The time has come for us to address the giant elephant in the room… vaccinations. I mean, it is SUCH a hot topic that half the groups I am in have completely banned it from their vocabulary: “thou must not mention vaccinations lest the hoard of controversy descends upon us all!” Heaven forbid we disagree! I mean, we talk the talk about “ending the mommy wars” but when it comes to the topic of vaccinations, the gloves come off! What’s the deal?!?!?!?!
How to converse about vaccinations without name calling and hair pulling
Today I had a friend over, we talked all afternoon about essential oils and car seats and parenting and marriage. We agreed, we disagreed, we laughed, we speculated… it was pretty much epic. And then the topic of vaccinations came up and lo and behold… the world didn’t end! I (pro-vaccine) and she (anti-vaccine) had a conversation while maintaining a sense of mutual respect and interest in each others standpoints. Was this really happening? Say it isn’t so! You mean to tell me it is possible to have a mature discussion about a very controversial subject? Maybe if we put aside our need to sell everyone else on our beliefs we would be able to truly listen to their different ideas, thoughts, perspectives. I don’t have to agree with Jordan to be able to understand where she is coming from, why she chose that position and what it means to her family.
When we got married, I was completely against vaccines, but I married a man who was determined his children would be vaccinated. In his line of work he could constantly be bringing home all sorts of diseases and he wanted to make sure our family was protected as well as we could be. I understood his standpoint and after a lot of research, followed his lead on this one. But from my anti-vaccine background, I get it! I can actually see both sides. It is a touchy subject because there is merit to BOTH SIDES. There are pros and cons and, as with everything, you have to do your own research to find out what works for your family.
The problem with the debate is that information is pretty much relative. If it is found in the media, it isn’t really reliable because we are only leaked information we are supposed to hear. There are so many sites and expert opinions and it is really hard to sift through old information and new, etc. For example, one person told me vaccines used mercury and this has not been the case since 2001 in Canada (with the exception of the influenza vaccine interestingly enough).
You have to not only sift through opinions and experts but also take into account the most recent research and data and pay attention to when they were publicized. It can be completely overwhelming! So maybe when we are talking to someone else about our personal opinions we could be a bit more understanding and a little less close minded.
I get it wrong, the experts get it wrong, something that was true 2 years ago maybe be completely untrue today. So who are we to say that we have the right answer? We made an educated decision for our family but I am always open and interested to hear other people’s *gentle* thoughts on the matter, and I hope you are too! Maybe we’ll learn something we didn’t know about before!
Looking for unbiased facts on vaccinations?
Once you have done your research, prayed about it, discussed it at length with your spouse and done the deed… let it go! There is really no use debating! If you did vaccinate there is no going back to change it and if you chose not to then that was the choice you made for your family. I think it will always remain a touchy subject because we are passionate about our kids’ health and these are serious diseases we are talking about! It really is a matter of life and death and to be told you are doing something unsafe for your child is a low blow. So let’s not hit below the belt ladies. Let’s find a way to share without judgement or just not share at all!