Thursday, April 16, 2009

Babies don't keep

Balance is a constant struggle for every mom (that I know of, please tell me if you've figured it out!!!) and I often feel pressure to "do it all" even though I'm well aware it's physically impossible. Those lovely perfectionist tendencies kicking in again. (Pity my children.) This little poem helped bring some much needed perspective and even gave me permission to just chill out already and stop worrying about silly things like scrubbing out the cabinet under the kitchen sink or spot-cleaning the carpet. Maybe she was able to do it all until child number five but I'll bet she didn't have Twitter or Facebook as distractions, either! More on what I plan to do with those later. So for me this is a song for a second child, but really, I think it applies to any number of children. =)

Song for a Fifth Child

    by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
Sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren’t her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
For children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.


  1. "...but these are not always directly proportionate to the efforts put in!" Amazing wisdom from Scott.I must admit when my expectations for dividends (based upon my efforts)were not fulfilled, a disappointment crept in that colored my attitude. Unfulfilled expectations can be smothering. Hopefully, at my age, I've learned from those experiences of parenting. I must say, parenting ain't an easy job!! But I've found nothing more worthwhile.A meaty post, Beck. You stimulated powerful memories!

  2. Brilliant poem, and observation- It is soooo true. One of the most important things to do is to schedule stuff that used to happen naturally. I mean time for yourself, time for you and your spouse. It is so easy to get stuck in a hamsterwheel of thankless living.There are rewarding times, with children, but these are not always directly proportionate to the efforts put in!

  3. Priceless, Beck - so true. Thanks for sharing it.