Ollie turned 2 at the beginning of the month and if I'm honest, I still find it quite surprising that I'm a Mum of two. I'm not a super mum by any means but we get by with the help of plenty of cake.
Here are some lessons I have learnt over the last two years.
It's like starting over...
Because each child is so different you have no baseline for comparison. It doesn't matter when your first child crawled/walked/talked - the second will do it in their own time. They won't like the same foods when weaning. They won't fall into the same sleep routine. They won't like the same TV programmes.
You need to get to know this little person and what makes them tick, from the start.
... Except you're now a pro
Sure, you'll still second-guess yourself sometimes but when it comes to the day to day stuff? You've got this covered.
You don't need lots of toys
After all, there is nothing more alluring than the toy your sibling is playing with.
It's all about multi-tasking
I mastered this straight away when Lily decided to potty train just before Ollie was born. I put it off as long as I could but in the end resorted to sometimes breastfeeding Ollie and wiping a bottom at the same time. Hardly hygienic. Sorry Ollie.
Sleep is for the weak
I haven't had a decent night's sleep since Ollie was born.When it was just one child you might strike it lucky and get a full night every now and then, with two, they just tag team each other.
You will never have enough limbs
No matter how good you are at multi tasking, there will be times when you won't have enough arms. On a daily basis I can't cuddle both children, cook dinner and hang the washing at the same time. I've tried. Then in more extreme cases I've watched Ollie bounce down the stairs whilst I'm comforting Lily and vice versa. If I had Go-go-gadget-arms then it wouldn't be a problem. But I don't. Neither do you. End of story.
Me time is more important than ever
By the time I get to the end of a day filled with chatter, laughter, screaming and constant physical contact I genuinely require half hour (at least) to re-align my senses. My children are both very cuddly and I spend most of my day with them hugging, kissing, squishing, flapping, tapping and pulling me. I love it, really love it - even when they're jumping on me and Ollie is kneading my 'mummy-tummy' as life it's a loaf of bread but it can leave me feeling as though my body is not own. Added to the overwhelming emotions that come with being a parent, I find a bath or a bit of time curled up with my Kindle is needed to re-calibrate before I can hold an adult conversation with my husband.
My biggest worry when pregnant for the second time? How could I ever love another child as much as I love my first?
Answer: You just do. The heart is infinite and your love just grows. If you look at it logically, worrying about loving someone enough is a pretty good sign that you already love them.
Yep they different personalities, you might find yourself loving them for different reasons, but you love them just as much.
And you always will.