quiet down, cobwebs & dust go to sleep. i'm rocking my baby & babies don't keep.


If you’ve ever done a drop-by at our house, you know that there’s sure to be toys scattered on the floor, dishes piled in the sink and probably one child without pants on.

And I think I’m okay with that.

Because I can go downstairs to the playroom and be served plastic potatoes from my excited 3-year-old chef  — or I can ignore his requests for me to play so I can scrub down my own kitchen.

Obviously, there’s a balance, but I’m giving myself room not to feel guilty about having a picture-perfect home. It’s all about priorities, and I want my children to know that I love them and value them. I want them to see the all-encompassing love their creator has for them when I hug them after a fall, when I wear out my 100th pair of jeans because I’m on my knees racing Hotwheels.

So when I feel those “I should’s” start whispering, I think on this poem. Young moms — you are so precious. Your kids are so precious. Don’t let the pressure of perfection stop you from pursuing your kids. This poem was written by a mama of five for Ladies Home Journal in October of 1958. It’s a popular poem, and maybe you’ve read it before, but these words keep coming back to me, and maybe it’ll speak truth to you, too.

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.

31 days of living the kingdom at home

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8 thoughts on “quiet down, cobwebs & dust go to sleep. i'm rocking my baby & babies don't keep.

  1. I loved, loved, loved that poem too; and lived by it as much as possible. I even had a stitchery of the last few lines in a frame on the wall in our home! I always felt I might have chosen the more difficult way to raise children (as opposed to efficient); but in retrospect, I will never doubt that it was the best for our family. Pretty soon they will start helping you in the kitchen and with the laundry……not too efficient either but oh so worth the time spent together.

  2. I recently attended a baby shower, and for part of the devotional a lady read your blog entry and the poem by Hamilton. I LOVED that you are authentic enough to admit that you might have a child running around with no pants on. That’s so often the picture at my place. Anyway, your post was a great encouragement to me! Thanks for sharing!

  3. I loved this poem! I’ve never read it before but oh how it touched me:) I’m a first time mommy and trying to keep things perfect all the time can be very difficult. I’d hate to miss any moment with my family because I’m busy running errands. Watching my baby girl discover something new everyday still amazes me and reminds me that even if the house isn’t spotless she will still love me

    1. Aw, thanks for sharing, Brittney! I love this poem,too,and come back to it often! Have grace for yourself — it sounds like you are a wonderful mommy! xo

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