I'm expecting my second child and wondering what exactly I need to do to make sure my older child is cared for while his dad and I are at the birth center, and how to do it tactfully, and when to make arrangements.
He is 9 and in third grade at public school. He is able to walk home from school alone and has a house key, but he has never been home alone more than half an hour. If all goes well, I will give birth at the midwife center and bring baby home within hours afterward. My son is sort of curious about the birth, but after talking about it at some length, I think he doesn't really want to watch the birth or to sit in the waiting room so he can meet the baby immediately after birth. If there's any complication and we go to the hospital overnight, then he would want to come there and meet the baby.
We have no family living nearby. My mother-out-law will come stay with us for a week or so soon after the birth, but she'll have to drive 7 hours and arrange time off work, so she may not arrive for a couple of days.
Our next-door neighbor works from home and is friendly with my son. I feel like she is the best candidate to step in at short notice and be with him, even overnight in our house or hers, until we get back--because it would be easy for her to get to our house without interrupting her life too much, and she's usually home. But I feel a little awkward asking her to do this. Should we offer to pay her for babysitting?
We have other friends who live within 2 miles, but most of them have kids the same age or younger and/or full-time jobs, so they seem less likely to be available at the unpredictable moment when we need them. I would like to choose somebody as a back-up person, though, even if the neighbor says yes, just in case she gets sick or something.
How do you handle this? What details do we need to make sure to work out?