Babies Don’t Keep | Poem


I found this darling poem from a sweet little book that I’ve been referencing during my pregnancy to help me think about and take a moment to prepare for the arrival of our son.  (Just three more months to go!)  The book, Meditations for the Expectant Mother is full of encouragement as I wait for our little boy to arrive!


“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 and 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.”

Taken from “Song for a Fifth Child” by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton


Joy is the Co-founder of Scottsdale Moms Blog and absolutely loves living in Scottsdale with her hubby Kevin and their daughter Reagan (born August 2009) and a boy on the way (coming May 2011).  She is a lover of nature, a research analyst on all things related to life, a home manager, a crafty art-eest, Chief Marketing Officer for Cactus CrossFit, mommy, daughter and friend.

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  1. I once did an embroidered picture, when my daughter was born, of a mother holding her baby. The last 4 lines of this poem were what was written on the picture. I thought it was SO beautiful. We still have that picture, although my daughter is now 26, with a baby daughter of her own

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