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As I was handed my second bundle of joy, Grayson Wolfgang Hopkins, I was both enamoured and daunted by the prospect of life with two kids. After just a few days of giving birth, my older boy, Sebastian, was getting himself dressed, ready to start his first day of reception year at primary school already signed up to after-school clubs and with his own busy social life to keep up with. Meanwhile, my husband and I were preparing to buy a new house, with work needing doing to it and our current house needing readying to go on the market.

With two emails a day from Seb’s school arranging various needs and events from library books and homework to P.E kits and wellies on one side, emails and phone calls to make for everything from kitchens to lighting on the other and the much-needed recovery from cesarean-section, I found myself overwhelmed. My brain was all over the place from all this and sleepless nights with Grayson’s breastfeeding.

As a child, I always wondered about my mother (mum of 3)’s oversized handbag, brimming with notepads and diaries for various areas of her life. Then, I thought it looked messy and unnecessary. Now, I get it.

I needed to get myself organised with space for itineraries for the whole family (what day does Seb need his P.E. kit again?), notes on what I want for the new house (those tiles, that paint the landing) and who I need to call next (has my husband sorted the plasterer yet?). The Family Life Book gives me control back. That isn’t to say I am still all over the place, but at least I always have clue as to what might be bombarding me next.

This week, it’s kitchen design *EXCITING* and house clearers to be organised *boring* and right now? Chilli night with the family.

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