I Hate Censoring Myself

Of late I've come to the realization that I've been censoring a lot of personal opinions in the last few years, maybe not on the blog, but definitely in "real life". It's annoying me and causing me to wonder where the heck all my fearlessness went? Ugh. Maybe that's part of being an adult? Choosing when and where to voice said opinions? I kind of miss not caring so much what people think or how they would react to what I have to say. Maybe that's why blogging is so cathartic for me, in the sense that I can get it out and feel comfortable knowing that most of the people who read this at least for the most part, understand where I'm coming from and actually know me, and love me anyway. There's a safety in that I guess. Maybe I need to make an effort to foster opportunities to have these conversations more often on a smaller scale... Anyways.
We were having an interesting discussion at church last week about being unified, and an individual made reference to the birth rates in the US (and they're similar in Canada) that half of all births are to un-wed/single mothers. The question was posed "What can we do to effectively help decrease that?" and right away I turn to Steve and say "Start pushing the use of birth control, or maybe teach how to use it for it's intended purpose and not just for helping teenage girls clear up their acne?" and Steve turns to me and says "Say it" and I didn't. And I didn't because I was scared of the reaction I would get, but I honestly think that's the most logical way to help the problem. I don't think teaching "abstinence as the only way" is working, in fact there's a lot of evidence in the world that it isn't working at all. There were lots of fluffy answers about teaching our children that sex is sacred and only to be used within the bonds of marriage, etc being unified in teaching that message in our homes, etc... and that's all great, but can we just jump outside of that box for a minute and realize that a great deal of kids that hear that message still find themselves caught up in those emotion-filled moments and 9mths later... So I don't completely buy into it, and I don't think it's fair to our kids to only teach them that one-side of the equation. I remember my Dad telling me, "The only thing you need to do with the pill is put it between your knees and squeeze" which was a light way for him to deal with a heavy subject I guess, but really? Sex talk: check. Can you imagine his horror when he found out I was ingesting it to help with my teenage acne??? That was a fun day, "They're prescribing birth control to manage teenage acne? Oh. My. Gosh." I dunno, sometimes the idealistic tendencies of grown-ups bothers me, especially that the older I get, the more I am viewed as a "grown up". Yes, ideally people wouldn't have sex outside of marriage, but they do, so why don't we stop pretending that it doesn't happen and start being more proactive? Am I the only person who sees it this way? I think I have more moderate tendencies in some areas, this being one.
Rant complete. Discussion to begin in comments shortly, I'm sure.


Megan said...

I told Brett that I am showing our kids PICTURES of STD's. I will also tell them about pregnancy. Miscarriages. Stretch marks. I will show them condoms and how to use them. I will do EVERYTHING in my power to not have my daughter take the pill for acne (even though I took it for that and managing my lady issues). They will see love and affection because that is how our home will be. But you HAVE to teach them TRUTH even if it's not the pretty, perfect truth that we wish existed. I know a girl who got pregnant because she HONESTLY didn't know how to NOT get pregnant. Even at 20 years old. FOR THE LOVE! Not teaching your kids about sex does not make it LESS likely that they will have sex but it DEFINITELY makes them more likely to be in way over their heads when the situation presents itself. Married or not. I'm with you. Yes, wouldn't it be lovely if all our children got married in the temple, pure, and innocent? OF COURSE!!! Mistakes are made. As parents, we need to help our kids mitigate the long term effects of those mistakes IF our attempts at helping them make RIGHT choices go unheeded.

Sheri said...

I feel like my baby brain is getting in the way of me having way more to say on the topic (sigh....empty head right now!).
I agree. I am all for honestly and openess. Even at this young age with my kids I only use correct names for our body parts. As we visit the OBGYN and see very graphic and detailed posters that unload a ton of quesitons from little people I answer them openly, honestly and correctly (even though I know lots of it is over their heads).
My sister's Bishop last week held a 5th sunday meeting and went into the intense details that parents need to share with their children in regards to sex (I'll save all the examples). He was highly concerned that the youth of the church don't have a clue about sex, that when they meet with him they don't know what "petting, intercourse, etc etc" actually are. He told them the parents need to be the educators because all the other kids out there know these things and will glady share it with our children!
I agree with birth control but I think there is another issue at hand in that it costs money, health care and prescriptions aren't free (especially in the states). If you are a young lady, struggling low income mom, etc etc the $30/mth or so may be too much to pay for birth control, let alone a lack of education, access that may come with that.
I am all for teaching my children to wait until marriage but reality is that majority of the world doesn't uphold those values and most will never be taught those values.
Such a complex issue.
Being an adult and holding our tongues sure can be exhausting but at the same time it sure can make the opportunities we get to have those conversations so much sweeter. It keeps the emotions and defenses out and allows for open, well thought out conversations!

Steve and Alli said...

Sheri, I honestly wish I was in your sisters ward for that 5th Sunday lesson! Good for that Bishop for being bold enough to see the importance of actually talking about the issues and not dancing around it. I just feel like sometimes kids must think (because sometimes I thought) adults in the church are naive to what's actually going and most kids no matter how great your relationship is with them, aren't going to come skipping up the driveway to tell you what they're learning about sex from other sources. I even had to educate my ysa bishop here one time. I was meeting with him and at the end of our meeting, he asked me if I could explain what "spooning" was to him, because he had heard there was a lot of it happening- by a lot I mean when there weren't any girls jumping at the chance, groups of guys were having spooning parties here, and Bishop didn't understand the context of where and how, and what it all entailed, and he was getting phonecalls from parents about it who were just as oblivious. I think maybe our generation of parents will be a bit more up to speed on some of the things that go on, but holy cow, it just goes to show how aware we need to be of even the linguistics of things that our kids talk about.

Sheri said...

The funny thing is that my sister couldn't get her almost 11 yr old son to go to primary so she had brought him to class with her......I told her it was the perfect ice breaker for her to have those conversations (lol)!