Babies Don’t Keep

I’m reading a new book called Be the Mom by Tracey Eyster, for which I’ll have a review up in a couple of weeks.  She had one very convicting chapter for me which reminded me of the following poem.  My little one is already 6 weeks old!  This is going to be my focus for the next year, and I’m NOT going to feel guilty about it!


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.

by Ruth Hulbert Hamilton




  1. I’m crying. So precious. Thanks for sharing.

  2. My favorite poem, too. Having older kids sure puts the poem in a better perspective than with my first-born.

  3. I LOVE this poem! It’s actually called “Song for a Fifth Child” and I quoted it at my 5th daughter’s baby dedication! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!



  1. […] Ends Too Soon Song for a Fifth Child poem (Babies Don’t Keep) by Ruth Hulbert […]

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