Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dilemma Of The Age Gap...

I mentioned in a previous post about how to decide how many kids is right (well what questions my husband and I have to answer to help us decide). I mentioned in that post that one of the biggest struggles was deciding what is the perfect age gap.

For me this will be the deciding factor on how many children we have (and also max age I want to be...but that can always be stretched). Now I use to think the best gap was two years...that is what is between me and my sister and that is what most people I know say is there "perfect" age gap. But is two years really the perfect age gap? Or has that just become the norm? Is the age gap getting larger over the years? I know a couple people who want large age gaps (to me that is over 5 years) or others that is just the way it worked out for their family. But if you had to choose and had total control (which is very unlikely but lets just go with it :D) over the age gap between your kids what would it be???

I found this article at THE TIMES it points to a three year age gap but states that what ever the age gap you have to make sure that you prepare the older child for a sibling. Also to make sure that you make each child feel special in their own way. But if you go here (to the writer's blog) you can see Sarah Ebner's full article including the missing case study.

Another one BabyCentre talks about the increase of premature birth rates are higher if become pregnant before 6 months and above 5 years. Also points out that with a smaller gap the expenses are closer together but you get the baby part over quicker. While with a larger gap expenses are over a larger time frame and you may feel like you can focus on each child more.

Below is my personal thoughts on choosing an age gap.

I personally wouldn't mind having two in diapers...I use cloth diapers so for me this would not be a major cost. I currently have all the newborn diapers that I would last through at least 2 if not 3 more children.

Potty training.
I really want to have a baby either before my older is being potty trained or has been potty trained for awhile. I have heard several hundred times of moms who said that they were some what potty trained and then regressed when baby came along. I think this is harder to pin point as every child potty trains at their own time.

Never get out of baby mode.
This can be a positive or a negative. One way you won't feel like you are starting all over again like you might if you wait 4+ years. On the other hand it feels like you always have a baby tied to your hip...you may feel like you don't get to enjoy the older child and their growing independence.

On maternity leave with your friends.
This seems like a very trivial way to base the age gap on but it can/could be important to some. So you want a friend to be off at the same time or go through pregnancy together. My sister-in-law was pregnant the same time as me and it was very fun! Especially if you are due as close as we were (my daughter born three days after my niece). We got to complain about morning sickness and heartburn together. It felt like you had someone who truly understood what you were going through...because they were!

Having children closer means that you pay a larger amount at one time (or closer together). If they are farther apart there is breathing room to add to the savings. But this also means that you will be paying for University of a larger span which can be hard if you want to save up for retirement. With a smaller gap you can start on retirement savings sooner.

But I guess when it comes down to it as long as we give the same attention (as possible) to each child I think any age gap can work out. There are positives and negatives to any age gap. Also I think a small age gap is just as likely to give you close children as a larger age gap. Though I still think I would love a two year age gap...that is if everything goes as planned. :D

Lots of Bunny-Hugs!

p.s. if you google "perfect age between kids" there are a lot of blogs, articles, and forums that bring up this topic.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Off To Work We Go...playing catch-up

Well not yet...but my maternity leave ends at the start of January 2011. This means I have to get ready and dust off my books to get reacquainted with nursing ones again. It will be 14 months since I have stepped inside a hospital or nursing home as an RN...which is a little overwhelming.

If everything works out I will be starting back in a .70 position...meaning I would be working 21 8 hour shifts every 6 weeks. This is more garunteed work then in my other position which is nice because I won't need to rely on picking up more shifts to make it to full time. This also means that Hannah will have a better routine and have less surprise trips to the daycare.

So how do I prepare to going back to work??

There is little to no information on returning to work as an RN from maternity leave. Which is odd because around 93% of RNs are female and in Saskatchewan you can take up to 18 months without losing seniority. So it is just natural that maybe your skills won't be as sharp as they were before the maternity leave started.

So what can I do so that I won't feel like a fish out of water? and how do I accomplish this while looking after a child???

Well, I think that the first question is going to be easier then the later. I still have my study book from when I was studying for my CRNE so that is a nice jumping point. Also I have a few other nursing pocket books that I think will be a big help, especially when it comes to pharmacology. For me this was the weakest point for my nursing career. I just was not very good at memorizing all the names. So I guess I will dig out my pharmacology book too.

So I know what books I should look at but what should I focus on??? It took four years to get through the RN program and that is a lot of information to get through.

Now when can I accomplish this "studying"? Well, I could do it while Hannah is having her nap...but I do like to save that for me time. Like checking my email, scanning facebook, and thinking up new blog posts (which I have several in the works...I just don't get around to posting them too often). But maybe I will have to give up some time in there if I want to feel safe and prepared when I go back to work. There is also the time after Hannah goes to bed.

So I have a plan...but will I go through with it??? Hopefully.

Lots of Bunny-Hugs

p.s. if anyone has any tips on ways to organize a ton of information please let me know :D