Right now, my twins go to sleep in their bedroom right next to DH and my room. They occasionally wake up at night, and then they come to us. But usually they sleep through the night. Getting even to this point, so I could potentially get 8 straight hours of sleep a night, was a huge step, and it didn't happen very long ago.
The problem is the falling-asleep process. It's unpredictable and difficult -- if I run the girls ragged all day without a single moment of down-time, constant snacks, lots of tiring outdoor play, etc.....then they MIGHT go to sleep easily, at around 7:30. OR they might not. They might get inexplicably overtired and go nuts, fighting and wrestling. Or they may lie in bed asking to be patted (both of them, which is not easy to do....) for like 2 hours. Whoever is doing the putting-to-sleep has to be right there with them til they are out, or there are problems and protests, and the whole process can get dragged out indefinitely.
I have no one to talk to except for my DH, and I think we are now chronically sleep-deprived to the point that we cannot think of a good solution.
I can't talk to any twin moms in real life, because even the people i like in other ways all swear by crazy tactics: putting locks on the kids' doors, letting them cry/scream even at this age, etc. etc. We are not going to go that route. I'm not even looking for less time with my kids. I just cannot take (and, honestly, my marriage cannot take) 5-hour-long bedtime routines. Today, i gave the girls dinner at like 5:15, before DH was home. Then when he got home at like 6 we gave them baths, got in PJs, brushed. At like 7 they were in bed listening to stories. It's now 9:15 and he's still in there doing Lord-knows-what!!! I often volunteer to put the girls to bed, because if DH does it he'll fall asleep, and then i won't see him all evening.
Just so you know: we've tried charts with the bedtime routine, daytime discussions, changes to the room temp, doing read-aloud instead of picture book, etc. etc.
I just want to be able to leave the room when the girls are falling asleep, so that i can eat dinner with DH and get to bed before midnight once in a while.
Thanks in advance for any help.