Why I live in squalor

My house is always messy.  Always.  The only time it is perhaps not messy - and dirty - is just before Christmas comes and guests arrive or when we're having someone over for dinner that we haven't seen in ages.  If you're coming for dinner and I see you a lot, well, I've put toys away and swept.  Perhaps I've cleaned the bathrooms if I had time.  Often I don't.  That's not a complaint.  It's just a fact.  Having three kids and wanting to spend time with them - a lot of time - means I have to let some things go.  And the first thing to go is a certain level of housekeeping.  I didn't have kids and stay home with them to spend my time cleaning. 

My friend Isobel posted this poem to Facebook and I've put it here to remind myself why I live this way (and to justify it when I'm feeling like I can't stand the dirt another minute.  Although, that's normally when I pour a glass of wine and ignore, ignore, ignore.)


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.


Marnie said...

I LOVE this poem, Karen. In fact, it has hung in my front hall at various times in my life, until it eventually gets ripped off and tossed. But you've inspired me to post it again - perhaps for your arrival this week-end!

Isobel said...

We should frame this (we, as in all mothers) and hang it in our hallways. Sort of like a disclaimer for all visitors to read at the front door. Love the new look of your blog and the added pages! You're a joy to read. :)

Karen said...

That's it, Marn... you've inspired me to print it and post it in my front hall. It will be up by the end of the night! (I can print you a copy, Isobel!)

sw Louise said...

I have only seen the last of this poem, and never the whole thing! Thanks for posting it! I'm a "mother" of 60+ years, and boy did those early years go by fast!