Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow… for babies grow up we’ve learned to our sorrow… so quiet down cobwebs… and dust go to sleep…. I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.
My Mother has a framed embroidered picture of this poem that hung in our house when we were growing up. I remember staring at it and memorizing it as a little girl. I never did think that I’d someday love and appreciate those words as much as I do today.
My sixth child is now 3 months old. I hold on to the moments of breastfeeding, rocking him to sleep, giggles, smiles, and now watching him rolling over from his back to his belly.
If time would stand still… my heart would burst of love full for my children.
For the first 8 years of being a Mother I remember being stressed at not having a clean house all the time and all the messes the children made. I’d rarely ask for help because I felt I could do it all on my own. I can handle it all, cleaning, mothering, cooking, homeschooling, bookkeeping for our two businesses, emailing , marketing, planning events….the list could go on. I wasn’t saving time for myself or stopping as much as I should to enjoy my children.
I loved the reminders of this poem to “quiet down”…”babies don’t keep”. Older women have encouraged me to hold my babies and enjoy them while they are little. “Time goes so fast” they’d say. And the older I get, the more I’m enlightened to this truth.
Mamas, hug those babies, kiss those babies, soak in the smiles and giggles, watch very closed and never miss a moment of rocking your baby to sleep.
Leave the cobwebs, leave the dust, forget the dishes, lay down the tablet, phone, or electronic, first be a Mother to babies who will grow up too fast.
Song for a Fifth Child by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton (1921- )
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 as 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.)
Oh, cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
But children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust, go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby. Babies don’t keep.