a few years of our lives. This is our future, and I want to do anything I can to help him out.
Good luck! You’ll find ways to make things work the best for you, your husband, and your marriage.