I swear at my kids.
Yes, I said it and I meant it. Each and every day, I swear at them.
I’m not ashamed to admit it.
Our kids can be assholes. Tell me your child hasn’t ever deserved to be cursed at and I’ll call you a liar.
I’ll even go so far as to say that I believe that swearing at my children makes me a better parent.
I’m not talking curse words like “dammit” and “hell.” Oh, no. I pull out the big guns. Those four letter ones of which I am such a big fan.
Now, I would never actually shout obscenities directly at my offspring. Obviously.
But, when Lily is screaming that I ruined her life by taking away the hot pink hair dye which came with her new Moxie Doll that was staining the entire first floor of my house, I may just have seen the words “shut the fuck up” float over her head in my imaginary commentary of the scene. And it may just have kept me from really losing it with her.
When Even is thrashing on the floor because I didn’t let him have a third bag of Goldfish before lunch, singing a little ditty that goes “Shut the fuck up, you pain in my ass. Shut the fuck up, my dear.” in my head, somehow, makes the moment more bearable.
And, Ben’s incessant whining can be blocked out by my asking “are you ever going to shut your little fucking mouth, you annoying child?” in my head. Logically, I know the answer is “not likely,” but just asking always makes me feel better.
“Are you fucking kidding me?”
“Just fucking shoot me now.”
“Fuck off, sweetheart.”
Does saying these things mean that I love my children any less than a non-swearing mother? No. Does it make me a bad parent or role model? No, I don’t think so.
Because, by thinking these awful things, I keep myself from actually saying anything terrible to them. Which, I argue, would be far worse.
It’s a coping mechanism, of sorts. A tool to survive motherhood.
So, next time your child is screaming at the top of his lungs that he doesn’t want that shower or need to brush his teeth or that no, he will not stop taunting his sibling despite a hundred and three warnings, flip him off in your head.
I know he deserved it.