Mother-in-law ..

For years I had a handwritten poem on the front of my refrigerator from my former Mother-In-Law.  She had given it to us .. shortly after the birth of our daughter.

I love it.

And until then, I had never seen nor heard of it.

I saved that little handwritten note when I had to tear everything, photos, notes, etc off the fridge to ‘stage’ the  house when I put it on the market.  At the moment it is neatly tucked into a box in a folder in a storage unit.

But often, when I am bustling around trying to get everything in order as best I can .. I find myself saying ..

“Cooking and cleaning can wait til tomorrow
For babies grow up, I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So, settle down cobwebs, dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.”

Since the day she wrote it down.. and I recall it vividly ..

Whenever I am able or think of that little note, I do what I can to bring my focus back around to what precious little time I have during any given day, with my daughter.  Even if it means watching her while she plays with someone else, or the dog, does her homework, fusses at me, goes off exploring ..

Or if it means I can just stay still for a few moments each morning and watch and listen to her breathe while she is still peacefully sleeping.  You know that moment.  There is nothing like it.

She may not be a baby anymore.  But it is a wonderful reminder for us in each God given day to slow down as best we can and appreciate the time we are given with those we love and hold dear.


As I was looking for who I might attribute the above words to, I found the following entire sweet poem:

Song for a Fifth Child

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.

by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

2 thoughts on “Mother-in-law ..

  1. My husband’s mother gave me a crocheted piece once, with a picture of a lady rocking her baby and that same saying! I framed it and it has hung in our home all these years… sometimes I rewrite it, (Cooking and scrubbing can wait til tomorrow, weekends go by we’ve learned to our sorrow! So quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep, I’m taking my kiddos to swim in the creek.) But I too had never seen the rest of it!

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