And yes, I have just allowed my last vestige of youth to slip from my hands.

Going to sleep early is kind of the best thing.

And yes, I have just allowed my last vestige of youth to slip from my hands. But the bags under my eyes are smaller! So some things have got to give, and happily I bid them adieu.

You see, early in our married career, I had a job that didn’t start until 9:45 in the morning (hairdresser I was!), and usually I was screeching into the parking lot to make it into the salon just before my client. And when I could sleep in late I could stay up late, which meant Hubby and I watched Conan every night.

Now the idea of staying up past midnight on weekday makes me snort inside. As if that could happen.

In those days, Hubby’s work began bright and early at 7 in the morning, but he’s never needed much sleep. His mother has confirmed this. When he was little he’d stay up late reading and then get up early.

As our sweet babies entered the picture we continued to stay up late like all those young kids do, then as our babies got into school I GRIPED about not getting enough sleep, but really did nothing to remedy the situation except cutting out Conan and making it to bed by 11, which meant I stayed up reading until almost midnight.

Now, you would think that Hubby would need an earlier bedtime since he begins work at 6, meaning he leaves the house before 5:30, but you would be wrong. Especially on those mornings he begins work at 5... hoo boy. But no, that husband of mine keeps charging forward during the week, sleeps in til 9 on Sundays and calls it good.

But something’s changed over the past few months. We were BOTH tired. After realizing it wasn’t just a passing week or two of sleep deprivation we threw out the idea of maybe heading upstairs around 9. Nine o’clock rolled around and we looked at each other and tried to head to bed but yuck. We’re too young to fall asleep before the news!

So we waited and then finally the tiredness was too much. My grumpiness at waking at 7 with my babies was too much. We acquiesced and changed our schedule. AND IT IS THE BEST THING. Now I’m in a deep sleep by 10. And in the morning! One morning this week I woke at 5, got out of bed by 5:30, and made pumpkin bread for my kids. That morning I was the best mom ever. NOW, as of right now I cannot do this everyday. That day I needed to get stuff done before the kids woke, but it’s a step in the right direction. Prior to this early-to-bed stuff I’d turn off my alarm in a sleepy fog without realizing what I’d done. Now I’m almost happy when I get out of bed!

So, do not call after 9 because us oldies are in bed. And yes, we sometimes eat dinner before 5 at night. What of it?

Erin Fox is a weekly columnist for the Augusta Gazette and a busy mother and wife. Her popular blog - erin’s little corner can also be found on our webpage,