Trust me, I’m prepared for some hate on this heated topic. I’m very “live & let live”; however, when anti-vax folks get in my face about how I’m poisoning my children citing bullshit “facts” & anecdotes from their cousin’s-friend’s-sister’s-husband’s-mother’s-uncle, it takes a lot to restrain myself. Often, I’m in front of kids and brush it off with a change of subject.
First of all, you should never attempt to shame another person for their religion, appearance, or parenting decision. There are folks out there doing truly horrible & evil things, yet there are so many out there who will jump all over a mother because she offers her kid mass-produced food out of a bag that will spend millions of years decomposing. Like they didn’t drive a fossil fuel burning car, wash their hair with a shampoo containing synthetic cleansers, and pack their kid’s lunch on a stone countertop that took enormous, polluting resources to haul out of the earth and across the globe. Find me 1 person living a truly clean life. Trust me, normal folks who send their kids to school and pay taxes don’t know any because there sure as hell isn’t cell coverage out there.
I’m a concerned mother. I’m concerned for my children, my country, the environment, our health, our world… I’m even quite educated on topics of pollution, recycling, health, politics, and safety. It doesn’t give me the right to belittle another person and assume that they haven’t also taken the time and effort to consult Google. Like “the internet” at large is the best, most accurate resource in the world. Because any fool can’t post whatever-the-heck-they-want and call it fact –– oh wait, they can.
So imagine my shock, as a new mother dedicating every moment of my life to the love and protection of my kiddos, when a “friend” commented in all caps on a photo of my kids in the car. “TURN THOSE BABIES AROUND, THEY MUST BE REAR-FACING!!!” So, I know that, and if she’d taken two seconds to look hard enough to actually pay attention, she’d see that the photo was taken with the rear door open on my parked car. There was literally no other angle the photo could be taken, yet she quickly assumed that a) I must have taken the photo while driving, and b) I’ve been living under a rock with no internet, Pediatricians, or know-it-alls and had no idea that my kids had to be rear-facing as a newborn and one-year-old. This was from a “friend”. She knows me.
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been randomly lectured that I need to feed my kids less fast food –– they really don’t except for once in a blue moon because food quality has always been a top priority, even before I had kids. I ate clean long before it was cool or “a thing”. Not because I’m smarter or better than anyone, but because where and how foods are prepared interests me and frankly, I prefer simple foods and home-grown produce when possible. Then there’s another “friend” who, every time I saw her, implied I was a shit mother because I didn’t feed my foods the same, healthy snacks she did (honestly, I don’t think she’s ever seen what my kids have for snack) and because her 5-year-old was still rear-facing. I mean, because I wasn’t as capable as she is of making a parenting decision (under the guidance of the Pediatrician) like when it was safest to turn car seats around. That’s great she managed to have Kindergartener rear-facing. Maybe some kids don’t tolerate being squished and are actually less safe rear-facing over the age of 2 if they will unbuckle themselves while you are driving down the highway. Maybe the Pediatrician that I stalked and studied for months before interviewing while pregnant actually recommended turning them around. Of course, why should I even have to defend myself to that now former “friend”.
So, don’t get me wrong. I’m not preaching at you to vaccinate your kids. I’m saying that maybe everyone who does isn’t wrong. Maybe they are making the best, most educated decision just like anyone who chooses not to vaccinate. Make the best decision for your kids and your family. Don’t tell anyone that they are wrong for making a different decision.
That said, I wanted to share the argument to vaccinate. I have quite a few doctors as personal friends, a family member who studied and practiced Virology, and a family friend who has worked for the Health Department for decades. I sought out their advice and guidance first, rather than viral media and celebrities that I don’t know. No one wants to hear how So-and-so Celebrity swears she’ll move to Canada if Donald Trump becomes President, but we’ll listen to one with no medical background preach about diseases? Personally, I’ll take medical advice from Pediatrician & Virologist’s advice over an Actress’s any day. I’d also take a Plumber’s advice over repairing a leaky pipe over a Doctor’s. In this age of the internet, we tend to think we can become an expert on any topic with a Google search and 5 minutes of skimming random websites. I’m an old soul and I still trust a roofer with my roof, a veterinarian to spay my cat, and a pilot to fly me to my vacation. DIY is big these days. I know, that’s how Remodelicious was born. I love to try out other trades and learn about them, but I’ll stick to my fields when it comes to a potentially life-and-death decision. I’m certainly not making my own DIY airbags and I don’t DIY my own surgeries.
This is just one-side of the debate, but I thought it was the best put-together version I’ve ever seen. Yes, this is just a random blog and any idiot can publish a blog claiming it as face. However, if you fact-check this comic, you just might find it to have a lot of fair arguments for vaccinating. I might be wrong. I’ve been wrong before. However, I do believe that I make the best decisions I possibly can for my family under our particular circumstances with the information & experts available to me. There are reasons to not vaccinate or to delay vaccinations. I’ve seen them in my own family. Maybe you can trust that parents are making the best, most educated decisions they can even if it’s different from your own.
And, yes. My kids are vaccinated. And, yes. They can play with your non-vax kids whether it was for a medical necessity or familial decision. I really just hope that you make such important decisions based on fact and not hype.
PS – I’d love to source this comic if anyone knows the original source. Google, the expert in all things, lead me to click-bate sites without a reference.