Babies don’t keep


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 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 his 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.

This post is linked up with to Mummy, Daddy, Me for the Ordinary Moments. Sharing normal, everyday moments that capture the essence of family life. Nothing special, nothing remarkable but memories that you don’t want to forget. AKA the nice part of my blog (usually).

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P.S. I have a new book OUT NOW! You can nab it on Amazon here or in your lovely local bookshop :)


28 thoughts on “Babies don’t keep

  1. 3yearsandhome

    Oh yes. Some things everything else can wait for. I love being indoors on windy, dark days when it’s howling outside and slowly going dark as a storm rolls in. It’s my favourite moment to sit and rock BB and watch him fall asleep. It’s a perfect moment (and then CK shrieks up the stairs, ‘mama, I need a wee’.

  2. mylittledreamworld1

    Beautiful, and so true. This is kind of what I think – Its difficult at times, but it goes so fast! The last couple of lines of the poem made me feel like crying. And it also shows that this messy dilemma is not a new one – it’s always been around, so we may as well just go with it! Xxx

    1. hurrahforgin

      Gosh crikey it’s not by me!! Name of author in the title, it’s quite a famous poem but seems less well known than I though. Like that you though me capable though lol ;)) x

  3. Mummy to boyz

    So very true and something we seem to live by although I do have to remind the MIL of this when she mentions we need to move the paperwork off the window – I love the photo!

  4. Donna

    I love it! Heard it before and live by it. Housework can always wait for another day and I never feel bad for leaving things if I’ve spent the day cuddling a teething baby, feeding a baby, getting a baby to sleep or even just playing. As you say, babies don’t keep. Great post! x

  5. tamingtwins

    This was just what I needed to read today! I struggle with getting a bit twitchy when the house is chaos. You’re right of course, bugger off cobwebs. Beautiful photo too :)

  6. Notmyyearoff

    Soooooooo soooo true. I have to remind myself on Ocassion not to keep cleaning his toys away. And to sometimes just enjoy the moment. My favourite is when little z clambers Into my lap and sits…just because :)

  7. mummydaddyme

    Oh this is so so so lovely Katie. And so true. Sometimes I forget that LL won’t be little forever. I need to relish these moments while I can and not stress about the house being a mess. X

  8. Carin

    What a wonderful song/ poem. It kind of makes me feel a whole lot better about the constant mess my house is in because of the kiddos! And the picture is precious! That’s what motherhood is about!

  9. Jenny

    Love the picture. Real life!!! That’s what its all about. My house is a perma-bomb! hehehe I am forever cleaning and it never gets done, like a dog chasing his tail. lol

  10. jennypaulin

    couldnt agree more Katie i would prefer my children to have fun and express themselves and me not worry about constant cleaning. i dont have time to be honest – how mad does that sound. how mums work and keep their houses immaculate i have no idea. love this xx


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