I have a confession to make. It probably isn’t a surprise to most people I know but it’s something I have been trying to avoid dealing with for several years.
I have a potty mouth.
I use very bad words on a daily basis. You would have thought that after having children I would have cleaned up my language but I think it’s actually gotten worse. Stress brings it out the most and as any parent knows, stress is magnified with children.
It’s to the point that my oldest will gasp when I say the word “stupid” and exclaim in horror that I said a bad word but I could drop the f-bomb and no one noticed. Those were acceptable words in my house because they were uttered so often.
But I knew it would catch up to me eventually and now it has. A couple of weeks ago my husband took the boys to the grocery store and the little guy told his brother to “Stop being an ass—–“.
Then later that weekend I used a word that began with an “s” and it wasn’t “stupid”. My older one looked at me and said, “That’s a bad word”. I stared at him for a minute and replied, “Yes, you are right. Mommy uses bad words and she needs to stop. You will need to help me okay?” He agreed
It is something that I knew would make it to my “habits” list. I am not happy about my foul language. I find it particularly interesting that I can turn it on and off. I don’t swear with patients (thankfully!) but I mindlessly start using choice words with my friends, family and some colleagues.
So how to stop? I wasn’t sure. I thought of several ways to deter my potty mouth. The whole “loonie in a jar” thing is not going to work for me. I think the “punishment” needs to be severe. This is an ingrained habit that will be hard for me to break. So I thought of different things. Maybe my kids could give me a time-out when I swear or maybe they get a ticket that they can redeem for something. But I know myself well enough to know that those ideas will not prove to be incentive enough.
But I think I may have finally thought of something that will work.
My kids love to sleep in my bed when daddy’s away. I hate having them in my bed. I sleep alone. I need my sleep and it has been a non-negotiable. When I don’t sleep, I can’t function. My symptoms get worse and I get clumsy. I tolerate my husband on the other side of our king size bed because matrimonial customs insist on it. I always tell the boys that I would do anything for them-but they can’t sleep in my bed.
So there it is. Every time I swear and the boys catch me, I will give them a ticket. When they have 5 tickets, they can redeem them for a night to sleep in my bed when my husband is away.
I think this will work.
For anyone else who is reading this, if you catch me swearing, call me out on it and I will buy you a tea. It would be weird to let you sleep in my bed 🙂