“Mommy broke the compost bin and said a bad word!”
On the first Friday of March, my daughters broadcast this announcement to every person we saw: friends, family, neighbors, check-out clerks. It was BIG NEWS in our household, because it was the first time my daughters had heard me swear.
I am not a swear-y person (at least, not outside of those conversations that happen behind our closed bedroom door when I update my husband about certain events of the day.) It’s just not my habit: I didn’t grow up in a swearing house, and to this day I’ve never heard my own mother utter anything stronger than, “Darn it all!” I try to set a similar example for my daughters, while encouraging them to be careful about what comes out of their mouths.
“The words you say paint a picture,” I’ve told them more than once. “Think about what kind of picture you want to be painting.”
To this end, not only the “big bad swear words” are verboten in our house; we also try to avoid words like, “shut up,” “stupid,” and “hate.”
All this to say: If curses are coming out of my mouth, it’s a sign that something is dramatically off; that something has pushed me outside the limits of who I want to be.