Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The House can Wait

"Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on, so children have very little time with their parents. Parents have very little time for each other, and in the home begins the disruption of the peace of the world." - Mother Theresa

Ian the day he was born.

Yesterday I was grimacing at the house. I had just cleaned it, but seemingly overnight, it morphed into a mess yet again. I hopelessly dabbed at the countertops and tossed a load of laundry into the wash, mumbling under my breath that I wanted more time to clean and wishing that my babies didn't need me. What a foolish, even if understandable, sentiment!

That night, I went to bed, thoughts of a clean house on my mind. I wished I could clean the house. Wished I could take a break from the babies.

This morning, my 5 month old pulled up to a standing position at the couch and laughed with joy.

Ian standing at 5 months. 

We wear all the hats. So much is expected of us, with so few resources and time. But in the day-to-day stress, let's not forget what life is all about, lest the most important parts of life pass us by too quickly.

If I Had My Child To Raise Over Again

If I had my child to raise all over again,
I'd build self-esteem first, and the house later.
I'd finger-paint more, and point the finger less.
I would do less correcting and more connecting.
I'd take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.
I'd take more hikes and fly more kites.
I'd stop playing serious, and seriously play.
I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars.
I'd do more hugging and less tugging.
I'd see the oak tree in the acorn more often
I would be firm less often and affirm much more
I'd model less about the love of power
And more about the power of love.

by Diane Loomans

Song for a Fifth Child

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 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).

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
for 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 Hulburt Hamilton

To My Grown-up Son

"My hands were busy through the day
I didn't have much time to play
The little games you asked me to.
I didn't have much time for you.

"I'd wash your clothes, I'd sew and cook,
But when you'd bring your picture book
And ask me, please, to share your fun,
I'd say, 'A little later, son.'

"I'd tuck you in all safe at night,
And hear your prayers, turn out the light,
Then tiptoe softly to the door.
I wish I'd stayed a minute more.

"For life is short, and years rush past,
A little boy grows up so fast.
No longer is he at your side.
His precious secrets to confide.

"The picture books are put away,
There are no children's games to play,
No good night kiss, no prayers to hear.
That all belongs to yesteryear.

"My hands once busy, now lie still
The days are long and hard to fill.
I wish I might go back and do
The little things you asked me to."

Author unknown

"The work will wait while you show the child the rainbow, but the rainbow won't wait while you do the work." 
~Patricia Clafford

© Guggie Daly


  1. beautiful , I love that poem, this is so true..thanks guggie

  2. That was lovely!!! Thank you for the reminder :) It's so easy to get caught up in the 'wanting to do it all' frenzy that we sometimes forget the point of it all.

  3. I write a blog called Giving Up On a Clean House, where I chronicle activities with my preschooler and kindergartner. My theory is, at the end of the day it doesn't matter if my kitchen sink has been scrubbed, but it does matter if I read to my kids, played with them, taught them something, prepared a healthy dinner and enjoyed it all together.