Are you a Potty Mouthed Mumma?

May 30, 2016


What are your thoughts on swearing in front of the little ones?


Yay… because they will learn it all (and more) at school anyway, so what’s the big deal! Or nay… no swear word shalt EVER pop out of my little cherubs rosebud lips.


I think I am somewhere in between. I would never deliberately swear in front of Little Button or put her into a situation where she would be exposed to a gabble of garbage, but at the same time I wouldn’t give myself a mum-guilt headache over the odd word which has been overheard.



Now, I am the first to admit that I am no saint.



Are you a Potty Mouthed Mumma?







I tell you… sh*t happens.



However…. how would you feel if you saw a trouty mouthed mum screeching rude words, unprovoked and in front of her open mouthed children. Hmmmmm… me to!



Here is an open letter to said trouty mouth mumma who I encountered today during rush hour on the London Underground. *Whispers… OMG, I hope you are not reading this!



Dear Potty Mouthed Mumma,


It was rush hour today on London Underground. Notorious for argy bargying even at the best of times. The train was slowing, about to come into the station when I saw you. You were going to be getting off the train at the same stop as me.


You were waiting patiently with your equally patient little ones. I took my hat off to you. There is no way on this planet that I would take my Little Button on the tube during rush hour, I would rather eat worms! But… there you were, engaged in conversation with your pair. Listening and encouraging them into a thoughtful discussion about what you had done today. I wanted to pat you on the back and give you mummy high-fives. I hardly see mums chatting to their little ones like this. Especially not on the underground, where the main concern seems to be getting the tots from A to B without them getting squished by fellow commuters. Anyway… the doors opened. You all stepped out. I followed.


Then you opened your mouth and the platform stopped talking for a brief second.


‘What a D*CK! That man is a D*CK!’ you trill at the top of your voice. We all look. Most of us frantically checking around us. Is everyone ok? Has something happened? Is something about to happen?


You are still shrieking variations of ‘D*CK’, but now pointing down the platform. We all anxiously follow your angry stare. Then normality resumes. You see, you are screaming obscenely in front of your under 10’s about a man who is pushing his way onto the train a few doors down.


Are you a Potty Mouthed Mumma?



This happens as often as the train driver’s never ending ‘mind the closing doors’ warning… at every station.


Even though this disagreeable thing is NOT happening to you, the commuters who are actually being pushed are unoffended, and NO ONE else is complaining… still, you go on.


What’s worse is that your two little ones are looking at you, frozen and unsure as to what to do. They can hear you loud and clear. Your little girl looks horrified. Your little boy reasons ‘it’s because it’s a MAN, only MEN push and are rude and horrible’.


‘Yes’, you confirm, ‘he’s a D*CK head’.


I can’t believe I am the only one gawking at this. I am not sure you even realise what you have just done. Perhaps without meaning to, you have just confirmed that men are horrible. Your son, who no doubt will grow up into a strapping young man, may now consider that the traits of a man are to push, be rude and well… be horrible. Will he take this on board and be repulsed, or will he grow up to fill these shoes? Will you daughter grow up disregarding men as inferior because that’s how you make them sound.


Hopefully your words won’t stick… but what if they do?


Like I said… I am no saint, but I think you had better grab that bar of soap over there and wash out that potty mouthmumma.


Are you a potty mouthed mumma - graphic



If you enjoy reading the Button blog, we would love your nomination for the best writer category

in the Mumsnet Blogging Awards 2016. Thank you xx


This post is linked to
Pink Pear Bear
Admissions Of A Working Mother
You Baby Me Mummy
3 Little Buttons
Diary of an imperfect mum
Cuddle Fairy
Rhyming with Wine

56 responses to “Are you a Potty Mouthed Mumma?”

  1. laughing mum says:

    oh wow… a bit of an overreaction on her behalf I think lol Blimey!

    I am a swearer, I swear all the time and most of the time I have no idea i’m swearing (such is the frequency) however, though I might swear in front of my teen and pre-teen I think there is a difference in swearing in front of them and swearing at them/other people. I will say ‘for f**k sake’ a million times a day, but it’s never meant in an abusive way, more a ‘oh for f**k sake’ way if you see what I mean… my kids know its not brilliant to swear like I do, and I’m confident they understand good and bad, right and wrong, so I can only hope they don’t end up with mouths like mine! #fartglitter

    • Annette, 3 Little Buttons says:

      I think you are right that there’s definitely a difference between errmmm everyday swearing (?!), and really giving it some towards someone else and so randomly. Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂

  2. Oh my God I have to admit I DO swear in front of my kids; I just can’t help it but tbh I try to rein myself in (with little success). But this…the thing is her behaviour is wrong quite a few levels here isn’t it?! You made me laugh. Love the illustrations! If I make you a cup of tea just the way you like it can you do them for me too?! lol. #FartGlitter

    • Annette, 3 Little Buttons says:

      Aww thank you… I am not sure I can doodle on demand. They sort of just pop out of me. If one is a match for you, I will send it your way. x

  3. We try our best not to swear, but neither one of us do all that good a job at it. My daughter was in a rush the other day, possibly the first time in her life, and told me to “stop dicking around.” oop. #fartglitter

  4. I love your illustrations! This is definitely a different take on swearing in front of kids, because, as you rightly say, it’s got added connotations. I never used to swear in front of my kids, but as they have got older, I have certainly got more lax. Also, I swear in my blogs and they read them – quite often I get, ‘a look’!

    • Annette, 3 Little Buttons says:

      Thanks so much *feels a blush coming on*. I think it depends on how the swearing is coming out. Of course we don’t want them to repeat it, but a little slip up won’t hurt. I think its more when it’s done quite aggressively and the connotations stick with certain phrases. Thanks for stopping by x

  5. OK first of all Tube lady sounds a bit unhinged! Now I have to admit I do swear, but of course Josh is still a baby so I can kind of get away with it. And I am trying to get into the habit of at least cursing under my breath so that when Josh is older he doesn’t ever hear! But the way this lady was on the tube is way over the top and I would have been gawping too! I love the picture you’ve done here too!! I am a bit jealous of your gorgeous drawings – It’s making me want to spruce up my blog! xxx #DreamTeam

    • Annette, 3 Little Buttons says:

      Thank you 🙂 Yes, tube lady was quite an odd one. I would love to say it was a one off, but it’s something that I do see quite a lot of especially in the school holidays in the underground. Thanks for stopping by xx

  6. Jasmine says:

    I guess sometimes it just comes out!
    I must say I do try an kerb my language, and try to jot tarnish my child’s view of the world, though he seems to pick up my swearing alternatives instead of the swear words!

    • Annette, 3 Little Buttons says:

      I think it’s more the way the swearing is done that seems to have an effect. If we said sh*t in a sing song voice, I doubt they would even notice. x

  7. emma says:

    oh dear! I’ve really tried to reign in my swearing as it’s just not nice to hear little ones repeat stuff they shouldn’t! #DreamTeam

  8. Hmm. Sound like she was maybe having one of those days? I’m generally with you. I try to keep myself in check in front of the kids but sometimes, just sometimes, fudge poop and bumfluff just don’t quite cut it and the odd expletive might just slip out on occasion. I try not to get too hung up on it. I would definitely have been trying to cover little ears if I’d witnessed such an outburst. However my Little Miss has recently taken to calling her little brother a “little bugger”. I can’t imagine where she has got that from *scowls at hubby* 😀

    Thanks for hosting #dreamteam xx

    • Back again through #fartglitter this time lovely. Thank you for linking up xx

      • Annette, 3 Little Buttons says:

        Hahah! Oh noooo…I mean. Little Buttons latest is to yell “You are RI-DUCK-YOU-LESS” at the very top of her voice. It could always be worse I keep telling myself. Like you, I have no idea where this came from *looks over at Mr Button with raised eyebrows*.

  9. Oh dear! I think letting the odd rude word slip out is very different than being verbally abusive to a stranger! My son dropped something down his top once and said “Oh my bloody Christ!” I think he was four. Blush! But I laughed and it’s not important. But her behaviour is not a good example to anyone! Good post, got me thinking! #DreamTeam

    • Annette, 3 Little Buttons says:

      Yes, there is a huge difference between the odd word or 5, then screaming at a stranger and for no reason at all. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  10. Mrs Lighty says:

    I read this with interest as this morning at the weigh in clinic, a fellow mum said to her little boy that he could play with the toys on the provisio that “there is no swearing, you little sh*t”!! I actually kid you not!! I couldn’t believe it, and I totally agree with everything you’ve said here! Thanks for hosting #dreamteam xxx

  11. swapna says:

    I have a potty mouth too! I swear in front of my child too… I have no idea whether any ones ever heard me or what any one thinks of me. I don’t think there has ever been a conversation such as “men who push are dicks” But sh** happens! #dreamteam

  12. Oh, my. You’re so right about the long term effects something like that can have on children. I wish more people would think about that!

    I’m with you…I don’t purposely swear in front of my kids, but it has slipped out on occasion. I don’t fret over it, but I do cringe when my son repeats it! #dreamteam

    • Annette, 3 Little Buttons says:

      I think the trick is to ignore any repeats. As soon as they know it bothers you, expect to be bombarded with the word! x

  13. Sophie says:

    I don’t purposely swear in front of my kids, aged 4 and 22 months. Sod’s Law the youngest would start repeating it and he can’t say ‘clock’ very well at the moment anyway!
    But they do slip out occasionally, usually due to stepping on a 3-pin plug or stubbing ones toe.

  14. Ellen says:

    Oh gosh that sounds awful. Personally the words don’t offend me or worry me too much about children hearing them it’s the context and meaning behind them – so in this instance it’s truly awful that her children were listening as you say because of the sentiments that men are rude etc. Even if she’d used a term like idiot which is more child-friendly it would have been a terrible sentiment for her kids to hear. How sad. I swear quite a lot and try not to do it directly in front of kids but my husband and I both have big families who like to drink! So when everyone gets together the adults often swear. All our nieces and nephews have just learnt that those are adult words and they can’t say them.

    Also I love your drawings you are so clever. #BloggerClubUK

  15. Annette, 3 Little Buttons says:

    Aww thanks so much. I agree that it’s the context behind them that can be the problem. x

  16. I grew up around a mum who swore. I knew I wasn’t allowed to swear and it was an adult thing. As I got older, I swore like a trooper ALL.THE.TIME! I made a decision to stop swearing 10 years ago, alongside smoking, it was (for me) a bad habit I wanted to shake off. So, I don’t swear, although sometimes when I’m really really angry, in shock or in big time pain (although I don’t think I swore in either of my labours) the odd swear word namely F=CK or S’it will pop out.

    As for swearing in front of my kids, we don’t like other people to. So, if they do swear, we’ll just ask them politely not too, or do BIG eyes so the kids don’t notice, and most times they get what we’re saying. Like you I would have been pretty shocked at that incident, I get given the situation she may have said it once, but continually? Not cool in my book. #DreamTeam Yvadney x

  17. Sadie says:

    Well I think she took it a bit far! And what about her son reasoning saying only men push and her agreeing, does that mean it will be ok if her boys grow up to do the same?
    Anyway I am no saint but don’t really swear a lot anyway but my eldest is exposed to it as daddy has a potty mouth! When I tell the other half off though my son just laughs and says “I know they’re naughty words mummy so would never say them!”
    Thanks for sharing! #dreamteam

    • Annette, 3 Little Buttons says:

      Yup, have a potty mouthed Daddy over here too. Little Button thinks it’s funny when I mouth ‘Shhhhhhhhh’ to him as any words start to come out. Ekk! x

  18. My mummy is potty mouthed! She was raised by Scottish and Irish parents who speak their minds. It’s adult talk and only adults are allowed to swear… but not all the time and not infront of little ones. #BloggerClubUK

  19. Growing up we weren’t allowed to swear ever! Not even words that most families would consider a non swear word. As a teen I would swear with my friends, but I would go home and not even think about swearing. I do swear, not overly and I tend to not use the ‘worst’ swear words, but I don’t swear in front of my kids. If I say “Crap” my 12 year old tells me off! I have explained to my kids that I don’t mind how they speak with their friends (to a degree), but at home or in front of other adults they should not swear as it is sign of respect. I guess it is how I grew up and that has influenced me. I don’t judge others for swearing, although if someone is saying f*** every second word and it’s not during great sex I might think they need to tone it down. #dreamteam

  20. Oh those poor children – how awful for them? I’ve been known to swear (yes it’s true!!) but I would never embarrass my children like that – they must have been mortified. But hey, maybe she had had a terrible morning or a really rubbish week – even so I think best to try and hold back a little for some dignity at least! #BloggerClubUK

  21. i try my best not to swear but I’m only human and there are times when a naughty word will pop out of my mouth. Saying that, with regard to the mum on the underground, actually saying “He’s a d*ckhead” to her son is not something I would do. If my son hears a swear word, it’s usually to myself: “shit” if I’ve stepped on his lego or “for f*cks sake” under my breath when I’m trying to get his shoes on and he’s wriggling! I don’t agree with it, but i do it. #BloggerClubUK

  22. My husband and I are both Londoners and before the kids we were at best potty mouthed, but we have really had to curb it since the arrival of Pudding & Pie! I can’t ever imagine making such a spectacle of myself let alone in front of my children. Occasionally the odd naughty word pops out (old habits die hard) but we are both trying very hard to leave our potty mouths on the shelf until bedtime has arrived! #bloggerclubUK

  23. Sally Oddy says:

    I’ve no problem with letting the odd one slip but in our house even calling someone a farm animal was forbidden (think cow rather than duckling!). I know our kids hear swearing out and about but I think we should be trying to set an example of what is acceptable behaviour, and swearing left, right and centre isn’t what we should be aiming for. Another great post! #BloggerClubUK

  24. WOAHHH!! Okay I am no saint – I try and avoid swearing in front of bubba as she is just starting to babble and knowing my luck it will be what she picks up so I try and come up with alternative phrases. However on the odd occasion like a poonami… shit literally leaks out!! But that woman – what was the actual point?! I’m with you… I’d have gawped!!

    Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime xoxo

  25. Love your illustrations! I am no angel and have been known to swear but rather unknowingly (ok, ok, especially when I am driving) but I do think that lady is over-reacting! Sounds like she is doing it to get attention – why say so loudly and in front of everyone? But like you say, she may be getting the wrong type of attention in future – as in what would she be teaching her children? #ablogginggoodtime

  26. Laura says:

    Wow, certainly sounds like she was having a bad day! I try not to intentionally swear in front of my little man but sometimes I’ll confess things slip out and I try not to feel too guilty about it X #bloggerclubuk

  27. Crummy Mummy says:

    I probably swear on a daily basis without even realising! Only ‘nice’ swear words of course!! #fartglitter

  28. ShoeboxofM says:

    I try not to swear. We have creative variations when we have the sense to use them but my main slip up is casual blasphemy. For a non believer I’m referring a lot of petty annoyances to a higher power!

    From what I hear round us on a daily basis I was expecting a much worse set of swearing.

    The tube example is a tricky one. It’s a special kind of hell with the combination of too many people, too much heat and not enough air combined with that peculiar sense of urgency commuters get out of proportion to the importance of their job! It can be hard to keep that reptilian part of your brain from lashing out at the slightest provocation.


  29. I have no real problem with people swearing around children. but I don’t like it when they swear at them. I think there is a big difference. I think that woman hugely over reacted though, especially as she wasn’t even involved in what happened
    Thanks for linking up to #BloggerClubUK 🙂

  30. Jo Sandelson says:

    OMG!! THAT WAS ME!! Ok maybe a few years ago and only if he’d been pushing me directly from behind and i would have prefaced it with “I’m terribly sorry but you are a D***head” and even then am not sure it would have been out loud. She obviously had BIG issues with men and I do feel sorry for her kids. OH never swears at all and I try not to now – little and often is much more effective . Love the pic – do more like that 🙂 Jo

  31. LOVE your illustrations, hilarious! I don’t swear as a rule, I have no idea why to be honest, but I do like to say Nob head about ten thousand times a day! I’ve said it that much that I forget it’s technically a swear word! My 12 year old constantly tells me off for it! #srayclassymama

  32. Oh those poor kids…I’m with you, I try my best not to swear but sometimes the odd word slips out by accident. My girl is only 1 but I do sometimes feel bad about swearing even by accident! Great post and thank you for linking up to #stayclassymama x

  33. The only times Twin 1 and 2 have heard me swear is when I am dealing with spiders..that’s when the spider tourettes kicks in…I do do my best to change up the words often managing ‘You little f………udger’ or You little sh………..eet’!

  34. Lou says:

    You must have written what many were thinking. I think we have to teach our children there is a time and a place for bad language- we are not saints but that unnecessary littering of our speech is unacceptable. I once watched a three year old strapped into her buggy be given a riot of f word sentences by her mother for what seemed no apparent reason (could there ever be) while waiting to pay in a car park. Like you, I was open mouthed and wondering why no one else seemed to notice. Of course that child probably hears the word as part of its A, B, C and cannot be criticised for speaking like that when she goes to school. I too have been known to utter ‘s’ expletives in the presence of my children very rarely but usually associated with driving- just getting the soap out now 😉

  35. Jade says:

    Ooooh crikey…lol If I said that around my son he would just parrot repeat me straight away!!!It would be dick this and dick that..I admit I have let a few swearwords slip in front of him that I am not proud of..a car reversed into us and my panic response was to mutter bitch…Leo was like pardon mummy…to which I went..the beach darling I was thinking we should go to the beach…I now favour whoops a daisy and oh faggots…love your doodles and writing xxx #stayclassymama

  36. Ashley says:

    I’m prob. pretty far over to the sweary side. I don’t swear at my kiddos, but I do swear quite a bit in front of them. I think all of my kids can use a range of curse words in the correct context (13, 5 & 3), BUT I do watch my language in public and in front of others kids…I know not everyone has the same opinion as I do on swearing….and it’s just the polite thing to do.

  37. Oh gosh!! It seems really odd, the way she went from talking, asking, and instructing the children nicely, to screaming ‘dick’ several times, for everyone to hear!! It seems such an unnecessary shift!! She was either being the dutiful mum for everyone’s benefit, and is actually normally a dick shouter, or there was more to it, and she freaked out more than she normally would’ve.
    I have always been a swearer, and really do try not to do it in front of the children. I have let out a ‘f**k’ or ‘s**t’ when I’ve hurt myself/somethings gone very wrong. A couple of times they’ve parroted it back, and I’ve just totally ignored it, in the hope no reaction would mean they’d totally forget about it!
    Swearing around children-such a minefield!! Absolutely loving the sketches too!!

  38. I used to curse a bit in front of my kiddos, but tried to keep it to a minimal. It was when we were hanging outside and my now-six-year-old(she was only three at the time) said, “f***ing rocks!” repeatedly, that I decided we needed to be more careful with our words. We still slip up occasionally, but there is definitely a difference with slipping up and constantly spouting trash and just hoping it won’t stick with the kids. Great post!

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