This is the topic that I haven’t tackled which I should have a while ago. I am sure you have wondered whether it is possible to get through the school when you have a family and small kids. Dealing with the demands of anesthesia school and parenthood simultaneously is by no means easy. But it is doable. If you are considering going down this road, you can take comfort in the fact that many of us have already been through this process of either raising kids or having kids in school. I myself have two small children when I started school and they were 1 and 3. It wasn’t easy to balance between school and family, but as long as you have a plan and a good support system, it is totally doable. On a positive side, when your children are small and they won’t remember that you are not around that much.
It is important to talk to your partner before you embark on the journey. Talk to him/her about the school workload, and the limited time that you may have for your family and expectations from each other. Make sure that he/she is on board with it. If you have your parents living nearby, elicit their help as well. Make a plan and stick to routines so that you will spend quality time with your family and kids. For example, you can spend half an hour reading a book every night before you put them to sleep. And a family movie night once a week etc. Even though sometimes it is tempting that you could use two extra hours to study if you don’t watch the movie, taking time off from your study is actually good to get your mind off study for a bit.
The first two semesters are usually the toughest as you transition back to school as a student and take on heavy loads of studying especially A&P. I remember I got up at 5am to study AP in the morning and leave the house by 7am so I can get to school by 8am. I usually left school at 7pm, so I would be done with all my studying. Once I got home, I helped out with house chores with my husband, and showered the kids and put them to bed. I then cooked some food for the next day for my family. I was able to be efficient so I can focus and get my study done at school. Once I got home, I focused on my family. I spent one day usually Saturdays to study and Sunday was the family time. Find what works for you the best. But try to make an effort to spend time with your family every day if possible.
Once your clinical rotation starts, you may find yourself stuck in the OR late. Again, try to make time every day for your family even just 15 minutes. Time flies, before you know it, you are about to graduate. You would be amazed that you get through school while raising your kids.