Could swearing be the most effective way to cope with the stress of being a parent?

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Before your promptly tsk tsk at me in disgust for even daring to put down such a question in words…hear me out.

The other day I read with interest about the benefits of swearing. You know that moment when something really bad happens, you’re really stressed or tread on some Lego and you can not stop the word F&*£! escaping from your lips instinctively. Well, apparently it’s all for a good reason.

Research from Keele University has found that swearing triggers your body’s natural “fight or flight” stress response and actually increases your tolerance to pain. According to an article in The Daily Telegraph, “the researchers tested 64 students’ tolerance to pain by asking them to submerge their hand in a tub of ice water for as long as they could while repeating a series of swear words of their choice. They found that volunteers who swore were able to keep their hands submerged in the water for an average of 40 seconds longer. When questioned about their perceived pain they also rated it as being lower.”

So next time you are at your wits end with your children and swearing with utter abandon into a pillow at the total calamity going on in your household, don’t be so hard on yourself. It looks like you’re only trying to mitigate the pain involved in parenting naturally. And as for childbirth, I finally feel vanquished for my disgusting use of every swear word under the sun during mine…it was just a form of natural pain relief after all!

Do you suffer from a potty mouth? Are you pleased to find out that your swearing finally has some meaning?

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30 comments

  1. I sometimes wonder how my girls’ first words weren’t utter filth lol!

    I know someone who shouts, “floppy bunnies!” instead of swearing and it just isn’t the same…

    Great post as usual #coolmumclub

  2. I’m quite a bad potty mouth and I know as Josh gets older I’m going to have to seriously curb it! But sometimes there is nothing better than yelling “cockwomble” at someone who pisses you off!!!xx #coolmumclub

  3. Haha. I used to swear a lot in stressful situations but I can’t say anything bad in front of Leo now. I would be mortified if he went to play school and told one off the other kids to f*&K off!Good to know it’s a kind of natural pain relief!xx #coolmumclub

  4. Ha ha! I actually never ever swore before kids (well maybe the occassional bloody and bugger). Fastforward to now and some days I find myself muttering more expletives than anything else. #coolmumclub

  5. Haha, as I read your post I started to think “this explains a LOT about sweating during childbirth!”, so glad you mentioned it!! Thanks for hosting #coolmumclub 🙂 xxx

  6. I swear A LOT. I try to keep it to a muttered minimum when the kids are around, but I’m not about shutting myself in the kitchen so I can say “FOR FUCK SAKE!” at normal volume!

  7. I think swearing is fun. Not to the kids, or in front of them, but it’s bloody cathartic to have a rant! Also I don’t know how you’d deal with stepping on painful plastic objects otherwise…
    #coolmumclub

  8. Yesss!!! I think I might now up my swearing levels a bit, I’d been trying to hold it in thanks to the copy cat toddler I live with, but now I can just say he’s letting it out and it’s good for him 😉 Made My Day #CoolMumClub

  9. Yep, it’s good to get it out rather than holding all that tension in! I quite frequently find myself swearing under my breath so that the kids can’t hear me. Thanks for hosting #CoolMumClub xx

  10. Oh yes I had heard this somewhere…I love a good curse, gets all sorts out! I tweak for the sensitive ears of my toddler but have definitely been know to slip up…and I’m not even known as a swearer! #coolmumclub

  11. I am not adverse to the need for a swear word, after all sometimes, only a swear word will do, but I left a play at the weekend with my youngest and her friend and happened to comment on the frequent use of the F word in the play. Rather than my daughter point out that I am guilty of frequently using this word, she just said “Mum, it’s just language don’t get so hung up on it!”. So I will continue without feeling guilty from now on. #coolmumclub

  12. I don’t swear a lot, but I turn into a sailor when I’m drunk! The big one came home from school this week and asked me what F@#$ meant. He’s 6. Needless to say a serious chat was had and got to to bottom of where he had heard it. Situation was dealt with until he said “Mummy, I’m writing you a note to say sorry for swearing. How do you spell that word that I’m not allowed to say?” FML

  13. I can be known to be a bit of a potty mouth, especially after a few drinks ha ha! How do you explain that one? Hmmm…
    #coolmumclub mo-fo’s.

  14. I find the “for fecks sake” under my breath helps. Even better a timeout where I can stamp for a bit. Usually can hide this from my girlie. hehe. Thanks for hosting x

  15. Ooh this has reassured me! I was only saying the other day that I never really swore until I had children…I didn’t think the ffing and blinding (under my breath, most of the time, when i try,) was really me, but turns out parenting has brought a whole new language out of my mouth! Love a bit of scientific research! #coolmumclub

  16. HAHA this is so funny! I never swear infront of the children but in my head I am literally saying every swear known to man!!!! #coolmumclub

  17. Good to know that there are some benefits to being a bit of a potty mouth at times. I have to admit I have tried (and failed) to give up swearing and whilst I’ve got better at not doing so in front of the children, I’m still surprised that they’ve not yet repeated anything. No doubt they will one day though…! #coolmumclub

  18. This makes a whole lot of sense, I don’t feel as bad about my potty mouth now – I will just have to convince people that Alfie’s first word was definitely “duck”…better than “hunt”, right?! I have to say though I didn’t swear once during labour – even my husband said he couldn’t believe it as I’m usually such a potty mouth (which is totally his fault, he’s 100 times worse than me – but then has a great pain threshold…coincidence?) Fab read on #coolmumclub

  19. How interesting! OH has more of a problem with accidentally swearing in front of the kids – he’s not so good at switching modes. I tend to automatically not do it. But then I never swear in front of my mum, worked with kids a lot when younger, and had a job where it would not have been acceptable to ever swear, so I think I retained that ability children have to automatically switch the way you speak around different groups of people. I think if you get out of the habit of having to do that as an adult, though, it is quite hard to get it back! #coolmumclub

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