Good Advice

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I wanted to share with you something I saw on Facebook this morning.  It helped me decide not to do any housework today...and anything that can convince me not to do housework is a good thing.  (Not that I need convincing, you understand.)

Updated to say there was no attribution on Facebook about this poem's author.  I did a little poking around and discovered it was written by Mrs. Rose Milligan of Lancaster, Lancashire, England, and first published in the September 15th, 21st edition of The Lady magazine in 1998.

It has a corollary.  I was just about to tell you about the stitchery that I made when I was expecting my first baby...Erik.  Even though I was just 25 when he was born, I was the last of my friends to give birth to my first child, and he was a dream child long in the making (sort of like grandchildren are for me right now).  To pass the time, I did this crewel embroidery piece.  Just now I was looking to see if I could find the name of the author, and lo and behold, I found an image of the exact same stitchery on The Cunningham Family blog.  Here it is:

And as long as I was updating, I also looked up the origin of this poem.  It is only the last stanza of a poem entitled Song for a Fifth Child by Ruth Hulbert Hamilton.  The entire poem goes like this:

 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.

You can read more about Ruth Hulbert Hamilton and what inspired her to write her poem right here.

Kitties don't keep either.  Smitty is here begging me to go outside as I promised him I would.  It's time to step away from the computer and enjoy the weather a little.

16 comments from clever and witty friends:

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

Hey thanks! I was running out of reasons not to dust!

Ranch Wife said...

Well said. That's my way of thinking.

Anonymous said...

Love your post! Saw it on Fb, too! Great way to start the day! Hugs, Doreen

Jeanie said...

I was just taking a break from dusting to check out blogs.... now I think I'll just go and cuddle with my little Oliver... the dusting can wait. ;)

Cath said...

Great words and I agree wholeheartedly! Love the embroidery, very sweet sentiment.

Quilting Babcia said...

Amen to that! I need to make one of those embroideries for my DIL whose expecting her third baby. It's perfect.

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

Napping in the shade took precedence today over all else; Wyatt and I both felt better for it.

Ray and Jeanne said...

Barbara, thanks for the reminder to live today! My dad used to say "Everyday's a holiday" and he lived his short life like that. I try to enjoy each and every day. ~Jeanne

heartsease54 said...

I stitched this exact same sampler for our best man at our wedding and his wife when they had their second child-a baby girl (who is now married with children of her own).

Brown Family said...

I told my daughter in law the same things. have fun with your kids and teach them to be independent and then when they fly the nest you can clean!


Lyndsey said...

I love the poems Barbara. When my children were little my mother told me that the only reason for cleaning and tidying was to make sure the house was safe for the little one. She also said that dust and a little dirt helped develop our immune system so spend less time cleaning and more time playing with the children. Housework has its place but most of the time it can wait.

Kate said...

Very true words. As I have one headed to high school, they really hit home.

Dar said...

Really love the poem you found on Facebook. I made a copy to remind myself too. Thanks

quiltzyx said...

I shared that one on FB too! I think Lyndsey has a wise Mom too :)

Thanks for the link to the song from your embroidery, it's wonderful & something any Mom can take to heart (and Aunties too!).

MaryBeth said...

I had that exact embroidery in my house when my children were young - it was given to me by a dear friend when our first babe was born. I'm going to have to look for that now - I think it's in the back of a closet!!

Lynne said...

They're both great poems. The second made me cry -- grand-babies grow up too fast too (even faster it seems because everything seems faster as we grow older) and mine are growing up without their Grandmum's hugs!