Still True: Hand that Rocks the Cradle Rules the World

Written by Karen Serna on May 21, 2014

“The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world”** is a saying I had forgotten about until I went to see “Mom’s Night Out”, a slow but cute movie that had a great message highlighting the importance of being a mom, in this case a “stay-at-home” mom. Although I will not attempt to review or critique this movie, I will say that most women who are staying at home with their children, or those who are working outside the home and then frantically trying to keep it all together at night just to start over the next day, will easily identify with the overall theme of this overtly Christian themed movie.

The movie simply portrayed the time, more time that we expect, and effort it takes to raise children. For instance, while writing these last three sentences I have been disturbed no fewer than three times to wipe a bottom (toddler’s arms aren’t long enough to reach her bottom yet), help pull up shorts that got stuck around the ankles, blow hot food, and get my bottomless pit of a two year old thirds at a breakfast the rest of us finished some time ago.

I cannot make a meal without hearing the call, “Momma!!!!!!!!!!!!! I need to go peeeeee-peeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Translation: “Momma, I need help getting on the potty; I’m afraid I am going to fall in. Will you help me?” Naturally, this cry always comes from upstairs. I’m guessing you can figure out what happens from there. So a dinner that should only take about 45 minutes to whip up takes about 2 hours.

For those that work outside the home, the constant deluge of children’s needs does not last for 12 hours each day, but your days consist of dragging sleepy kids out of bed to throw them on the bus or drop them off at the sitter. Hopefully you’ve been able to get them some breakfast on the way out the door, and don’t forget the lunch boxes. You then work a stressful job only to come home to a house that was not cleaned the night before because you finally were forced to give into the exhaustion and go to bed after helping with homework, throwing a meal together and getting everyone semi-clean before putting the kids to bed.

So whether you work at home or outside the home the task is not easy, and often times we complicate the issue by busying ourselves with a host of activities and a desire to keep up with our materialistic society. Many moms feel forced to work outside the home because the family has accumulated so much debt buying the latest and greatest.

Stay-at-home moms often feel the pressure of a culture that says they are not doing anything of real value if they aren’t working or at least doing something significant in the community. Thus, we busy ourselves running our kids from this activity to that activity, volunteering to change the world, and working when instead we’d like to be living a more low key life. But we can’t do that; then we aren’t contributing to society! Right?

Wrong! The hand that rocks the cradle does indeed rule the world. Our children need our time and attention. They need us to provide a place of love and safety for them. They need us to train them to be responsible world changers. They need us to take the extra time to train them to do the house work instead of our doing it for them. This teaches them responsibility, a character trait seriously lacking in this younger generation. They need us to teach them how to get along with others – another skill that is lacking in a world where road rage is the norm and employers have to send employees to anger management classes. Perhaps if they’d learned that as children, they wouldn’t have to learn it as adults. They need us to have the time and energy to build confidence in them so that they can fully be all that they were born to be.

Moms play a huge roll in these areas so whether you work outside the home or stay home with your children. Your most important job is to invest in your children. You will change the world if you shape them and mold them to be responsible, caring, adults with a vision to do something of value with their lives. And, moms, if you don’t rock the cradle, someone else will!

** The saying originally came from the poet, William Ross Wallace (1819-1881), and was initially published in 1865.

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle Is the Hand that Rules the World

Blessings on the hand of women!
        Angels guard its strength and grace.
      In the palace, cottage, hovel,
          Oh, no matter where the place;
      Would that never storms assailed it,
          Rainbows ever gently curled,
      For the hand that rocks the cradle
          Is the hand that rules the world.
      Infancy’s the tender fountain,
          Power may with beauty flow,
      Mothers first to guide the streamlets,
          From them souls unresting grow—
      Grow on for the good or evil,
          Sunshine streamed or evil hurled,
      For the hand that rocks the cradle
          Is the hand that rules the world.
      Woman, how divine your mission,
          Here upon our natal sod;
      Keep—oh, keep the young heart open
          Always to the breath of God!
      All true trophies of the ages
          Are from mother-love impearled,
      For the hand that rocks the cradle
          Is the hand that rules the world.
      Blessings on the hand of women!
          Fathers, sons, and daughters cry,
      And the sacred song is mingled
          With the worship in the sky—
      Mingles where no tempest darkens,
          Rainbows evermore are hurled;
      For the hand that rocks the cradle
          Is the hand that rules the world.

The above poem can be found in: Northrop, H.D. Beautiful Gems of Thought and Sentiment. Boston, MA: The Colins-Patten Co., 1890.

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Karen Serna is a wife and homeschooling mom with two children. She holds a degree in Chemistry with a minor in Math from Angelo State University. In addition, she is a certified secondary educator. Prior to having children, Karen worked for Texas State University-San Marcos as an analytical chemist and industrial hygienist for over twelve years. Her passion lies in seeing a generation of Americans once again embrace true freedom.