I don't know if I need advice or encouragement or what, but I'm losing it here. My son is almost 3. He has never been easy to get to sleep. When he was a baby, the acrobatics it took (walking swaying dancing swirling etc.) were so strenuous that my husband and I had to trade off. Eventually, I was able to just get him to sleep by rocking and nursing him, but once he hit 2 years the toll it took on my back to gently place a sleeping toddler into a deep crib was too much and we got him a twin bed. Then I would lay and nurse him to sleep, which usually took 45 min to an hour, but at least I was comfortable, albeit bored. Dental issues persuaded me to stop nursing him to sleep, which actually resulted in him falling asleep faster at first, but now we are back to 45-60+ minutes of me laying with him (this time does not count bath, nursing with stories, or tooth-brushing which all happen each night, too).
It is now 9:44 and he is crying hysterically with my husband. I nearly lost my mind with frustration, because during the 45 minutes or so I was in there wih him, he flopped around, squirmed, fidgeted, poked at me, whined, etc for almost the entire time. I think he is overtired. I think this is often our problem. My husband gets home from work at an awkward hour - too early to comfortably have dinner without him and too late for a reasonable bedtime. I think bedding him down 8:30-8:45 is too late. Is this our only problem? If I move it earlier, should I do so gradually? Will I ever be able to say good night and walk out of the room?
I am very frustrated that our entire nighttime routine takes 2+ hours. I am literally banging my head against the wall. I am frustrated that I can't talk to most of my mommy friends about it because they did CIO and I fear that they will infer that this is what I get for not sleep training.