May 19, 2009

Babies Don't Keep

For whatever reason, I have been feeling completely overwhelmed with all of my tasks at hand. Have you ever had those periods of time where everything just seemed like too much? Where everything just gets to you all at once? But then, when you take a closer look, you really have no more to do or no more to deal with today than you did yesterday? Or last week? Even a few months ago?

Yeah, that's pretty much how I feel right now.

Sure, some circumstances have changed. New challenges have been brought to the forefront. At the same time, old challenges have been resolved and many things have been accomplished. It's just much easier to dwell on the negative.

It's a tricky thing, negativity. It can consume you. It can change the way you live your life. A down in the dumps afternoon can turn into a month-long attitude slump before you even realize what's happened. Trust Me.

After approximately 4,792 arguments between Tyler and I regarding the state of our house, I started a discussion on one of my "mommy boards" about a cleaning schedule. Basically, it was an "I pray you, tell me, how do you do it?" post. I just really, pardon my french, suck the big one at keeping a clean house. There. I said it. I thought that maybe my fellow mom friends would have some advice.

The results were a bit comforting. Low and behold, the majority of the responses were full of individual struggles to stay on top of the very same task that I just simply cannot master. Some were practical, some were funny, all made me feel a bit better.

Then, my friend Elainne made reference to a poem that I had read somewhere before. I'd like to share it now:

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

Oh- thank you, thank you, thank you! That is exactly what I needed to read. That is exactly the wake-up call I longed for.

Babies Don't Keep.

That is going to be my parenting motto this summer. Yes, this is the last week of preschool. Yes, our routine will change and yes, we will need to get things ironed out. Yes, I will strive to be a better housewife and meet the needs of my husband.

But, not at the expense of my children.

This is our chance at a fresh start. Less TV, less computer time. Less stress, less adult conversations. More fun, more play, more laughter. Less moping. More light-hearted activity. Less worry, more making moments count. Less pessimism, more optimism. Less negativity, more hope. Less yesterday, less tomorrow, more today.

I want to start thinking like my three-year-old. Not all of the time, but some of the time. I think it will do us all a world of good!

Babies Don't Keep.

A few small adjustments will be totally worth it, don't you think?

6 sweet tweets:

Anonymous said...

I would give ANYTHING for my baby to grow up. All he does is cry. He has cried since six a.m. Never mind, he has cried since September. I cannot wait until this kid grows up. Our life is awful.

Mae said...

Oh, Heather. I TOTALLY feel the same way so much of the time. I was packing up some more of the baby's clothes today and it breaks my heart every time. I can't believe how quickly they grow. I do get stressed out about the cleanliness of the house (or lack thereof), but I've also been trying to make a conscious effort to do as much as I can but to make playing with the baby the most important thing in my days. We should get together soon! **Hugs**

Erin D. said...

I like that poem too! I'm like you, in that I've been in a slump lately. I will take your advice and try to be more about today and optimistic! Thanks for the inspiration!

The Costellos said...

Funny how so many Moms worry about the same things. Thanks so much for posting this and for being so candid; It puts my heart at ease knowing I'm not the only one!

the barnes family said...

I've only been a mom for 6 months and for 6 straight months I have been agonizing over my house. The poem totally made me tear up and realize that my house is not near as important as my baby! I still want to discover some amazing way to keep my house clean AND play with my family! If you figure it out before me, let me know!

PamperingBeki said...

What a great reminder.

Raising kids is HARD!!

And I'm a fellow messy house keeper. ;-)

I did this blog post a while back that sums it up for me.