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Making the Moments Really Count

By: Elle King

Going into this medical school journey with my husband, I knew a few key things.

1: My husband will eventually be a doctor

2: We will have big bucks worth of debt

3: That this is going to be hard, but worth it, and

4: Our free time together will be limited.

With quality time being my #1 love language, I was pretty anxious about how I would survive on the little interaction I would get with my husband throughout the day.

I remember the first month trying to get used to our “new normal,” where he would be gone for 12-15 hours of the day with two 30 minute breaks for lunch and dinner. IT WAS HARD! Being a fairly new mom to a little boy who was under 1 at the time, I struggled to get used to doing everything on my own and having no physical support. BUT, luckily I was able to meet other medical school wives which helped keep me sane throughout the day.

Though I loved creating relationships with other people and spending time with them, there was still a void during my day that could only be filled by spending quality time with my husband. And for my son, there’s nothing better for him than him spending time with his dad (besides spending time with his mom, of course)

I won’t lie and say that I handled myself so graciously that first month. I definitely began harboring anger that I was alone, being a parent all by myself, and was not getting the quality time I was used to and felt I needed.

Though it was hard, we used the time that we did have, to be honest with one another. I soon realized that the emotions and feelings that came with him not being around were definitely not one-sided on my part. He was feeling the hurt from not being able to spend his time around us either, on top of all the stress that comes from being a medical student. So we had open conversations about what we both needed.

We decided anytime there was a test, we would go out and do something. It actually gave my husband motivation to get through a tough week. He would look forward to having some time off away from school even if it was just a couple of hours. Being on a budget doesn’t help with getting out and spending money, so a lot of times, we went out to explore what we could of Saint George, even if it was just a trip to the park.

Also, we really had to work on making one another and our family a priority when he came home for lunch and dinner breaks throughout the day. When he came home for his dinner and lunch breaks, it was all fun and games and he played with son, and now daughter as well. He spends probably 5 minutes actually eating, then the rest of the time running all over the backyard playing!

With his spare time, especially in the 2nd year, being so limited, we make sure to spend quality time together at night. I’ve had to learn to be more of a night owl so that I can hang out with him when he comes home from studying.

Even though it’s hard, time does pass and everything really does become your new normal. We rely on less time together, but we make that time count by laughing, playing, joking, planning, organizing, crying, and cuddling. It may not be a lot or sound groundbreaking, but it means so much more when the time just isn’t there.

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