Tuesday, February 3, 2015

My Strong Feelings on Vaccinating Your Kids (or not)

I posted this on my facebook page, but I'm putting it here because then I can find it next time everyone looses their mind over this. I expect to reference it every few years.

Long, pointless rant alert. Feel free to bypass.
I've really thought about this for the past few weeks and I just need to get this off my chest.
We vaccinate our kids.
We researched, agonized, and for us, it was the right choices (Full disclosure: We do not do the Gardisill vaccination because we researched it and do not feel that it is safe, but that is a rant for another day.)
We believe vaccinations work and that is why we do them. For us, the benefit outweighs the risk.
However, I have so many friends who don't vaccinate and I know they don't for reasons they have agonized over. Some based in science (I am not a science major, but when a doctor says something or writes it, I consider it science worthy), some based in special needs of their kids, and some based in what their gut tells them. I respect them all and I don't have a problem with parents making those choices.
If you trust vaccinations work (like me), then quit beat up on people who don't and just do your thing. Parenting is hard enough. We don't know what is going on with every person and we do not have the right to force people to do something that they believe is wrong. None of us are getting this parenting thing right all the time and we should be giving others more grace because of it.
"But, my baby isn't fully vaxed yet!" Keep them at home. Really, we should keep little ones at home anyhow. That is also what doctors tell us and aren't we upset that people aren't following doctor's advice? Every parenting expert I have ever heard of tells parents to keep babies home for months and months so they don't get sick. We can do our part there.
"But, they are spreading germs!" I know. We all need to wash our hands more and we need to be more thoughtful when we send sick kids to school or church or a friend's house maybe as we are spreading germs irresponsibly then too. The cold and flu do kill people too, and probably more often than the measles or any other vaccinated for disease. (I have not researched that last statement, just using common sense, which varies from day to day.)
Yes, I know, I know, "they will kill our kids with their unvaccinated carrier monkey kids." Maybe. But, give me that argument when all the adults start getting their booster shots all the time too. Did you know adults spread disease, like pertussis, because we don't get boosters? Did you forget that we need booster shots? I didn't. I'm not up to date on all my boosters. I guess I need to focus on myself and my vaccinating shortcomings before I cast any stones.
People, come on. Where I live, we have the freedom to love who we want, wear what we want, say what we want, carry a weapon and use it if we need to, worship who and how we please, educate our children how we choose... this is just another choice each person has a right to make. Trust your vaccinations and leave those who don't vax alone. Let's go bash on moms who wear/don't wear leggings some more instead, because I promise you, as a card carrying legging wearer, that territory is rich with fashion mistakes (just come see what I am wearing right now).
Feel free to debate, but, I won't change my mind. I don't have time to judge people for doing what they feel is best for their family. If you don't show respect to my friends on both sides of this unproductive debate, I'll boot you off my page.
Now, let's go find some videos of cats doing weird stuff. That is a way more valuable use of our time.

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