Babies Don’t Keep

Before I ever had babies, I saw this sweet poem. Pretty sure it was done in a nice needlepoint tableau and hung above a toilet in my aunt’s home. Wait, no that’s the one about sprinkling when you tinkle. It must have been in the hallway. Maybe you’ve seen it. Maybe you even have a copy of your own.

Cleaning and scrubbing can wait til tomorrow

‘Cause babies grow up, we’ve learned to our sorrow.

So quiet down cobwebs,

Dust go to sleep.

I’m rocking my baby

And babies don’t keep.

You might even find it on a fridge magnet.

Double exclamation points make it more poignant

It’s a nice sentiment. It’s true, babies don’t keep. They change all the time.

You know what else doesn’t keep?




Your veggie drawer

Dairy products

Lunch bags

Bananas (they are a very fickle fruit)

Friends, (see veggie drawer)

Of course, babies are more important than housework, but what if tomorrow never comes? What if you just keep reading that poem every day and heeding its advice? Wait, wait, wait – what if we really did heed this advice?

Can’t scrub the toilets today, rocking my baby.

Nope, sorry, not going to vacuum, this is time I won’t get back. 

Lunches are no longer my department, can’t you see I’m rocking a baby? 

You’ll always be my baby. Hold still, I don’t want to mop.

I’d like to empty the dishwasher, but my baby will never be this age again. Ever. Ok, he’s nine, but he’ll never be nine again. This is precious time, precious I tell you. 


Author: Jan Moyer

Embracing my inner child since 2005.

6 thoughts on “Babies Don’t Keep”

  1. I don’t remember if I was pregnant or nursing, but I’m sure I was cherishing time with little Micah just as the poems says I should. It was probably precious puking time. Anyway, I sent the girls down to make their own lunches. One ate a pound of blueberries. One ate 8 slices of provolone. This stuff can’t wait, people. I also think this poem was written in a more ambitious time without Facebook and Twitter where when they said it can wait until tomorrow, they meant tomorrow. Also, their houses were half the size and they could send the kids out to play unsupervised without getting reported to CPS. It was a simpler time.

  2. I think you guys are missing the point….that is not an excuse not to do housework…yes, it was written at a time when things were simpler, but a time when you, as a woman, were judged by how your house looked, by how good a housekeeper you were…what this poem is saying is that babies grow quickly and you need to prioritize…your babies should come first, they stay little for such a short time (even if at times it seems that it will last forever), it´s so important to spend time with them and to enjoy that time…of course a clean space is important but fingerprints on furniture won´t do much harm…even a cobweb or some dust…spend time enjoying your baby because babies don´t keep!!

    1. Sorry if this ends up being a double post. WP ate my first reply.

      Thanks for writing this. I hate it when people on the internet miss the point. I’m always like “Seriously? How could you not get it?!”
      (Bless her heart)

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