Since I got full time work our routine - what little we had - has gone to the dogs.
At the moment the boys are in childcare until between five and six every day. From 8 am. That is a LONG day.
Not only does that make me feel horribly guilty, it makes evenings a nightmare.
Sometime around 6 I arrive home. The boys go crazy when I get back and are all over me for attention and cuddles - lovely husband prepares and serves dinner whilst I'm mobbed by the kids.
We all eat and then briefly play before I take the boys for a bath.
By now it's around 7.30 and they are SHATTERED - but do they immediately go to sleep?
Do they buggery.
Jellybean is the better of the two - he is just passing through to the far side of a bad spell and after what seemed an endless stretch of bad nights trying to settle him is ending. He is up until after 8pm most nights but is so tired that after being tucked in with a song and a story, and lots of kisses, he will stay in bed and go to sleep when we leave the room.
This is helping a lot - but we really need to get our evenings better organised so that he can go to bed earlier.
8pm is much, much too late - 8.30, which is becoming more regular, is ridiculous - and he's grumpy and tired in the mornings, when Midget Gem wakes him.
Midget Gem is a nightmare.
He will not settle in his cot. As this is in Jellybean's room, it always wakes him - so to "make things easier" I've carried on co-sleeping (yep - I'm THAT person) and it just doesn't work.
He doesn't settle properly - he wakes every hour or so (often more) and because I panic he'll wake Jellybean, I actively settle him (cuddles, milk, dummy, singing) rather than letting him self settle. (this isn't helped by knowing it disturbs the awful woman in the flat downstairs - who likes to complain to us weekly that we're a nightmare who are ruining her life with all our noise. specifically walking, using our loo and doing laundry during the day at weekends).
This means that my night and his at very broken - and lovely, long suffering husband is woken too. He ends up on the sofa pretty much every night. Often Jellybean is woken by baby anyway, despite my best efforts. He then either comes in our bed or hops on the sofa with his Dad.
Sometimes he'll go back to his own bed, sometimes not.
None of us are getting enough sleep. We are never getting any evening or relaxation time - we are dealing with the kids or at work for our entire day and half of every night.
The 'soundproofing' in the flat is nil - the walls and doors are like tissue so nobody can go into a separate room and get a good night's sleep alone to swap places the next night (though we do keep trying!)
I hate the evenings, ending up rushing big to bed with too little one to one time because we are trying to settle the devil baby with his claws/teeth/screams and then it takes until 9/9.30 to get baby down - by which time our tempers are blown and we're too tired to relax properly or catch up on housework!
We need a week off everything where we can make that call to forcibly teach baby to "self settle" (by which I mean that vile 'cry it out' method I always swore against using) and catch up on naps during the day - but I just can't see a time in which we can do it.
So it'll have to be done on a normal week - when we have to go to work and not fall asleep at a desk or in our cars.
We're away or have visitors over Christmas and New Year so it'll not happen then - the change to our routine will be so big then that there's no point even trying to get the boys used to a new way of things.
I hate it. The knowledge that this is going to go on for another couple of weeks makes me feel sick and want to cry and cry and cry.
Every parent knows this feeling to some extent - most children have periods of battling sleep or waking in the night (if yours never have, don't comment, I might flip) and it's just so hard functioning long term with too little sleep.
Worst of all - when they finally ARE asleep and I've caught up on things a bit and am in bed, can I sleep? Nope - not a bit of it. My mind goes into overdrive and I can't turn it off enough to sleep - I lie awake, exhausted and often crying, knowing I'm my own worst enemy and that I'm making the next day just as bad by not being asleep already.
Just like right now.