Political life can be hard on families. This was underlined when, in the midst of all the hysteria surrounding party-gate, the Prime Minister’s wife Carrie Johnson quietly – and rather efficiently – walked into a central London hospital and gave birth to a baby girl.

Boris Johnson, Boris Johnson’s husband, had just been in front of the House of Commons fighting furious opposition and convening a cabinet meeting to announce tighter Covid restrictions. 

I don’t imagine that even in his wildest dreams he ever thought being PM would be this hard.

Boris is a father and husband to seven children. Two of these are now younger than two years old.

But while he’s a bit of an old hand at parenthood, for Carrie it’s all still relatively new. And now – what joy! – she’s added a little girl to her brood.

Of course a healthy baby of either sex would have been a delight; but there’s something about having ‘the set’ that just feels very serendipitous, very yin and yang. 

At 7.40am Boris Johnson 's wife Carrie was pictured arriving before she gave birth to the Prime Minister's seventh child today - a baby girl

Boris Johnson’s wife Carrie arrived at 7.40 AM before giving birth to today’s 7th child, a girl.

Boris Johnson (pictured) leaves a London NHS hospital this morning after his wife Carrie gave birth to a baby girl - their second

Boris Johnson (pictured), departs a London NHS hospital after Carrie gave birth today to their second daughter.

Perhaps that’s not something we’re really supposed to admit to in these gender-fluid times; nevertheless, it’s true.

They are wonderful little guys, and they love and respect their mothers like none other. However, the mother-daughter relationship is very special and intimate in its own way.

They often have the same experiences. As a mother it can be bittersweet guiding one’s daughter through the challenges of life, especially the difficult and complicated teenage years. 

You can form a special bond. Sometimes, it can even set off some amazing fireworks.

And then there’s the bond between siblings. Wilfred is roughly the same age as his sister, and it’s about the exact same gap that exists between me two.

My now 18-year old daughter was 16 months when her younger brother arrived. She was excited at first, especially because her brother came with gifts and treats.

Wilfred could be enjoying another visit to Peppa Pig World over the next few weeks. We had to buy a season ticket for Legoland Windsor. This was great!

After a while, though, the thought began to occur to my daughter that this new addition was permanent, and then it didn’t go so smoothly. 

As she believed it should have been hers, every ounce of his attention was begrudged. In fact, if I’m honest, I don’t think she’s ever quite recovered from the realisation that her brother is here to stay.

This was something I didn’t expect. It was my naive assumption that they would always be close emotionally because of their age. It quickly became obvious that this was not the case.

Perhaps it’s because they’re such different creatures. They are similar to puppies in that they can be fed, watered, and exercised enough. 

Girls are more feline in nature – just that bit harder to read, and emotionally rather more demanding.

And yes, it’s true: a brother and sister fight like cat and dog. Only the other day, on a birthday shopping trip for my son, they were at each other’s throats to such an extent that I lost my temper, screamed at them both and stormed out. 

My children’s arguments are what really get under my skin.

Carrie Johnsonpictured with son Wilfred as they walk on the beach during the G7 leaders Summit in Carbis Bay Cornwall earlier this year

Carrie Johnson captured with her son Wilfred walking along the coast during the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay Cornwall.

Boris Johnson and son Wilfred ride in a miniature car at Peppa Pig World in the New Forest

Boris Johnson with his son Wilfred take a ride in a mini car to Peppa Pig World, New Forest

But like I say, that’s just my experience. What’s universally true is that, as a parent, moving from one to two is a much bigger leap than you ever think it’s going to be.

It’s not just the sibling rivalry; it’s the fact that, in terms of having your hands full, one plus one does not so much equal two as 20.

When one of them is sleeping the other is guaranteed to be awake; when one is hungry the other is not; if one throws up the other one’s not far behind. 

There’s never any downtime. It can be difficult to even go to the toilet.

It’s just about manageable if you don’t try to do anything else. But if you are at all the sort of person with outside interests – and I think it’s probably fair to say that both Boris and Carrie are – then it very quickly becomes exhausting. 

It almost finished me off, and I wasn’t trying to run a country during a global pandemic with the entire world on my case and every other minister in my cabinet vying for my job.

However, no matter what gender you are, No2 will always be easier than No1. It’s not just a question of experience; it’s also the fact that, as a parent, you’re not quite so highly strung about the second. 

First child gets the organic homemade sweet potato puree, No2 gets whatever’s in the freezer; No1 gets pristine cashmere cardigans, No2 gets machine washable; No1 gets educational wooden toys, No2 gets brightly coloured plastic tat. The list goes on.

This results in No1, female or male, being a little bit like a princess while No2 is just getting on with their lives. They can practically lift themselves up if you reach three or four.

Anyway. This has been an awful year for politics. Boris and Carrie should feel some unreserved joy. 

And there’s nothing like a new baby to smooth even the most furrowed of brows. They both deserve congratulations, as well as Wilfred.