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Ah, vaccines… the elephant in a room filled with soon-to-be parents.
To vaccinate or not to vaccinate? That is a pretty big question these days. Jereme and I have chosen the latter and somehow I fear we’ll never hear the end of it from friends, co-workers, relatives and anyone else in our lives who is pro-vaccination.
I consider myself a pretty intensive researcher. If I really wanted to, I could give you a ton of data to back up our argument for not vaccinating our children. But I’m not going to do that. There’s no reason to, when someone else on the inter webs has already done my homework for me. My purpose in writing this is not to lecture anyone or tell people why they should or shouldn’t immunize their children at birth or even later in life. My purpose in writing this is to rally unconditional love and respect for all moms and dads out there, no matter what they’ve decided to do.
What are my thoughts on all this anti-vaccination “hype”? Well, I put hype in quotes because I’ve heard it labeled as such on many occasions. As if we who choose not to vaccinate are basing our apparently ridiculous decision on things we’ve read on mommy blogs from crunchy hippie moms who home birth, use essential oils, co-sleep, cloth diaper, wear their babies and opt for homeopathic remedies over toxic pharmaceutical meds.
Crunchy, hippie moms like me… (Even though Indie hasn’t been born yet, I was recently welcomed into the club.)
Basically, pro-vaxxers seem to think that anti-vaxxers have fallen for a bunch of hype, based on opinion and pseudoscience rather than on actual, concrete scientific data.
You may be right, to some degree. I’ve never been one to put my faith and trust in science. I put my faith and trust in the creator of the universe. The first and last and best scientist there ever is and was. He knew what he was doing when he gave us all these natural remedies, and our decision to trust in the medical system and in scientific data only highlights our collective issue with trusting in him alone.
I assure you, our decision not to vaccinate is not based on pseudoscience or hype. (I don’t really like hype.) Our choice is based on what we feel is right for us and our family, and what we feel is right for us is whatever the Lord tells us is right for us. What is right for us may not be right for you, and that’s okay.
So to all you pro-vaxxers out there – please stop calling us hippies and accusing us of falling for “hype.” It’s downright insulting and absolutely untrue.
I’m not done yet though. The same applies to all of us anti-vaxxers. We have a tendency to get really passionate about all of this natural living stuff and in our passion, we can end up leaving a negative impression on those with whom we come in contact. I know we share our thoughts out of love and we only mean to help others and not to harm them, but we should take care to exercise humility. Just because something works well for us does not mean it will work well for everyone. People live very different lifestyles and must make choices and sacrifices to accommodate their loved ones. I’ve said this a million times throughout this website, and I’ll keep saying it over and over:
Do what works for YOU. Don’t worry about everyone else.
A friend of mine posted this on Facebook a while back, and I thought it summed up what I’m trying to say quite nicely.
Good moms breastfeed.
Good moms formula feed.
Good moms vaccinate their kids.
Good moms don’t vaccinate their kids.
Good moms don’t circumcise.
Good moms circumcise.
Good moms co-sleep.
Good moms use cribs.
Good moms have hospital births.
Good moms have home births.
Good moms adopt.
Good moms have natural births.
Good moms have epidurals.
Good moms have c-sections.
Good moms have 10 kids.
Good moms have 1 kid .
Good moms use cloth diapers.
Good moms use disposable diapers.
Good moms stay at home.
Good moms work.
Good moms go to school.
I always see moms putting each other down over these things all the time. I’ve even participated in it. But I’ve realized that an intelligent, loving mother can consider the same facts as you and still come to a different conclusion. I know we’re all only human, but let’s learn to respect each other.
Mamas, let’s all make an effort to love and support each other in our decisions, whether we agree with them or not. We’re all in the same boat. Fighting and rallying a storm will only cause the boat to tip over. And personally, I don’t want to drown.