It’s a universal fact every parent knows – swearing is a necessary part of the most challenging years of your life: parenthood. If you’ve always been a sweary-type of person, f**k knows it’s hard to switch that sh*t off just to protect your precious cherub’s ears.
Yes, we all do it, but there is certainly a scale of context. Let me explain.
Mixing swearing and kids can be divided into three categories:
1. Swearing around your kids: for example, in the car with the kids in the back sleep, “Get out of the way you sh*tty driver!”
2. Swearing indirectly at your kids: for example, at 11pm, “For f**k’s sake, go to sleep!”
3. Swearing directly at your kids: for example, during a supermarket tantrum, “Mummy would really appreciate it if you stopped being a little d**khead.”
Despite these helpful categories, it’s not always easy to identify whether parents should be upset with themselves/another parent for use of foul language around their children. Which is why one mother posted in parenting group Mumsnet, asking if she was being unreasonable “to be revolted by husband swearing at their 9 week baby.”
The mum explains, “I heard my husband swearing at our nine week old baby because she had a bit of reflux, AIBU (am I being unreasonable) to be revolted by this?”
Later in the post, she gives further context:
“He said…’oh for f*s sake (then her name)’. He had only been looking after her for a few minutes. We get plenty of sleep so no exhausted sleep deprived parents here.”
Many parents in the thread observed that being a parent is a frustrating experience, no matter how much sleep one gets. The majority also agreed the mum was being unreasonable as the father had not abused the child directly – and they saw the father’s words as firmly being in category two.
“Did he say ‘oh for fuck sake’ when getting covered in vomit, or did he call your DC [darling child] a little c*nt? There’s a bit of a difference,” a commenter noted, citing context as the key to deciding whether the mum’s reaction was unreasonable or not.