Mothers who say F**ck

30 Dec

I recently engaged in a robust exchange of views with one of my sons. This particular adult child has long-held a reputation for forgetting to tell anybody things, unless we happen to be in the same room as him when something that might need to be told to us occurs.

On this most recent occasion, the stuff he forgot to tell me was totes important, and my lack of knowledge caused me untold aggravation, and the rest. So I rang him up and let him know where he currently stood with me. As he’s always thought of himself as “the good child,” this came a something of a shock.

First we had to deal with the “oh, it was just a misunderstanding” meme. No it wasn’t, I told him, I didn’t misunderstand anything how could I when you didn’t tell me anything I could misunderstand?

Then we negotiated the “Mum you’re losing control” meme. I’m not losing control, I told him, are you? And by the way, you really need to learn the difference between expressing emotion and losing control. The two are not necessarily the same thing, I told him.

I was also thinking of his wife when I said this. I thought, I bet he says this to her when there’s a disagreement, so I better bring him up to speed about women expressing ourselves. This “you’re losing control” thing is an attempt to shut us up, a projection, and a put down. In my experience it is usually said by males who fear they are losing an argument, though it’s not necessarily gender-based.

Finally, I was reduced by his wilful obduracy to foul language. Fucking hell, I said. “Don’t swear at me down the phone, Mum,” he demanded. Oh my! I cackled, in capital sarcasm font, so in your moral universe me swearing is a bigger offence than you not telling me stuff I really needed to know?

“We’re going round in circles,” he bleated. Indeed we are, I replied, taking pity. Let’s sleep on it and talk again in a couple of days.

My sons taught me foul language. Since becoming husbands and fathers they’ve turned on me. I can’t swear, and I’m reprimanded every time I do something they consider the least bit edgy and that is quite a lot of stuff I do and say. Last time I took Archie out and stopped for coffee, his father asked me if I’d left the baby in the car while I went into the cafe. I looked long at him, and shook my head in a WTF kind of way. ย Archie’s mother then stepped in and reminded her husband that he’d survived my mothering quite well, and he should perhaps pull his head in.

I am extremely fond of Archie’s mum. I see a lot of me in her. Archie is also showing signs of a possibly anarchic personality. On his recent first plane trip, and though only fourteen months old, he stood up on his seat and hurled peanuts at the passengers sitting behind him till his dad grabbed him by the nappies and hauled him off to the toilet where he gave him a stern talking-to and probably told him he was losing control.

I’m considering forming a group called “Mothers Who Say Fuck.” ย I’m sure I’m not the only mother who overnight finds herself dealing with a role reversal initiated by her adult children who for some reason, and without consultation, have cast her as the irresponsible adolescent and themselves as long-suffering adults who are burdened with keeping an eye on her and monitoring her language. I can’t quite get my head around this phenomenon. All things considered, they have some nerve.

This attitude does, however, make for a special bond between grandmothers and grandchildren. We share a common cause – defying their parents. We will both be instructed to mind our mouths. We will both be exhorted to act responsibly, and to act our age. On the positive side, we can sit at tables and roll our eyes at one another when their parents issue yet another fucking edict. We can slink off and comfort one another when we’ve been reprimanded and given time outs. We will always know we have each other, when everyone else is pissed off at us because we’ve thrown the metaphorical peanuts. Oh, yeah. I see only good times ahead for Archie and me.

Me and Archie




69 Responses to “Mothers who say F**ck”

  1. Kim @frogpondsrock December 30, 2012 at 8:26 am #

    Oh I am smiling away here and nodding as well. I will happily join your Mothers who say Fuck, club. heh


  2. zerograv1 December 30, 2012 at 8:28 am #

    I’m not a big fan of swearing, it s a big red flag up here and usually a precursor to a unpretty physical swinging of fists, sometimes fight to near death in the wilder parts of the north, but that said even the courts have approved “fuck” as normal English language……the rest of the article loved though… I remember reading Dr Erikson back in the 70’s (famous for Erikson hypnosis used in therapy) who once stated children and parents are natural enemies, children and grand parents are natural allies….how true that statement sseems to be….. It’s just a pity you cant call yorself one of the Archie’s though..,,,I’d be waiting for the next production…..hmmm Veronica, Betty?…something with a peanut theme…this has possibilities ๐Ÿ™‚


    • AnnODyne December 30, 2012 at 8:44 am #

      ‘Archer bold’ is the origin of the name. A fine name. The courts had not approved the word for swiving in 1981 when Mr Patrick Street SM of the Melb Mag wrote a 14-page summing up of why he fined my retail business for displaying (flat on a counter) a record by The-Dead-Kennedys band titled TooDrunk ToFvck. $750 fine in 1981 dollars. Now I endure young people using it loudly on public transport.


      • Gruffbutt December 31, 2012 at 5:22 am #

        I love that song. I must look it up again. A great anti-mindless-macho-excess (guilty, your honour) anthem.


    • Jennifer Wilson December 30, 2012 at 9:12 am #

      The next production arrives in April ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. doug quixote December 30, 2012 at 8:48 am #

    A generational thing. Radical parents will unaccountably raise a conservative, conservative parents will despair over progressive children.

    Stand up for your rights, Jennifer : consider Catherine Tate’s “Gran” character – the fucking cheek!


  4. AnnODyne December 30, 2012 at 9:01 am #

    Must add that I loved my Nan much more than my mother (which was actually not at all).

    With language, there is of course, a time and place for everything, and plenty of civilised people for whom the f-word is so useful, know when not to use it. It is a great word, ie ‘the fvcking fvcker’s fvcked”. Dr Prof. St.Germaine of Greer tried to replace it with ‘swive’ and failed.
    I am a member thank you, of the mothers who are often driven to say ‘fvck’, but my daughter when small knew to never say it in front of her grandmother, and now she has little children in whose presence I modify my own patois.
    This topic must of course mention multiple award-winning Malcolm Tucker:
    whose creator got an OBE (probably Her Maj was nudged into it by old sailor husband) for the symphonic use of the f-word to express rage, disgust, sorrow, desperation, urgency and sorrow. indeed.


    • Jennifer Wilson December 30, 2012 at 10:07 am #

      Malcolm Tucker is fucking awesome. I can only watch and wee with admiration


      • Jennifer Wilson December 30, 2012 at 10:07 am #

        That should have been weep. LOL


        • zerograv1 December 30, 2012 at 10:33 am #

          Wee is funnier ๐Ÿ™‚


          • helvityni December 30, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

            Three year old boys find wee, pee and poo talk hilarious; they also like to inspect toilets in other people’s houses.


            • Hypocritophobe December 30, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

              Peetective Sergeants in the

              Poolice Dept.


              • helvityni December 30, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

                LOL,Hypo, and a little later on the hell breaks loose with all the ‘exciting’ farting jokes….jokes???


                • Gruffbutt December 31, 2012 at 5:28 am #


                  (Oh, my…)

                  Finally, the conversation comes down to my level.


                  • helvityni December 31, 2012 at 8:10 am #

                    The fart-eating underpants are on sale in Tokio right now; gift-packed as only the Japanese know how to…order on -line…


                    • Gruffbutt December 31, 2012 at 11:14 am #

                      Sounds right up my alley ^^


    • Marilyn December 30, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

      I have an entire family who reduce me to saying fuck over and over again when they don’t tell me things I should know – like my step mother dying just before Christmas a few years back – but then they refuse to enter a conversation about anything.

      Even my 22 year old grand daughter blames me for all her woes as if I was the one who made her go and live with an abusive coward when she was 16.

      In my family it goes like this “” X – take a pick of sister, mother, daughter, brother, mother, father – starts a thought bubble about something strange or ugly that happened in the past. If I reply I am told to stop dwelling in the past and being negative”.

      The moral of the story is that they are allowed to discuss, I must not.

      So I tell them to fuck off an awful lot.


    • Marilyn December 30, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

      And Anne, I agree about the mother thing, can’t stand my coward mother who gave me to my father as a toy when I was 8 and she had caught him molesting me.

      My nana though was awesome.


  5. Hypocritophobe December 30, 2012 at 9:59 am #

    I swear, therefore I am.

    Thankfully swearing does not always indicate an imminent biffing.
    I’d say that on many occasions it might actually replace one.

    There are entertainers who embellish their words with an avalanche of what prudes would call ‘vile language’, and yet it just belongs.
    In comedy and drama.

    If swearing belongs to the poor and uncouth, (ergo it upsets the Lords and Ladies) I say bring on the offence.
    Fuck yeah!

    Swear away, mothers.


  6. Team Oyeniyi December 30, 2012 at 10:10 am #

    I’m in! ๐Ÿ™‚ Terrific! Well said!


  7. helvityni December 30, 2012 at 10:42 am #

    There’s swearing and swearing; some do it with panache and humour, others just come across as uncouth.

    I approve of the first category, the second lot can go to hell, or dare I say f*ck off !


  8. Mara Miller December 30, 2012 at 10:47 am #

    Fuck is one of my favourite words, probably because, as AnnODyne says, you have to know when not to use it. I love it in people’s tweets as it adds weight and cheek to what they’re saying. Using it on twitter myself still feels a bit wannabe or try-hard, not sure why. But I say it to myself all day, about everything, good & bad.

    As to the generation thing, one’s bossy children sure can get up the nose. Some day soon I’m dying to stealthily produce an op-shop barbie doll from my handbag and see my 2yo grandson’s probable delight in her. His parents would indeed flip: guess I’ll have to say Barbie is grandma’s ….

    PS divine photo Jennifer! And great column.


  9. helvityni December 30, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    When my French girlfriend swears in English, when she tells someone to f*ck off , the men in company swoon and take it as an invitation to love making…


  10. Anonymous December 30, 2012 at 11:06 am #

    Ooohhh, Archie.
    Am with you in spirit if not in substance, patient, stoic sufferer that you are.
    Didn’t have your telepathy app on, couldn’t mind-read.. for shame .
    Dared consider truly significant issues like not missing Pup’s ton in Sydney as you find yourself submerging in a mire of hectoring criticism and unreasonable demands ( “I’m trying to get the parquetry in, an all you can do is watch that silly game!!”).
    Archie, you have kept your counsel so as not to give offence, on discovering early that an honest sumnation of a current reality is anathema to fifty percent of the population.
    But you too have discovered there is no excape.
    From cradle to grave are we enmeshed in a steely gossamer web. As, with beedy eyes by the hundred, Nephila gazes, unmoving and unmoveable odalisque.
    I’ll bet you even nag them about the toilet seat lid, for shame.
    But consider, like Norman Bates, the Castrating Mother has swathed the sweeties’ psyche, but the fighter still remains.


    • Jennifer Wilson December 30, 2012 at 11:35 am #



      • Hypocritophobe December 30, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

        You mean,what the FUCK?

        Norman ‘bloody’ Bates?

        A new Godwin’s Law?
        This ‘Anonymous’ reeks of the infantile Lady Penelope, Swagger Wee.
        ‘It’ must be ‘it’.
        ‘It’ does not have the courage to stay with one persona, and holds long term grudges.Such is the lot of a narcissistic windbag hated by friend family and foe,with equal,justified vigour.

        And to think, ‘it’ does not have the honour to keep ‘its’ own word to ‘never’ return.

        Fucked up?
        Head fucked?
        Fucked unit?


      • caroline December 30, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

        not like that Jennifer……it’s fuckkkkkkkkkkkk LOL


        • Jennifer Wilson December 30, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

          Yes, you are so right, it is


          • Gruffbutt December 31, 2012 at 6:10 am #

            Maybe the sex-with-company sex-without-er can just sex-with-company Carmina-Burana-composer, as Her Maj might say.


    • helvityni December 30, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

      Anonymous, did your mum nag you, what about Mrs Anonymous? Some men nag too..don’t ya think?

      Had to check Norman Bates, had forgotten about Anthony Perkins too…


  11. caroline December 30, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

    I’m in!! both my mother and daughter despair at me although my daughter is less so as she is more like me. I taught her to say it but also when not to say it. she is grateful.

    saying the word is a stress release for me. it articulates how frustrated or angry I am. I was also accused of losing control by my father on xmas day.

    I had had an argument with my brother about boat people and because I raised my voice. nothing was said about my brothers ranting though. some things never change.


    • Jennifer Wilson December 30, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

      Amazing, isn’t it. A woman speaks with emphasis and she’s lost control. Well, hoo fucking haa


  12. Elisabeth December 30, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

    I’d like to join ‘the mothers who say fuck’ club, too. I suspect over time there’s been something of a role reversal in that as we age our children can tend to become very authoritarian towards their ageing parents, especially their mothers. I’ve found it so with some of my daughters – all of my daughters – from time to time. I told one of them the other day to stop treating me like I’m a three year old. She was most offended and so was I. Thanks for a resonant post.


    • Marilyn December 30, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

      My daughter has been a bossy cow since she was born, now she is nearly 40 and rewriting her past to sanitise it for the public view.

      Me, I never sanitise my past for any bastard, I am proud of being and old activist hippy chick from way back when.


  13. 8 Degrees of Latitude December 30, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

    Would you consider some sort of associate membership for fathers who say fuck? I would regard that as a significant honour ๐Ÿ™‚

    My mum only said the word once, to my knowledge, and that was in relation to her saying she wished a son-in-law wouldn’t say it quite so often. But times change and language with it, and from my perspective, a good “fuck” can be a wonderful linguistic release.

    Thanks for the post, Jennifer. It sounds as if you and Archie will be enjoying lots of fun together.

    I’m reblogging!


    • Jennifer Wilson December 30, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

      Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚


    • stillbeautiful January 2, 2013 at 10:14 am #

      i think we can make you an honourary mother fucker hahaha oops i meant mother who says fuck. i did mean it as a joke please no-one take offence.

      I laughed so hard at your comment about a good fuck being a release. it really is and a good shortcut to expressing emotion.

      it is a sexist term as others have said being ok for men to say but not women. welcome to the as yet unformed group ๐Ÿ˜‰


      • 8 Degrees of Latitude January 2, 2013 at 10:47 am #

        Glad I gave you a laugh. I rather like the thought of being an honorary mother fucker. It would give me a delightful riposte to everyone who thinks I’m just an ornery one. ๐Ÿ™‚


  14. 8 Degrees of Latitude December 30, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

    Reblogged this on 8degreesoflatitude and commented:
    This is serious fun. Though it comes with a language alert ๐Ÿ™‚


  15. Gruffbutt December 31, 2012 at 6:33 am #

    My prejudice got the better of me at Xmas time and I upset my sister. I just couldn’t handle seeing Ray Martin staring at me from the cover of a book she showed me she was reading and I gave my opinion of him. (I would’ve got the same reaction from my mum.) The F word wasn’t expressed but her voice was getting a bit…erm, related to an old post of yours…I thought of it before I justifiably said ‘there’s no need to get hysterical’ (I say it to men as well…honest). I would’ve been happy to hear her bleat a few fooks but she let me down. (She did ask me for examples of Ray’s lesser standing in my eyes, and I came up with a couple. Fair’s fair…)

    Apart from resurrecting ‘hysteria’ (sorry) I have to mention that our mum has been hanging around us for too long, as she let out what might be her first swear word ever at Xmas (can’t remember, but it wasn’t ‘f*ck’ – we’ll get it out of her yet).


    • Jennifer Wilson December 31, 2012 at 7:08 am #

      Aaah, Christmas! How it tests the bonds of family! And how those bonds frequently survive against all odds! That’s the Xmas miracle, not the baby Jesus.


      • Gruffbutt December 31, 2012 at 11:20 am #

        Yes…my bro-in-law was calming the waters. While my sis was in the other room yelling back at me, I smiled at my BIL and turned Ray face down on the coffee table (should have done that in the first place) then gave sis a big hug when she came back into the room.

        Too easy…but nice try, Ray.


        • Hypocritophobe December 31, 2012 at 11:40 am #

          Did you say Ray Martin?
          ‘The’ Ray Martin?
          Ray Martin is to intellectual journalism, what paralysis is to break dancing.
          He makes Madame Tussauds look like the 100m Olympic sprint.
          He has the charisma of cat diarrhoea.
          He EVEN sleeps with that clipboard.
          The clipboard may yet sue.


          • Gruffbutt December 31, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

            Yes, but he does know better than the PM how much a carton of milk is.

            The book consisted of notes on people he’d interviewed. I noticed that Peter Cook was one of them. The Don I can understand, but Ray trying to chat with Cook? Twould have to be a wasted opportunity… I ain’t reading it to find out.

            (I’m betting Saffran’s not in it.)


            • Hypocritophobe December 31, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

              We should all be grateful there is only one Ray Martin.

              As vibrant as a black and white photo of a flat glass of lukewarm Fanta.

              Was it Saffran who got caught going through his bins?
              It was probably so mind numbingly dull in his wheelie, that John planted some interesting sh*t, because he felt dismally sorry for him.


      • Darrell January 1, 2013 at 9:25 am #

        Yes.. the Christmas Miracle indeed.. And, here we all are trapped on an island, called Earth, in a Solar System somewhere in the outer suburbs of the Milky Way.. on an ‘island’ mixed somewhere between Gilligan’s Island & The Lord of the Flies..


      • paul walter January 1, 2013 at 7:03 pm #

        Well, now we know.
        And from the subject’s own lips, no less. We pondered it, we may even have speculated upon it.
        Helvi is a “hottie”, a babe amongst babes.
        Helvi, for this I can only wish you a happy new year and also the rest of the folk here.


        • helvityni January 2, 2013 at 11:18 am #

          LOL, paul walter,and a happy new year to you too.


    • helvityni December 31, 2012 at 8:05 am #

      I should not let family secrets out, but Hubby did buy me a book one Christmas with Sara bloody Henderson on the cover; it was all about her it said on back-cover…something about being the Oz country woman of the YEAR. I put her with all the ripped wrapping paper into recycling box….


      • doug quixote December 31, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

        I trust there was no naida for Gerard for the rest of that year.

        By the way, I entered “fucking” into Google translate and got “helvetin” as the result!

        Please explain!?!


        • Team Oyeniyi January 1, 2013 at 12:32 am #

          I think I have the answer for you! Bing translates “helvetin” as “a hell of a”. So, fucking good time = hell of a good time. Sounds reasonable to me!


          • doug quixote January 1, 2013 at 12:53 am #

            Type helvetin into google translate : Finnish to English or “detect language” and you get “fucking” !


          • doug quixote January 1, 2013 at 12:56 am #

            Oh, and Happy New Year, Oyenyi.


        • helvityni January 1, 2013 at 6:37 pm #

          ‘helvetti’, a noun, ‘hell’

          ‘fucking hot’ meaning ‘helvetin kuuma’ in Finnish; here ‘helvetin’ is used as an adverb.


          • doug quixote January 1, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

            It is as if Sir Lancelot declared that he is really called Sir Fucksalot! Are you a dark horse, Helvi? ๐Ÿ™‚


  16. Darrell January 1, 2013 at 9:09 am #

    And, all I can say is thank God.. And, what about the latest TV hit ‘Mrs Browns’ Boys’.. although she says, “feck”.. But we all know what it means…. And, all this I also relate to the planet Saturn also moving into the sign of Scorpio this year.. And, Scorpio is all about expressing how we really feel.. ie. Where in Scorpio time, No polite manners or rules can be rigidly adhereed to.. Yes, I have been on the sharp end of such criticism to expressing my thoughts with deep “feeling”.. being admonished for swearing, or losing “control”.. accused of trying to shout poeple down.. But, it’s of course just expressing how I feel, with real passion.. But apparently we all have to remain rigidly withing the nice & polite world of manners at all times.. And, it is not accpetable to show an kind of deep passion or feeling etc et al. Perhaps because these others, are still bound by the rules of Society, which seek to restrain us all in “normalcy & devoid of any real expresion of passion in the world.. Yes, back to the realm of the poets…. Thanks Jennifer….


    • Gruffbutt January 1, 2013 at 10:50 pm #

      Been there, Darrell…accused of trying to shut others up when I’ve expressed my views in response to their dodgy ones. I’m by no means always on top of the argument, but I’ve been flabbergasted in recent years by the number of people who resort to the ‘my right to an opinion / don’t oppress my freedom of speech’ angle when they’ve run out of anything substantial to add to the fire they originally lit.

      I think I could accuse them of killing my passion…hmmm…I might have found my NYE resolution…look out…passion is back in fashion…


  17. Hypocritophobe January 1, 2013 at 8:47 pm #

    What about Ministerial Mothers who fuck up?

    Looks like the morph to the right is completely,completed and complete, bar one thing.Work Choices under a new faux-Labor catch phrase.Macklin now finds herself at the stellar height of John Howard and there are not too many in her team,who are very far behind.
    What they gained (votes) by bribing parents of school kids with a new TV bonus they lose in single parents.In other words a nett gain.Add to that the hard and crusty rusted ons who have forgotten what it’s like to struggle, who will vote for them in droves.
    Hard love,Howard style.The new year promises to be just like the last.
    Macklins coffee intake would blow her budget of $35/day by lunchtime.It’s one thing to encourage a work ethic,it’s another to bullshit about how ‘you could hack the dole’.
    Lying seems to be the lot of Labor these days.
    I’ll bet plenty of single mums and welfare recips are using the F word right now.
    By the way.Where are the jobs, for these ‘bludgers’ Minister?


  18. stillbeautiful (caroline) January 2, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    Jennifer it sounds like you have enough takers. I own a server if you wanted a chat room or a forum which i could help you with or a FB group if you prefer. if there is anything I can do to help you if you are serious about it. personally I think it’s a fcking great idea!!
    you are welcome to email me.


    • Hypocritophobe January 2, 2013 at 11:06 am #

      Sound more like a fishing expedition, to me.

      Why does JW ‘need’ to set up a chat room/FB group?
      You seem very keen,Caroline.(?)Why not set it up yourself and see who rocks up?
      You may want to clarify your mission statement,first.
      Something a tad more descriptive than ‘poking fun via rude words’.


      • stillbeautiful (caroline) January 13, 2013 at 11:44 pm #

        Just read this. I’m sorry if my offer was taken as a “supposed fishing expedition”. It was a genuine offer. I am surprised by your reaction. I had no intention for it to be “poking fun via rude words” as you supposed.

        I just thought it might be something JW might have been interested in and seemed like a good idea at the time. I understand that you are being protective (or hope you are) but honestly it was only intended as an idea that’s all.

        Sorry if it did not read as I had intended.



        • Hypocritophobe January 14, 2013 at 12:10 am #

          But more likely suspicion coupled with pragmatism.My comment was made in an environment where threatening dark legal clouds lurked, and where every troll, and his onion collection, have pounded this blog for psychotic foreplay.
          JW has responded, and it’s her blog.I am just a verbal graffiti artist throwing my always present pessimist hat on.As we know,pessimists are never disappointed.
          You have a concept.Run with it.


    • Jennifer Wilson January 2, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

      Thank you for that invitation Caroline. I haven’t much spare time just yet, but when things ease up maybe we can do something. ๐Ÿ™‚


  19. hudsongodfrey January 2, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

    Back from a self imposed internet sabbatical, so Happy New Year to all!

    I’m going to go out on a limb to ask whether the blokes chapter of “Mothers who say Fuck” could be called “Motherfuckers who say Fuck”?


    • Hypocritophobe January 2, 2013 at 7:04 pm #

      I doubt a club is needed for that.Whatever the club is where blokes DON’T say, “fuck”, hasn’t been built yet AFAIK.
      And if there was one, two things are certain.I wouldn’t last two steps through the door.
      I wouldn’t want to be a member.


      • hudsongodfrey January 2, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

        A good way to start any New Year is with a Marx quote….

        “I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member” – Groucho Marx



  1. Dear (Fill in The Blank) Zealots – Shut The F#ck Up! « Beneath the Tin Foil Hat - January 16, 2013

    […] Mothers who say F**ck ( […]


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