To swear or not to swear, that is the question

OK, I know what the right answer is – not to swear in front of your kids – but is it really? Am I a bad mother if I swear in front of them a little?
Mums I know have really strong opposing views on this topic. I know some mums who swear wild and free, their reason being that it’s who they are and it’s how they choose to express joy or rage or excitement and they teach their kids when it is (at home) and isn’t (at school/grandma’s/aunt Suzanne’s house) OK to say “the S word”.
Then there are the mums who mouth the word “crap” instead if saying it aloud (is crap even considered swearing anymore?), would never dream of uttering “the F word” and would be mortified if their child spilled their drink at dinner and said “oh bugger”. Their reasons are that they want their children to grow up with good manners and there are a myriad of alternate ways to express yourself than having to resort to swears.
Look, I see both points of view and I agree in part with both, but what am I personally going to do? I haven’t decided yet. The reason is that I grew up in a house where swearing was forbidden. We couldn’t even say “pooh head”. I called my mum a “silly billy” once and got sent to my room! Equally we were given detention for swearing in school; I once got 1000 lines of “look like a lady, speak like a lady” (oh so many things wrong with that line but we can discuss the misogyny of the British education system in the 1990s at a later date!) but my point is that I swear now. Yes I know it’s not “ladylike” but that’s kind of my point. Why should I not swear (but a man can)? If I drop a glass on the kitchen floor, in the heat of the moment will I really say “oh bother” or maybe “shhhhhhhhhugar”? Or will I say “oh shit!” like I did yesterday. I know when it’s OK to swear, I’d never do it in front of someone I knew hated it as I wouldn’t want to offend anyone, nor do I swear for no real reason (much).
I guess my conclusion is that I want to teach my kids about swearing the way I want to teach them about sex and drugs and alcohol – I want them to hear the real honest truth, from me, someone they trust and who has their best interests at heart. I don’t want to educate them in the way I was educated about those things I.e. “NEVER DO IT. End of discussion”. Because no one would talk to me about “forbidden things” I simply went out and learned about that stuff all by myself. I definitely want Serena to learn from me and for us to be able to have an honest enough relationship for her to be able to say anything to me.
Maybe even shit!


© gorillamums 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any material or media (including images) without express and written permission from this blog’s authors and/or owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to gorillamums with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.