Friday, January 18, 2013

those words

Three kids is totally pwning {I'm stuck in 2010 apparently} Jamie and I. Seriously. I don't feel depressed or unhappy, but I am tired. Kinda like I'm treading water. Trying to keep my head above water. The difference is, I'm treading water with my best friend.
I don't think I can say/type it enough; I am beyond thankful to have had Jamie on parental leave for December and January. BEYOND thankful.

Now I'm not much of a swearer. I've never really been one to use a curse word - except for that rebellious phase I went through in grade 3 when I felt the need to use every swear word I knew at recesses. But I digress...
Since Blaise has been born, a dark side of me has been revealed. I swear. I'm like Joe Pesci's character from Home Alone when he's muttering "frickin' frackin'" after getting knocked upside the head. Except I'm not saying "frickin' frackin'". I'm saying the real thing. Usually at night. Usually when Blaise won't sleep. Liiiiiike last night. Froooooooom 12:30-4:30am. Awesome, right? WRONG. It was not awesome. It sucked.
But I held my proverbial shit together and actually managed to lightly doze amid the fussing/complaining/crying/hollering done by my youngest instead of getting angry or frustrated. Jamie got up and surfed the internet for a bit. Eventually I fed him {again - do not be fooled. The child was not hungry. Just...anti-sleep.} and he finally settled.
I don't swear around my kids {not the ones who understand, that is. *cough*} and just adequately communicates how I'm feeling. And then I'm over it. And sometimes I laugh at myself. It relieves a bit of tension.
I have a bunch of friends who swear. And ones I know would never swear {and might be aghast to hear that I do...?}
I've been thinking about words and swear words and what will happen when our kids go to school next year in Canada and how they'll be exposed to many ideas and thoughts and ... words. And I remembered reading a blog post about how these parents sat down with their school-aged child and wrote out every swear word they could think of and then explained {generally} them to their child. So that they could hear it from their parents. So that the whole stigma of those words would be lessened. Perhaps so that their child could see that there's nothing magical about them, but that we have a responsibility with the words that come out of our mouths. I've thought about what we'll do when the time comes for Noah and Jude to go to school. Right now we have rules like "We don't say stupid or shut up in our family." And I've explained to them that not every family has those rules, so some kids might say them because they don't have that rule in their family. But that if they are being said in a hurtful way, they can tell that person that those words aren't nice and they shouldn't use them that way {instead of saying, "We don't say stupid in our family." since that child isn't in our family.} And we've talked about how we have the power to use our words to be kind and loving or to hurt people and make them feel bad and that once our words come out of our mouths, we can't take them back.

But I'm not perfect. And I mess up. And I've learned/learning to apologize quickly to my kids. It's been hard, though because that wasn't ever really modeled to me as a child. But I want to model humility to my kids. That if I can and need to ask for forgiveness, then maybe they can and need to as well.

So. Swearing. I don't want it to creep into my every day vernacular. But I do swear. Sometimes. And not in front of my kids {that they can hear}.

So I have to ask, do you swear? Does your family have rules about which words you can and can't use? What are those rules based on? Are you offended that I confessed my recent development in swearing? Do you make up alternate swear words? {If so, read this. HILARIOUS.}


  1. I'm not much of a swearer, but driving in Kampala has driven me closer than I've ever been. Caleb is constantly reminding me we don't say "stupid" or "idiot". I heard Lizzie (on Cars) say "ya lemon" yesterday and I may be switching to that- I do want to be a good model :) I love you even when you swear!

    1. I like "ya lemon". I may have to borrow it. :)

  2. I'm with you on every point. Hubby and I just has a convo about this a few weeks back. We also use the term "not in our family" and so far, we have been lucky and both boys (5 and 3 yrs old) have never uttered a swear word yet. *crossing fingers*. I grew up in a home where saying those words was never acceptable and we plan to model that as well.

    I have, many-a-times swore. Again, like you, never around the kids. Usually in private or when the kids aren't there. Sometimes it feels good. To just get it out-i attach feeling to them, and it can relieve stress muttering those choice words. I wish they didn't have power, but maybe from my upbringing (forbidden words) they were, in fact, given power

    And I'll just say, "shut the front door" has been used a few times, by me. :)

    1. Haha, Dana, I've totally used "Shut the front door" in a sort of "NO way!" context and then I realized what it sounds like and hence what it's purpose is. Now the boys have copied me and I'm all, "whoops."

  3. yeah, I swear. Usually under my breath/when I'm alone/when I'm with people who are okay with it. Sometimes there's a certain amount of satisfaction when I do. Other times, I don't feel too good about it.

    Not sure what I think about this ...

    1. Yup. Been there where I've felt satisfaction after swearing and also felt not so great about it at other times.

  4. My hubby used to swear a lot before he was a christian... So the words sometimes come out as a reaction when he's driving or when he's frustrated. He makes a concerted effort, which I appreciate... but it still happens often enough that I think our kids will hear it evetually from him. This really bothers me because I reallly want him to be an example to our kids in this area.

    Also, our church tends to attract a lot of homeless ppl and recovering addicts...and a lot of not yet I actually think our kids may end up hearing swear words at church.... Which on the other hand... I don't mind a bit.
    Go figure.


    1. That's kinda hilarious that your kids will hear swearing at your church most likely. Oh well. That's being real and transparent for ya! :)

  5. i used to swear a lot. mid high school. a lot. unless it was to someone in a position of authority.. i had too much respect for them, thanks to my parents teaching me that. i used to swear to get a reaction, or was angry, or just because it was a part of daily conversations with friends. later on - after smartening up, and recommitting my focus and life on God, i decided that it wasn't a good example... and when it's a part of regular speech one does sound a little more... well... dumb.
    dan doesn't swear - the closest he comes is Frick.. and believe me, it takes a lot for him to get to that point.
    it has taken a lot to get my foulmouth trained to not automatically respond to my brain's first instinct. the kids have never heard me give in... oh..never mind Elijah heard me say shit once. and he and i had a little chat about it.
    in our house: calling people stupid is not allowed..calling of names is not allowed, oh my God (OMG) is not a allowed. what the hell.
    the kids will point out stupid (although not so much anymore, now that all shows will have someone say someone/something's stupid..or i call the dog stupid all the time.)..they point out Oh my God and i remind them that not everyone feels like saying that is wrong.
    my favorite is when kota points out that someone said "What the..." we try to remind them that it's not the words what and the that are wrong it's the words that people may put after it.
    dan has shown in the bible where taking the Lord's name in vain is mentioned and talked about how we should use His name when talking to him or about him, not for any other reason.
    we haven't gotten to the bigger words yet. thankfully.
    dan and his mom, and now elijah do say Hokey Smokey..or hokey smokes.. i think it's a pennsylvania thing (we always bug his mom about her PA childhood and the weird sayings)

    i sometimes let some of the bigger ones slip, and like i said elijah heard me once. it just reminded me that i needed to remember that they're watching me, listening to me and i have a hard time telling them not to say stupid when i call the dog it all the time. he, actually, is quite stupid.
    but being honest i think is the most important thing. sometimes we slip. but i'm not going to make it a part of my daily vocabulary again. not when i am an example to the little ears in the house.

    1. Michelle, it's true. We are examples of woman who love Jesus to our kids. What comes out of our mouths - be it repentance or instruction, encouragement or teaching is teaching them something.
      Something that's weird here (and also in Tanzania - possibly an African thing or maybe just South East African?) is that taking the Lord's name in vain (by Christians) is common place. From the pulpit, in conversation, any time. It's strange. But yeah, that is definitely something we don't say although we haven't had any deep conversations with the boys about it.

  6. Here's my take. I do swear occasionally. 90% of the time it's in sin. But I do believe it's wrong. Even here in Quebec, where English swear words (S***, F***, especially) actually mean nothing and Christians use them in normal conversation.

    Firstly, because the Bible tells me to not let any unwholesome talk come out of my mouth (which is why I think swear words also extend to certain terms for sex, "whore", etc). If it's deemed unwholesome, then I shouldn't say it.

    And usually it's just around people who don't think it's unwholesome (I often swear most when I'm home with my family who swear and are not believers and it rubs off on me). But here's the thing: If I swear in private or with nonbelievers, eventually I end up swearing around people who would be offended or around my children. Words slip into your habit and then it's hard to keep them back, in my experience.

    Lastly, brad and I were talking about this recently, and 9 times out of 10 we swear because we are SO frustrated at something and generally looking for a way to express that. It generally would be uttered when we're in a place of discontent with God and where he's placed us or with each other (the people God has given us for one another). So the swear word in that case represents something worse, so it's wrong then too.

    This is just our conclusion with swearing, and I wanted to comment since we just had a big convo about it after Christmas (when we each were swearing a bit more because we were around people who were!) It's just our convictions, of course.

    I'm curious, are you and Jamie on the same page with this issue?

  7. I so love your honesty. When reading this, I was brought back to when my kids were as little as yours. Yep, I must admit that there were words that came out of my mouth at times that my mom would have used soap on:) Now, my kids are alot older than 5, 3 and 4 months, but - to be totally transparent, I lost it on them this week. Greg is away, and single parenting, regardless of the ages of your children, is difficult. Yes, mine are now 19, 17, 16 and 13, but the frustration still continues. The highschoolers were on exams this week, and so it meant alot more time at home to create disaster. I came home one afternoon to find the kitchen completely messed up. Dishes everywhere, countertops completely covered with stuff that should have been put away, crumbs, spilled coffee, sink piled with dishes, garbage overflowing. I lost it! After a bit of a rant, my eldest brought me back to reality, we hugged, I apologized, explained that I am overwhelmed and desperately need their help, and they made me dinner:)

    So, I'm not perfect either. I mess up, even after parenting for 19 years. I am still learning what it means to be a good parent. But I am so grateful for the example Jesus gave us as the perfect parent. I continue to strive to be more like Him each day.

  8. Yes. I do. And when I do, I almost always choose the worst ones. I am not proud of it. I am actually quite saddened by it. I am upset when I do swear, or remember when I have sworn in front of the Gabster. Then I justify it by, "She can't understand anyways". But maybe she does. Maybe she reads my facial expressions and body language. Maybe she feels my tensions. And so, I need to stop. When I can remember, I take deep breaths and say, "Jesus. I can't do this without you" or "Please help me get through this day." It helps. Sometimes.

    I am not perfect. My shoes might be (LOL) but I am def not. I will keep you in my prayers. You are such an inspiration to me, Vanessa. I hope you know that. Your honesty just adds to my deep admiration for you.


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