Taming Twins: Our Nightly Routine

Summer is a beautiful time of year. The weather is nice, you can go outside, and the days are long. We had a nice after work routine going on during the summer. We’d get home, feed the boys a bottle, have dinner, and go out for a walk. We’d visit the neighbors until 8:00 PM and then head home to give the boys one more bottle before sending them off to bed. Everything was done by 9:00.  Our evenings were long and windy, they were relaxed, and we really had time to spend with the boys after being away from them for the day.

All of that changed at the end of the summer.  I’m not sure if it was the fact that the evenings weren’t as long or if it had to do with us putting Adam on a schedule, but our evenings started to shorten and compress. It became difficult to get out for a walk and then became impossible.  We were used to feeding the boys two bottles before bed, but it started to feel as if we were feeding them two bottles right in a row.  Their bedtime began to move from 8:30 down to 8:00 then 7:30, and now sometimes 7:00. We also started feeding them a meal of cereal and baby food in between their two bottles, so there’s even more to do.  It’s nice to have extra time to ourselves after the boys go to bed but getting there is pretty stressful.

The race begins right when we get home.  The boys eat their bottles right after we get in the door.  We cook our dinner and prep their baby food while they eat.  We eat and then there’s usually some time to play on the floor.  After an hour it’s time for baby food and cereal.  We pop the boys into their high chairs, throw bibs on them, and feed them their dinner. We clean them up and by that time the sun has set and its dark out.  Too dark to take a walk.  The boys start to get tired, but we try to play with them anyway.  Sometimes it works, but more often than not they are already getting ready for bed.  That means bottle #2 and pajamas.  If it’s a bath night we try to fit that in too. There’s not much room for anything else so good luck. Once their final bottles are done we have a little more playtime to make sure they are truly ready for bed.  If we try to put them to bed before they are ready it’s miserable.  But when they are tired its miserable too.  We can’t really win with this one.

When they are rubbing their eyes we say goodnight and bring them up to their bedroom.  They usually go up separately which works well since Adam is a bit loud while he’s falling asleep.  If he isn’t quite tired enough he’ll cry and scream for a few minutes so its nice if Zach isn’t in bed yet or is already asleep.  Zach usually goes down well but sometimes he has trouble and can wake up Adam if he’s already in there. This whole process is over by 7:30.  Two hours have gone by and we feel like we’ve run a marathon.  Thankfully GiGi comes over to help a few nights a week. She entertains the boys, helps with baths and feedings, and manages the dogs so we can eat dinner and get things done.  We joke that it takes three adults to take care of two children and it still feels like a marathon!

We’re starting to get used to it.  Now the boys can hold their own bottles, which makes it a bit easier. It’s nice to have the extra time to ourselves, but its hard to get into gear right after a long day at work.  Sometimes the boys are already tired and cranky from day care and our play time turns into “let’s scream at mommy and daddy and never be satisfied” time.  We usually get a couple of those a week. They make us look forward to the weekend when we get to spend the afternoon with them when they are happier. It’s a lot of work.  Times two.  Or four.  I’m not sure yet.  I don’t know how people with more than two children keep their sanity.  The boys better put us in a good nursing home for all this hard work!

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