Parenting. Holy Crap it’s so fucking hard!
Yes, I swore. I apologize. Not really though. Swear words are apart of my language, culture, and coping mechanism. I need swearwords. For real, I know you may laugh at that last statement, but I find the four letter words along with a stiff diet coke – the most therapeutic tools I have currently in my tool box. When I was younger I heard more swearwords that any other words by far. Even my name, it was rarely Carrie. My real mother even said my first word was “shit”. I hate to say it – but is this really shocking? I’m actually more shocked that it was such a soft swear word.
And, so yes I do swear in front of my kids. I know, I know… That’s not responsible, productive, useful, or good …I have heard it all. But what ever happened to when we were younger and we heard our parents saying a lot of not so positive, role modeling language in front of us – but we knew that we could NEVER repeat it? If we did – we had our asses tanned. So to speak. My experience of an “ass-tanning” is a hell of a lot different from most – but I do know from growing up with many different types of house holds, cultural background, and social status – just because we heard our parents swearing didn’t mean we could. No fucking way.
So here I am 3 beautiful kids in – and they swear! It’s actually quite funny to me, but my in-laws and even my husband all shoot me death looks of disappointment and “see? didn’t we say this would happen” looks. Um, Excuse me? I quickly become defensive. Totally forgetting that my kid just swore, and now would be the time to do some of that good parenting, lesson teaching type of stuff. Instead I find myself getting defensive at everyone else in the room at the time that is obviously thinking OMG, it’s because of that mother always cussing. They swear too. Who cares? And didn’t your parents swear? And, didn’t you know better than to repeat that? Looking at it now – I can see I am just making it all about my own issues instead of dealing with my awesome sponges of children.
In the beginning of those moments of hearing them swear for the first time we would even blame each other all depending on the word. Like, Shit was my husband… and even sometimes my very religious mother-in-law. But, when she swears it does just sound wrong. Funny, but wrong. But, it’s the big ones that everyone knows, yes even me, that they probably learnt that one from me. In the beginning it was forgivable I guess, because it was more cute when they were under 3.
But, now – my son will sometimes get angry and use them towards us. This takes my breath away. In a sucker punch kind of way. And then I find myself giving myself that look of judgment I usually see from others. I’m so disappointed in myself. It seemed so harmless before, it even made me laugh.
But, now I am starting to realize I made myself a big fucking mistake. Apart of me is still living like that “white trash little blonde girl” that it didn’t matter what kind of language I used. I was white trash. It’s in my blood. And, fuck anyone who dared to judge. Unfortunately, ultimately I believe my ego is just bruised cuz I know better.
I’m torn really. In one way I hate that swear, especially so freely sometimes in front of my children. Because I do know that I am teaching my kids to swear. I’m essentially saying it’s OK. My kids just aren’t afraid of an ass-tanning because that doesn’t happen in my home.
Then, I get defensive. I think they should know better, and that people are just saying it’s bad because they are just judging…and that obviously I caused this behaviour because of how I was raised. I was raised in an environment riddled with profanities – and now – all though be it, a much smaller scale…I am putting it on my kids!! These are the thoughts that are running through my head when my kids swear!!
And so…they get a stern talking to, the usual; kids don’t swear, that’s not OK. Even because mom and dad swear that in no way says it’s OK for you too swear. When I was a kid – if I swore…blah, blah, blah. I mean they know this whole speech now by heart I’m sure. But then – hearing my son use such horrible words I am left feeling unsure of myself, my choices and even worry I have somehow damaged my kids.
It’s these moments when I hate that I grew up how I did. And, that I realize how much work I got to get done on my own shit – and fast – cuz I have three beautiful children relying on me to lead by example. It’s my job to teach them that they are more than their parents, bigger than their past… so much more special than they will ever know. And, that they don’t have to use fowl language to make a point. Especially not in these young years. Ugh, this parenting thing IS hard. Parenting as a survivor – a Victor – is even tougher.