Meg- I am so glad for you and Greg that this phase is over. I have been thinking about you. And yes, it is intense with two, but the part I did not mention: two kids is better than one. period. At least for me. There are some very big hurdles (you never, ever get a break during the first crazy eight weeks and your two year old's emotional adjustment) but I love having two.
For me, the battle I faced with being a SAHM with one child (from infancy to toddler) was MONOTONY. Believe me, with two, I am never bored!
I love that the interaction is more complicated that just two people (me and Lulu) home alone together. That got stale fast for me. There is a lot of joyful chaos. Like, how do you hug a newborn and a rambunctious toddler simultaneously? How do you take a wild, runaway toddler outside safely while caring for your one month old? It's scary and hard at times, but much more fulfilling for me. And Lulu and I always have something to talk about and do (care for and play with the baby!!).
Jill - I look at "regression" as a good thing. There is an old phrase from psychoanaysis: "regression in the service of the ego." I think that when our toddlers regress it is in the service of their little developping selves. I trust it.
I think that a little bit of regression is a great thing that serves to bolster and strengthen and relax us. I tend to, with Lulu, encourage regression. It is her way of soothing herself with the birth of a new sister and the loss of mom and dad (albeit partial).
We've had several dinners where Lulu crawls into the baby carriage and I rock her and feed her by hand. We all giggle and laugh about it, yet Lulu also gets this little blissful, relaxed look I rarely see these days. Whenever I can I put Lulu on the boppy and play rock her and call her my little baby. Now, granted, this is in a context of an extremely independent little two year old. But, I know I love to regress, so why shouldn't she? It's over in a few minutes and she goes back to being a big girl. And I feel it is her way of processing her loss of infancy and serves to ultimately make her more independent.
I will say the hard part for us about having two kids is the immense stress it puts on us as a couple. As I said, we have no break time. I rarely get to spend time with my DH. We each co-sleep with one girl, so we don't even get to be side by side at night (so no wordless, unconscious sleep bonding -- so essential). And the demands of two are so very high, we both put the stress onto each other. We've fought quite a lot and its very sad. Now, that is not inevitable, but I will say two showed the real weaknesses of our relationship, such as very poor communication, and how time should be used, etc. etc. We've tried couples therapy, but it hasn't done much at all.
We love each other so much and are both devoted to each other, so I generally have faith there will be a way though this as a couple.
OK, must sign off.