First things first: I swear. Ask my kids and they’ll tell you their mom doesn’t hold back when the shit hits the fan, and she makes sure everyone in the house hears loud and clear straight from her lips that the “SHIT has hit the FUCKING fan!”
I’m a firm believer that nothing releases mom rage more quickly and efficiently than a big ‘ol, therapeutic “motherfucker,” and I can say with the utmost confidence I’ve dropped more F-bombs in front of my kids than Amy Schumer has dropped mics.
But the common denominator of all my binge profanity outbursts is that they occur in MY house. I try to lasso the bad language when I’m out in public, and especially around other people’s children. I don’t know what they hear in their homes, and I don’t want to be the first person a child hears foul language from, then freely repeats at home later that day. I can’t be the reason your four-year-old comes home from the pool and says he doesn’t want another “fucking juice box, Mom.” That job belongs solely to his parents.
Personally, the first thought that popped into my mind when I heard this mom using the F-word effortlessly and in perfect context was, “I like her. We could be friends.” But by the looks of some of the other pool dwellers, such was not the case.
The pearl clutchers in their floral tankinis were giving her the stink eye and inconspicuously attempting to float their children the other way. I will admit to my ears perking up while listening to her swear and thinking, “I wonder if my kids can hear her,” but I never once thought about saying something to her. I’m just not sure it was my place.
Perhaps if my kids were much younger and found themselves in their orange floaties stuck right next to her, I may have swooped in and pushed them elsewhere, but in that moment, I just didn’t think it was my place to say something to her.
I know we live in an “I can say whatever the hell I want” society while simultaneously trying to monitor our speech to be politically correct so as not to offend others, but does that speech also include public profanity around children? Not my call to make.
Some will argue that yes, it most certainly does, and there exists an unspoken common decency speech rule that we as mothers all abide by when we are in crowded public spaces. Not gonna lie, it’s a hard rule to follow. I mean, do you know how many times I’ve been dragging defiant kids out of a park and really, really had the urge to yell at the top of my lungs, “Just get in the fucking car already!”? More times than I care to count. But I buttoned up my lips, held those cuss words deep down in my throat, and then later let them out like a bad case of explosive diarrhea as soon as we got home. I’m classy like that.
If our next visit to the neighborhood pool has us sipping lemonade in the shallow end with F-bomb mom, and clearly there are many small children around that she is completely oblivious to, I may just have to swim on over and whisper something in her ear. And it’s gonna go like this:
“Hey, sexy mama! Having a good swim? Really fucking hot today, isn’t it? Man, these kids this summer, they are on my last fucking nerve all day! Yours too?
“Listen, I hear ya, I hear every word you’re saying, but see that mom over there? She hears it too, and I’m not sure she has the sense of humor you do, and she’s freaking a little on the inside that her kids can hear all the bad words you’re using. I think you should tone it down a bit before she throws a sinkable torpedo at your head. Sound good?
“And if you ever need to brain dump some serious F-bombs on someone because your kids are being assholes and you’ve had it, I live two streets down, 4th house on the right. Walk the fuck right in, OK?”