Parent bashing makes me sad.
I’m a vaccinator, but I know someone who isn’t and their reason is completely valid for their child.
In full disclosure, in addition to being a vaccinator, I’m also a spanker. I never Ferberized–true story, I held my babies every time they cried. I can say that I made my own baby food, primarily because I was too lazy for baby food so I mooshed up whatever the normal people were eating. Sometimes, I let my kids eat candy all day. I let them have soda with breakfast. I let them think that Engineering Competitions are a sport. This list could go on for days….
What I’m saying is this–parenting is HARD. Parents make hard choices based on a lot of different things–health, religion, nationality, and history just to name a few. Posting pictures of babies with measles on social media has about the same chance of changing a mother’s position on the issue of vaccination as posting photos of Jesus has of changing someone’s religion or posting information about your favorite sports team has of making someone else a fan.
I don’t criticize mothers who don’t nurse. I don’t wrinkle my nose if you bring your son to a restaurant with a cold. I never cared if you used cloth diapers or disposable. I don’t love it if you teach your kids to shoot guns, but I know that it’s none of my business. I think that vaccination is better. But it’s a big world out there and the best thing that I can do is protect my kids and try to support other parents in doing the same thing. Measles outbreaks are horrendous. All situations where children die unnecessarily and death can be prevented are a tragedy. I feel the same way about school shootings, poisoned formula, infected meat, house fires….. I think it heaps sorrow on top of tragedy, though, when we point fingers and tell other parents that we know better than they do how to raise their kids. I’m not saying that all the vaccination chatter isn’t true, I’m just saying that I don’t think it is very kind and I feel that social media isn’t the platform to try to make effective change in this arena.
Shit, I just got a splinter from my soapbox.