Here is my situation:
My husband is now gone two nights a week, leaving dinner/bath/bed for me to do solo with kids. I have a four year old, two year old and an almost 4 month old. The two oldest share a bed.
We have a pretty set routine when Daddy is around, bath time, jammies, brush teeth, warm milk in bed, read books (Daddy usually takes over the two oldest at this point because I am generally in the other room nursing/rocking baby to sleep), Daddy rocks two year old while four year old falls asleep by himself in bed, and then Daddy puts two year old into bed with four year old. Generally bedtime is an exhausting, but semi-peaceful situation when we are both working together.
Now I am at a complete lost. The last three weeks of doing it alone has been MISERABLE. I can not get into a swing of doing this by myself and it usually ends with one (or more) of us in tears and me resorting to parenting techniques that I don't usually employ or wish to use (threats, raising my voice, shaming etc). I have tried nursing the baby in bed while we read books and then just singing to the other two hoping they will fall asleep but they act super restless (especially the two year old who is used to being rocked to sleep) and I end up getting over the top frustrated, plus my two year old is so wiggly and silly I end up feeling like I have to physically restrain her body in bed to get her to calm down. Tonight I tried leaving them in their room to look at books while I put the baby to sleep, but they were completely wild and loud and it ended up prolonging the time I had to take to get baby to sleep. The baby kept waking up and every time I left their room to go nurse her back to sleep, they were wrestling, screaming, laughing etc.
I'm wondering if anyone has two younger children sharing a sibling bed and if you have any tips/advice or could share your routine of how you get them to sleep without the wrestling/giggling/pillow fight madness that is happening for us right now. Also, any moms who do bedtime solo - how do you stay sane and respectful to your children?