What are some special things that your spouse has done to make you feel loved/supported during your residency?
(recently earned a PhD in Immunology and is married to a 4th year medical student/ soon-to-be orthopedic surgery intern. She has a newborn and a 2 year-old.)
My spouse was amazingly supportive during residency. He listened to me when I needed to rant about my crazy day, understood when I needed to work late and would make special visits to bring me dinner when I was on call. He had always been helpful around the house, but that also went to a new level in residency.
Residency is about survival, so one thing we found helpful was to dream. We had regular date nights, and early on it was hard not to spend the entire time at dinner just complaining about work. So we began to talk about our future life or plan the next vacation. Having something to look forward too was always helpful.
We had our son during my third year, so that obviously changed the dynamic. At that point he became a stay at home dad and truly embraced that position.
So, I think the answer is to do everything you can to meet his needs. Which will be different for a man than a woman. It will obviously be challenging since you have needs too, a job and 2 small children going into this process. He may not care about the house being clean, so figure out what is most important to him, focus on those things and let the other crap go. I am going to venture out on a guess that his 2 biggest needs are respect and sex. This is based completely on my observation of men and specifically orthopedic surgeons.
Obviously he should try to meet your needs as well, but the question was how to be supportive of your spouse during residency.