I need to confess. I have been living a double life for some time now. Behind closed doors, I swear. And when I say swear, I mean like a mother trucker.
I have always loved to swear. You could find me in my 20’s, in the lunchroom, the bathroom, the boardroom, surrounded by people I would call my peers, my friends, my equals, and we would be dishing. F*ck this and Bull Sh!t that. It was normal. It was just how we spoke. I was an adult. Swearing was one of the major perks of being an adult and I appreciated the freedom to express myself with any words that I chose.
Then came the babies. This is when society as a whole told me, if I were to be considered a responsible and adept mother, I could not swear anymore, not just in front of my kids, but basically anywhere. It wasn’t motherly, it wasn’t lady like, it wasn’t tasteful. Believe me, I wanted to be all those things, so I stopped swearing.
As a mom of 3 toddlers, you have no idea how hard it is not to swear. I can’t tell you how many times I walked in to find my toddlers doing something outrageous and barbaric, like peeing behind the toy box, and I just wanted to blurt out, “You have to be f*cking kidding me!” Even a “What the H#ll!” would of sufficed, but alas, I did not. I refrained from my potty mouth for the sake of my children’s development and the betterment of myself. You could describe me as a ball of f*cking refinement.
Then came Joey. Joey is my middle child and went through this phase. He was about 11 and he started cussing like a sailor on leave on the walk to school with all the neighborhood kids. It seems that my little boy had become the Cuss King of Edward Drive. He entertained the masses down the 2 blocks like a f*cking boss. I hear he used all the good ones too. With a Oh Sh!t here and a F*ck That there. My boy was making a name for himself.
Then I found out. As a responsible mother, we sat down and had a little f*cking chat.
I said, “You have to stop swearing.”
He said, “Why?”
And I was like, “Ummm, because we live in a just and civil society and there are just some words we don’t use.”
And again he was like, “Why?”
I really didn’t have a good answer for him except, “Because!”, so I did a little research.
Turns out there really is no reason that Sh!t, H#ll, F*ck, @ss and the like are considered vulgar. They have been sort of the chosen words, plucked out of thousands of words in our language, deemed to be offensive over time with the context in which they were used. The words defined are not bad, just in the way we use them. When you think about it, there are many words that can replace these offensive words with similiar meanings which are not considered objectionable. We can say feces, purgatory, buttocks and sex in public without the disapproving glances from passing strangers.
I also found out, during my research that there are studies that have determined that people who swear are actually more intelligent than people who refrain. Which meant my boy was probably a f*cking genius.
Swearing has some health benefits also. Myth Busters did a whole show on the question “Does Swearing Relive Pain?” And the answer was yes. Spouting expletives did allow people to tolerate pain longer and therefore, it is concluded that letting out a little “Sh!t” here and there, is beneficial to the stress levels of everyday life.
So back to the Cuss King of Edward Drive. We entered into a gentleman’s agreement. He could swear in our house, but only in our house. No more swearing on the way to school. There was one big exception to our agreement, no swearing at people. There would be no F*ck You’s or You are a B!tch or Why are you such an @sshole. The use of swear words as weapons was off the table, swear words were to be used as expletives only. You know, classy, like the refined people of Oak Forest that we are. Also, no swearing in front of non-family members in our house. It was like a little Gangolf secret.
He agreed and was quite delighted with the contract. Now this agreement had ripple effects in our household. One being, I began to swear a little here and there. I could mumble an “Oh Sh!t” when I banged my toe or a “What the H#ll!” when the circumstance called for it.
I remembered how much I love to swear. It was like a window opened, the shackles removed, the rope cut. I felt a new freedom in life that I had not felt since before children. I felt free. I felt more like me again, not just a mom with three kids, but actually me.
Now you might think, this is a bit ridiculous to have such a strong reaction to just using a swear word, and I might be exaggerating just a little bit, but there was a release, a definite liberation of sorts.
Fast forward 5 years and we have all settled in with our use of expletives. I feel that this unbridled barrier of language has translated into a free flow of conversation between myself and my now teenagers that we otherwise might not have. There is no judgement of word choice in our house. They can just express themselves freely without censoring their language when talking with me. I believe this translates into a better relationship.
This freedom of expression has spilled over into my personal life also. I occasionally swear in public discourse and so I must confess to the masses, I love to swear. If you encounter me on any given day, in any given situation, you might get an expletive or two, but I have no intentions of censoring myself anymore. I have found that it is nice to be myself. It is nice to just be me, including my flaws, my unrefined traits, my imperfections and my choice of words, even if they are deemed to be boorish or crass by a proper society.
With that being said, I hope you all have a lovely f*cking day and I mean that sincerely.