Oh vaccines; possibly one of the most controversial topics among mothers, especially among those "crunchy" mamas, semi crunchy mamas and completely non-crunchy ones. Basically, it's just the wrong topic of conversation among any.

Respect All Choices
Vaccinations cause such uproar and panty twists among mamas that it is really sometimes unfortunate that the choice of each parent isn't always respected the way that it should. Quite frankly in my book, each parent has the right to make their own educated decision and that educated decision should always be respected.

Make an Educated Choice: You HAVE a Choice
For the most part, it is the norm for us Americans to vaccinate our children (even though current trends show less and less vaccinations). It is normal for many of us to assume that the children around our child are vaccinated and/or that our best friend is going to without a doubt vaccinate her new baby.

Guess what mothers? You DO have a choice; however you need to make an educated choice. Far too often we fall victim to doing what the doctor says just because they are a doctor; or in the other sense we may oppose our doctor just because our crunchy mama friends oppose them too. When you decide to go against the grain by deciding not to vaccinate, make sure to do your research and make that decision from an educated standpoint. If you're a pro-vaccination mama, make sure you realize that you have a voice on each and every shot your child receives. You have a right to decline one shot based on your research and you even have the right to say how many shots your child receives in one visit. We mothers have a voice. We have a choice.

You Don't Have to Be 100% Pro or Anti Vaccine
There's no law that says you have to be 100% either way. As a pro vaccine mother, you have the option to turn down any shots that you don't feel comfortable with as stated above. Just as an anti vaccine mother can decide to let their doctor administer a shot that they feel is important and needed. By not being 100%, you're not confused or conflicted, you're simply a mother with a voice making educated choices. Choices that should be respected. And if your doctor doesn't respect them, well, there are many more fish in the sea.

Seems like common sense, right? You'd think that we all just know and have the willpower to have a voice and make these decisions ourselves, but as it turns out there are indeed mothers who don't realize that they can create their own shot schedule based on their preference or that they can tell a doctor no. Far too many times I've seen pictures shared of infants who received five shots at once. Why? I have no idea (I've never seen that on a schedule -- perhaps the mother was too shy to say no or question this). There are mothers who don't know how to stand up to professionals; so while it seems like common sense that we have a voice, sometimes we truly need to be reminded about it.

So Where Do I Stand?
Not that it really matters, but I'm sure you're curious about where I stand on vaccines. Well, it turns out that I sit smack dab in the middle in terms of "feelings" regarding vaccines, however I lean more pro in terms of my "actions."

Our child is vaccinated but on me and my husband's terms. Do I often wonder and research over vaccines as a whole? You bet. I often cringe at the thought of vaccinations simply because you just never know what is in it and what the reaction could be now or in the future. Honestly if I wanted to oppose all vaccinations I'd likely never get away with it as my husband is much more pro. However I am fortunate that he respects my wishes on the ones that make me iffy and lets me make those decisions for our child. I have turned down only a couple vaccinations (even one that she had already gotten the first round of) and now know for our next child what I will and will not do. In addition to researching those shots that I'm unsure of (usually the newer ones that we don't "need"), I also only allow one vax at a time. So in other words, we do our own vaccination schedule for our child and I am prepared to tell my doctor no thanks on the few that I don't want my child to receive.

Why Do One Shot at a Time?
Well we could go into the whole debate over too many shots at once being linked to autism at one time or another, but I'm not even going to touch on that subject today (however it is a big factor in my choice -- proven or unproven).

For me, it makes perfect sense to administer only one shot at a time. First off, why allow these little beings to get pricked all at once? But most importantly, what if your child receives two shots at once and has a reaction of some sort? How will you ever know what shot caused the reaction and if it is a shot that is part of a cycle, how will you know if you can safely repeat the rest of the cycle? When you start a baby on new foods you don't introduce two new foods at once for this particular reason, so why administer new shots this way?

So Let's Just Respect Others
I won't lie, sometimes I get discouraged when my news feed is flooded with anti-vaccination articles because remember, I sit in the middle in terms of "feelings" so my curious self always reads them. Of course as a mother who for the most part vaccinates her child, I leave that article second guessing myself yet again. Sometimes it's a bit overwhelming to have so much thrown in your face about such a hard and controversial topic. And I'm sure the same can be said for a mother who is anti vaccination and has to hear crap about why she should vaccinate her child. No mother deserves to feel like she's doing this wrong or deserves to second guess everything she believes in.

At the end of the day, we all need to respect each other's decisions. Whether pro versus anti vaccination or breastfeeding versus formula or even freaking Goldfish versus Annie's Cheddar Bunnies, as long as each mama is making an educated decision and following her motherly instinct then so be it.

We are just all trying to navigate motherhood and although we may not do it all the same, we all do it from the same place.


So, what's your thoughts?
Remember to keep comments nice please.