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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Notes from the bottom of the hovel...

I, like most moms, struggle with house cleaning, especially when the kids are little. With a husband, a 7 year old and an autistic 5 year old, my house always looks like a tornado hit it, or like my friend Annie says, like a frat party that you have to clean up, but didn't get to enjoy. I manage to get some day to day cleaning done every day, such as dishes, picking up toys/clothes/misc out of the footpaths, laundry, etc, but the deep cleaning that probably should happen more often just doesn't. There simply isn't enough hours in the day when you're the only one doing it. And not getting any help or appreciation either. One of my friends that means well (but has no children) commented on the state of my home, saying that "a clean home makes for a clearer mind and better environment for all." Maybe so, but when you're the only one who can or will make an attempt at cleaning, it gets old really fast.

Lately I haven't been overly worried about the state of my house. Because I just really don't have the energy, and not much time, either, to be cleaning like a fool. I'd much rather be reading with my son, or tickling my daughter and making her laugh until she gets the hiccups. Because they are already growing too fast, and sometimes I feel like I've already missed too much. I turned around and they are 7 and 5, almost in 2nd grade and Kindergarten. The next time I turn around they will be 17 and 15 and almost in 12th grade and 10th grade.

I've had the last part of this poem in my head the last week or so, and while my "babies" aren't really babies anymore, and I no longer rock them, it's still true. The details on the origins of this poem are sketchy, but I've seen it labeled as being published as early as 1958. The last paragraph is especially true. ETA: Upon further research, it is called "Song for a fifth child."

Dedicated to the other "supermamas" in my life, Annie, Corrie and Catrina. <3 and hugs!

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

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,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye 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?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can 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 and babies don’t keep.

- Ruth Hulbert Hamilton