With your first, everything is new! Phases come and throw us for a loop and we think, "OMG, will it EVER end?!" And, eventually, it does....
Now with two, when we go through the spill-the-dog-food phase, I think, "oh, right...I remember this with my first. Just a few weeks of putting the bowls up high so we don't spill the water...again!!"
It's kind of like running a second marathon- it's still hard, but you're able to pace yourself much better this time around.
Another reason why number two is easier...
I always felt like I needed to be engaging with my first- stimulating him and entertaining him with learning activities. Even when he wasn't necessarily "asking" for my attention I felt like I should be next to him and actively playing. And when he would "ask" me to play with him, I had a hard time saying, "no".
Now with two, if I am feeding Finn and Liam needs me, I feel like I have an "excuse" to say "no" and to sit and nurse Finn.
And finally, now, at 14 months and almost three years, there are actually times when they want nothing to do with me and simply enjoy "playing" with each other. So I can actually finish my coffee (sometimes), without sharing or hiding/losing it around the house!