Residency really is all that "they" say it is. It is like a constant roller coaster. A fast one. These are a few of the challenges of residency:
1. Moving. One of my greatest challenges during residency so far has been moving. With kids in elementary school and preschool, I have worried constantly about what schools they will attend and whether they will have friends living next door or down the street to play with. Having children seems to take the focus almost completely off of what you want or where you want to live to where will be best for them.
I have found a few helpful websites to determine where to look for a home to buy or house to rent: http://hotpads.com/ along with craigslist.org, and greatschools.net. With googlemaps you can get a good look at the street, neighbors, and sometimes the number of minivans, etc., and the greatschools.net website gives you a feeling for the schools in the area. Googlemaps also allows you to find the distance for a commute, including the estimated travel time during busy traffic.
2. Loneliness. Friends and family support are key to surviving residency happily. However, usually one or two, or even three moves are required during residency, so loneliness is a huge issue. It is challenging to make new friends, and then painful to leave them and know the process will begin all over again. However, I have realized how wonderful the relationships are that we have made during residency so far, and I would never trade them, even to eliminate all of the pain that we will feel when we move again. and again.
3. Finances. See the finance page on the home page.
Here are a few tips that I feel have helped and continue to help us survive these years happily:
1. Choose to be happy. It would be so easy to be miserable right now. Attitude really is everything during these years, as is perspective: there are so many people in the world with so little.
2. Find time to talk with your spouse. If there is unity in a marriage relationship, you can handle anything together. My husband and I stayed up late the other night to watch the Olympics after the kids were in bed and ate chocolate chip cookies together. We talked during the commercials and shared funny stories about our day. It only lasted about 40 minutes but it was rejuvenating for both of us.