I agree with most of what others have said. I've lived 45 minutes away from three separate preceptor sites without having major issues. For one of them it was a little bit of a problem because they were used to having students that were REALLY local, but for others it wasn't an issue at all.1 - What is the reason why some midwives would be hesitant to train someone that moved to the area to apprentice?
Sometimes MWs want to train others who would then be part of their community. During the preceptor/student experience you get to know each other really well, and having someone nearby you can rely on in a pinch is very helpful. Training someone to send them out into the ether, particularly when you live in an area that actually needs more midwives, feels less productive than training someone you'll eventually work with on some level.2 - You are talking about how hard an apprenticeship is. Why? How is it different from your own practice? Is it only because the apprentice doesn't make the decisions, and has to 'blindly' follow?
Apprenticeship is hard because you in no way set your own schedule. I had to come when my preceptors wanted or needed me, not when it was convenient for me (not counting births, just clinic time - there were many times when I could have come in the morning for a postpartum visit and not had to arrange childcare, for example, but my preceptor was busy in the morning so afternoon it was, even if I had to drive a lot and pay for childcare).
I have never been in an apprenticeship situation where I had to blindly follow. I think I'd have to be pretty desperate to accept a student position with a MW or MWs who weren't going to listen to me/answer questions. There are a ton of subtleties there - like you don't disagree with your preceptor in front of a client and hopefully your preceptor extends the same courtesy to you - but there isn't really a point to apprenticeship if you're following orders all the time.3 - How would a part-time apprenticeship work? Are you only on call certain days of the week? Certain hours of the day?
HAHAHAHAHAHA is there any such thing? Actually, I've worked as solo student more than in a place with multiple students, and really appreciated that when there is more than one student you can block off some off-call time. We did take a couple of days a month off call when we could. But where I've been an only student, it has been 100% on call all the time, for months at a time.4 - Does apprenticing differ if you are going through NARM vs the CNM route?
A lot; the schools set a much more restrictive schedule (where the students are really not expected to take 100% call the way most CPM apprentices are). More CNM students are assigned hospital birth practices to follow rather than given specific preceptor/apprentice relationships, also.5 - Would a home birth midwife take on a CNM apprentice?
CNM students can only be apprenticed to CNMs. There are homebirth CNMs in many areas, but those slots can be hard to get. I've had a CNM preceptor who also teaches at the CNM school here, and she tried really hard to get all of her students through her practice if they were at all interested.6 - What is considered 'young children' at home?
That's super subjective...7 - Is there an ideal age for an apprentices children to be?
I think it would be easier once the kids were more self-sufficient; where I could reasonably leave them at home by themselves until DH got off work so that I could get to births quicker, for example.8 - Most of you are saying that being a preceptor takes time away from your families. How so? How much more than if you were on your own?
I misread this question initially - here's my original answer: The schedule is based on what your preceptor's needs are. As a MW I can decide to do most of my clinic on the day DH is off or when a friend can watch the kids without disrupting everyones' schedules, but while I was a student my preceptors not only had no clue when those openings in my schedule were, they had busy lives of their own that didn't line up with mine at all schedule-wise. Particularly for those last-minute scheduling things (like postpartum visits), I had to call off family stuff that I could have worked around if I had been making the schedule on my own (could have done the visit before heading out to our family event, but my preceptor wasn't available then).
And having reread the question - yes being a preceptor takes some time away because you are spending a little time meeting with your students etc. I haven't had a student and don't know how extensive that is, but I imagine it isn't a very large chunk of time, particularly considering how much work an apprentice does for you, things that normally are really time-consuming like charting and ordering labs and preparing equipment. A student does take time but I'm not sure that "from your family" is the right way to put it...particularly since, again, a student is putting in a lot of time doing things that you'd have to do on your own if they weren't around.9 - Would you take an assistant over an apprentice? Or vice versa?
In my area, most often a student is also an assistant. This is also a reason to take two students - one junior who is more getting used to the birth scene, learning the equipment, etc; one senior who is actually doing most of the hands-on and decision-making work. As a newer practitioner I feel more comfortable with an assistant for a little while - someone familiar with birth and well trained, but who doesn't need as much "teaching" from me - and most schools wouldn't accept me as a preceptor yet anyway. I personally really like to discuss cases/clients a lot and get fresh thoughts, like the brain exercise that comes with answering questions and looking up new information, and will preferentially take a student over an assistant once my practice is better established after this baby is born