I like to consider myself a ‘good mom’ according to my own set of standards. Some days, I excel at being a great mother. I ensure my kids are well fed, bathed, and carpooled to activities that entertain, educate and develop them into well rounded little human beings. We have family game nights and laugh at one others’ antics. Some days, I lose my cool and fail miserably. I do all the things that I tell my kids not to do. I cuss a little.
From the time that I became pregnant, I nurtured and protected my babies growing inside me. I ate healthy, dropped bad habits and maybe on occasion, even exercised. When my children were born, I tried my best to protect them from everything. I had high hopes that my children will grow up in a positive environment and never experience anything negative. So, I played the sounds of the ocean at night and filled every electrical outlet in the house with an outlet plug. I wouldn’t even let my first born watch Sponge Bob Square Pants, because he wore underpants. I started out so overly protective, but eighteen years later, I cuss a little.
I don’t remember the first time I cussed as a mom. Perhaps, it was a Lego that I stepped on at 2 a.m. in the morning or the time that I smelled rotten milk in the back seat of my SUV. Maybe, it didn’t have anything to do with my kids’ actions. I could have been agitated by my spouse, an employee at work, or my own shortcomings. My kids are 11 and 18; so I know my vocabulary is very colorful these days and my skill level is currently expert. I don’t mean to brag, but I recently used one curse word three times in a sentence. Correctly. Yes, I cuss a little.
Have you ever found finger nail polish spilled onto marble counter tops? Calmly walked into your kids room to say ‘good morning’ only to find paint and homemade slime completely covering a new rug? Cleaned the entire kitchen from top to bottom and wake up to admire your Sunday well spent only to find Fruity Pebbles stuck across the basin of your previously sparkling Farmhouse sink? Then, you know what I am talking about. I know that these are material possessions and can be replaced! I know that one day I will miss the piles of laundry and sounds of my kids’ feet running across the hardwood floors. But today is NOT that day. Today, I am exhausted; I reached my quota for patience and I let ‘slip’ happen. I cussed a little.
Last week, I spilled the entire contents of my mom purse into the floorboard of my car at the stop light. Yesterday, I dropped my favorite mug filled with hot coffee and the last drop of mocha creamer. Today, I stepped in a wet puddle as I walked the puppy out the back door to go potty. I do these things unintentionally. Experts say “live with intention,” but has it ever been proven to be doable? No! It is just a quote to pin on your Pinterest board, so that you look like one of those moms who has her life together. I don’t have everything figured out, so I cuss a little.
I ask my son to empty the trash can thirteen times and my daughter to find socks for practice nine times before they comply. I know by the second time, I should have set some immediate consequences, but my hope is that this time, it will work. Experts say that we need hope in our lives. Are they wrong about that too? Actually, I am usually finishing folding a load of laundry, grabbing my work laptop and keys, trying to crate the dog, as we head out the door for two hours of cheer practice. With all that multitasking, my mind is overloaded, my mouth explodes and I cuss a little.
So what happens when I cuss a little in front of my kids? Am I setting a bad example? Are they going to repeat bad words in front of their peers or teachers? Am I failing to protect them from everything I set out to do years ago? I certainly feel like the worst parent in the world when I lose my patience and bad words slip out. I try to reiterate to my kids that it isn’t good behavior without sounding like a hypocrite. I do apologize to them as I would anytime that I make a mistake. I hope that my kids give me grace and forgiveness, as I do them. I don’t cuss everyday nor encourage anyone else to but I hope that my kids understand that sometimes ‘slip” happens in life!