Should I Vaccinate My Kids? (Fingers Crossed Parenting)
The Hard Decision
There are so many questions parents have to ask and so many issues we face. The biggest and hottest one right now is whether or not to vaccinate our kids. Honestly, I am sick of thinking about it. I have read article after article about vaccinations, and I am no closer to answers now than I was before I started reading. I have never been more on the fence about any issue in all my life. I don’t know whether or not I should vaccinate my kids, and I have no idea how to decide.
I don’t know about you, but I’m walking around, crossing my fingers, hoping I’ve made the right decision. Meanwhile, I see parents at polar opposites of the issue. I am astounded at the strong, opinionated statements I have seen on this topic.
I respect parents who make the bold and strong choice to vaccinate.
I see them on Facebook, posting articles, cartoons, news stories and more. They unabashedly stand in line at Walgreens to get the flu shot for each member of their household. They have no doubts and no problems with following the doctors’ suggestions and timelines for vaccinating. They don’t look back, and they don’t think twice. I wish I could be one of them.
However, I must say here, even if I decided I was strongly in favor of vaccines, I would never post half the stuff I see these parents posting. It’s easy to sit on your high horse and say parents who don’t vaccinate are wrong. It’s easy to say those parents are neglectful. However, until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes, who are you to judge?
I respect parents who make the bold and strong choice not to vaccinate.
They are also on Facebook and social media, stating their case before the world. They post diagrams and charts, studies and facts. There are bar graphs showing the rise in autism. There are stories of seemingly “normal” children who regressed after receiving a shot. There are court cases and new stories and tall tales galore.
These parents have boldly made the choice not to vaccinate, and they are not ashamed to say it to the world. If you don’t like it, you can keep your kids away from theirs. They are good with that. Your opinion will not change them.
And while I want to side with these parents, I don’t know that I can. They, too, are much more bold and combative about their choices than I could ever be. While I want to say, without a shadow of a doubt, that vaccinating is the root of autism and other childhood issues, I just don’t know. I wish I did, but I don’t.
There’s the letter from the angry mom whose baby contracted measles.
What can I possibly say to her to convince her that vaccinations are scary and dangerous?
Then, there’s the letter from the angry mom whose baby died after having a vaccination.
How do I tell her she is neglectful for not vaccinating her other children?
There’s the correlation between the sales of organic foods and the number of autistic kids. To that, I say, “Really??” But then again, who am I to disagree?
Where do you stand?
Which side of the fence are you on?
I respect both sides of the argument, but I wish I could be one side or the other. I wish I could say, boldly and confidently, that I have chosen to vaccinate my kids, and I am darn proud of it.
Or, I wish I could say, with no doubt at all, that I will not vaccinate my kids, and it you don’t like it, you can stick it.
Keeping Our Fingers Crossed
I can say neither. I can’t say I believe the doctors who say vaccinations are the best thing to happen to modern society. I don’t trust them, because I don’t know whether Big Pharmaceutical is writing their paychecks.
I can’t say I believe the doctors who say vaccinations do more harm than good. How can I believe that when the media is trying to get us to believe we are all going to die from a measles outbreak?
I just don’t know, and I’m tired of thinking about it. I love my kids, and I want to do what is best for them, but when I have no clue what that is, how can I make the right decision?
The best decision is an educated decision, but when I try to educate myself, I end up more confused and more undecided than where I started. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only parent who has not proudly chosen a side, but I can’t be, can I? Am I the last parent in America who is still on the fence about vaccinating? Surely not. There must be others.
So, to those of you who have made up your minds, I want to say congratulations! I hope you are right!
For the rest of us, we will make the best guess we can for our own children. We will read and read and read some more. We will realize that all parents are just trying to do what's best for their kids. Then, we will quietly pick a side and cross our fingers. Hopefully, the side of the fence we chose is the right one. Fingers crossed.
I will say, so far, so good in my family. I have made the decision I made, and my kids are teens and are still alive. They have not died from the measles epidemic, and they have not woken up with autism. I’ll still keep my fingers crossed, but I think maybe, just maybe, they might survive my parenting afterall.