Shorten bedtime routine


I have two daughters - an almost 3 year old and a 6 year old. i am married to an airline pilot who needs to regularly be out of town for 4-5 days a week. We make it through the days pretty well but my biggest challenge is bedtime.

1) I am a morning person and by 6pm i am losing steam so i try to get both kids in bed by 7:30pm (which means we have to start as early as 6pm - that is how long it can take me between both kids separate routines!).

2) Currently i put them to bed separately which takes a fair amount of time with each child's books and routine (plus the almost 3 year old still nurses before bed which adds to the time). When i am by myself i will ask the 6 year old to do something quietly in her room while i put the younger sister to bed or a babysitter or grandparent is in the house with me around bedtime to play with one sibbling while i do bedtime with the other.

3)The six year old especially is very set in her ways about her bedtime routine and i am wishing to shorten or change things which she has been resistant to. I think it is a special time of the day/evening that she just loves reading with me.

I feel silly about this because i know there has got to be an easier way, but for whatever reason i have not figured it out.

Any advice is welcome.

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