Guest Post || Him & Her & Him

A little bit ago as I sat here with Copeland and Josh, playing blissfully in the backyard,
basking in the sun with hamburgers on the grill I suddenly remembered that school was
a dreaded few weeks away. I tried to soak in as much time and memories as I could before
I lost my husband to long days of being away at school and full nights of being
hidden away studying. It's a hard thing, not having your husband there with you, whether
he's at school or his job. I remembered my friend Allison mentioning her husband being at
school late or not seeing him for a while because of school and I thought "could it be!?
Another mom going through the exact same thing I am, having the same feelings?".

I then realized that there may be many moms who are going through this and so I asked
Allison to share a little bit of her life as her husband attends medical school.
Thank you Allison!


Before I begin this post, I'd like to start with a disclaimer: I tend to exaggerate. This post is every bad day and complaint from the last three years rolled into a few paragraphs. About fifty percent of the time, my little family works around a nine to five schedule (for now. Residency, I see you sneaking up on us) Medical school makes for an ever changing schedule and is an always different process that keeps us on our toes, but, for the most part, doesn't completely suck. And, when it does, because sometimes it does, I know that in the long scheme of things this is a very short season of time in our life and there's nothing that either of us couldn't put up with for a few years at a time (though, admittedly, somedays I "put up with it" with much more grace than others). So, while we will be making a few stops on the complain train in this post, I am extremely happy and I am immensely blessed and more than just you readers, I hope my husband always knows that. Ok, continue. When Natalie asked if I would write a guest post for her blog on being married to a medical student and raising a family through this crazy adventure, I was honored and excited, but a little nervous as to what I would write about. Truthfully, I felt a little inadequate. Who am I to write about these things, as if I'm the one whose got the hard end of the deal. It's all my husband, guys. He is busier and more stressed and has more responsibilities, worries and pressure put on him than I will ever understand. He is the one doing the work, I just have to deal with some of the side effects ;)

Stephen started applying to medical schools when we were dating, he went through the interview process when we were engaged and exactly one month after our wedding we moved to Alaska to start this adventure - this is all we've ever known. This has always been our normal and our constant. Everyone said, "don't get married before or during medical school," "don't have a baby during medical school and especially not during second year"... The odds may have been stacked against us, but we're still here, three years later. Stephen hasn't dropped out of school and we haven't killed each other, so I think we're doing pretty good ;)

So, all aboard the complain train, shall we? Where do we start? Going to sleep by yourself, waking up by yourself (because I can't decide which one is worse!), preparing a dinner that goes cold, the unpredictability of it all, moving every ten months, having Stephen come home from the hospital only to leave the house again to go study, working weekends, vacationing without your husband, single parenting because his schedule keeps him from seeing Uriah four days in a row, the feelings of rejection and guilt... I tend to stay on the train long past my stop. I think the easy thing to do is to get mad - get frustrated - because I see his work as a break from being at home with Uriah, but I forget that it's actually work and I need to remember when he comes home, that's his break. I get stuck in a "me, me, me" rut when something finally pulls me out and I see that as hard as it is for me, it's so much harder for him.

What pulls me out of that rut? I wish I could say. I wish there was a button that I could push to stop being so selfish and magically turn into the ideal housewife my husband deserves. Trust me, if I had such a button I would share it with you. Sometimes it just takes a really good day at home with Uriah to not "need" Stephen to take over when he gets home. Sometimes it takes a lot of self control and intentionality to focus my energy on Stephen and not myself. Sometimes it's harder than others and sometimes I manage it more than one day in a row, while sometimes I don't manage for a week at a time. I think it helps to understand and accept that though - that it's not going to be perfect and it is going to be hard and it's going to take a lot of push and pull from both of you to make it work. You're going to fail and he's going to fail you. It happens. But! Isn't that the truth of life? Of marriage? Of parenting? Isn't that something we've all read and heard before? Something we know we need to work on, but of course, is always easier said than done.

It's also hard when no one understands - maybe you've been there, too, fellow momma. When your family and friends don't get why he has to study for 12 hours a day. Why he can't go on vacation or take a day off or stay up until midnight. Why he can't come home early to help out or take a break from studying when the baby is crying. While I am so proud of my husband for being so diligent, determined and dedicated, everyone else is judging him for "ignoring" me and Uriah.

A fellow medical student's wife, a good friend of mine, once said that she'd rather have a one hundred percent man ten percent of the time, than a ten percent man one hundred percent of the time and I couldn't agree more. Though more often than not we get Stephen far more than ten percent of the time, he's the best dad and husband I could ever ask for and I'm so appreciative. So maybe when you're getting your husband just ten percent of the time, you'll remember me and my little five seconds of fame on Natalie's blog and I'll serve as your reminder that your husband is a one hundred percent man. That you will have your time, but maybe it's not right now. Maybe you need to be there for him first so he can be there for you later. Maybe, as hard as your day was at home with your teething baby, his day was harder. And on top of that, he had to come home to that teething baby...! Maybe we're all struggling and maybe we all need to work on being a little more selfless and a lot more loving. Maybe...

It's definitely been a long journey, shortened and condensed and crammed into three years. And we have more to go - six years more. And I know that residency will be different and harder and that complain train is probably going to gain a few more stops, but I signed up for this and so did he. And maybe Uriah didn't, but he was born into it by birth so he doesn't have a choice ;)

You can find me on my blog, him & her & him, here
You can read past posts on medical school, here, and posts on motherhood, here.


Tara-Jeffrey Mills said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jaimie said...

That was an awesome post!! Great read