I had the pleasure of reading a particularly interesting blog this week, where a mother not only gave a stern lecture to those of us who choose not to vaccinate our children, but proclaimed that she didn’t want our unvaccinated children sitting next to hers in Kindergarten. My initial knee-jerk anger aside, that statement just made me laugh out loud. That type of comment and many others that are made in the same vein always give me a delightfully humorous mental picture of a mother rolling her tot into a school or playground in a giant plastic hamster bubble, loudly stating that she would love for her child to engage with the others, but could she just sneak a peek at all of their vaccination records first?
Because c’mon now, short of acting out that ridiculous scenario, how exactly do you think you’re going to know if the child sitting next to yours in school is current on their vaccinations or not? You won’t. You’ll have absolutely no clue if little Susie has been MMRed or not unless you plan on making it a topic of discussion at your first PTA meeting, in which case you have freaking problems. Contrary to popular fear mongering, your child absolutely does NOT have to be vaccinated to attend public school and therefore my un-inoculated little heathen might be plunked down right next to them. Heck, they might even swap boogers, who knows?
The vaccine wars that I witness between moms on an almost daily basis get really old really fast. All of the superiority and the “You’re just uneducated” crap does is further tear down the message that I think all of us as moms should be rooting for, which is that of vaccine education. Vaccine empowerment. I try as much as possible (although it’s hard at times, I won’t lie) to just urge friends and other moms that I know just to learn about vaccines, what’s in them, and why they’re being given to their children. Research, read and learn. That’s it. If you throw yourself head first into six grueling months of vaccine research and come out even more sure in your decision to vaccinate your child, good for you. In the back of my head, somewhere in the den where my loudmouthed opinion monster dwells, I might be wondering how in the hell you came to that conclusion, but still…you’ve done your part as far as I’m concerned.
As long as you’re not the mom who only knows that she gets shots for her kids because the doctor told her to and doesn’t even know why or what they are, then I applaud you. And I’m not dissing those moms either because I was that mom and I genuinely regret it. I don’t want anyone else to have to be that mom and this is why I strive so hard to encourage vaccine awareness while not pushing an agenda one way or another.
When we as mothers read, learn and take control when it comes to the health of our children, only then will things start to change. To be totally opinionated on the matter for a moment, as a non-vaccinating parent I feel that change is desperately overdue in terms of the chemicals that are being shot into little bodies day after day and the damage that I feel this is causing. But I also know who I blame, and I know who I feel like I should fight. And it is most definitely NOT other moms.
It’s hard to debate about something that you feel very strongly about without getting heated, especially when it comes to the health and well-being of our children, but I try to remind myself that informed decisions, even ones that I may not necessarily agree with, are always better than uninformed decisions. I wish that is something everyone could keep in mind when it comes to the “vaccine wars”.