This is my job.

I began looking for a new rhythm in November, after I came home from my other 20 hr/wk job.  Photography was still eating 30-50 hours a week until Christmas, but I dreamed of finding order in each day, of making it count for our family.

After Christmas, I had time, which is a luxury I haven’t had in a long time.  I began crocheting, worked on a scrapbook (I have told myself that each child will have one, emphasis on ONE, and I can’t promise any more than that), looked at decorating books, read my Bible every day, planned and made nutritious meals and baked goods.

Markus arrived in mid-January.  One giant blessing begot one big mess.  We are back to square one.  Just when I think I have found a new rhythm, a growth spurt or a very tantrum-filled day ruins my illusion.  Flexibility, I’m thinking, will need to become my new best friend.  Flexibility and I have never gotten along very well.  I am Type A.  I plan my days almost to the minute.

I write to-do’s on my calendar, and they remain there for weeks, sometimes never getting crossed off.  This frustrates me.  But I have to let it go, tell myself that I’m on maternity leave, so work needs to take a backseat right now.  I have a brand new baby to hold, to love.

Reading blogs, responding to emails, commenting on Facebook, are all things that I enjoy, things that keep me sane, but that need to move down the priority list.  They are not my job.  They will not reap the same rewards of playing in an indoor “sandbox” with Anja, of reading her books and scripture, of singing silly songs and dancing in a tutu in the living room.  They will not replace holding my baby, sniffing his soft hair, and humming him lullabies as he dozes off on my shoulder.

Some things won’t wait.  When we are out of burp cloths, the laundry must be done.  My family must eat every night.  But the dust?  It will just re-settle within a day anyway.  And that pile of papers?  They’ll still be there tomorrow.  I’m pretty sure I’ve posted this poem before, but it is just SO important for me to remind myself that some things matter, and some don’t.

Song for a Fifth Child

By Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

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, rockabye, 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.

020410 Kiss


5 thoughts on “This is my job.

  1. Love your perspective, Heidi! I was able to keep things under control for a little bit after baby #2 but I wasn’t thinking about another job at that point, either. But things changed as they grew. I never knew how much naps helped me until they stopped taking them. 😦 Enjoy them while they last. I look back at my baby’s pictures and would just love to hold those babies a little bit longer (makes me tear up just thinking about it). You will have time again to have all those to-do’s checked off, a perfect house, and everything in order (it may not be until they’re married in their own homes – but it will happen). Enjoy holding them while they will still let you. 🙂 Thanks for sharing the poem, too – I’ve only heard the end of it – and never even knew the title!
    ~Dawn A

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