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Non-vaxers, How much do you share?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
We have made the well-researched decision to not vaccinate (after vaccinating our firstborn for the first 2 years) and over the years I have talked about it to a degree with family members and some friends. Now I almost wish I hadn't because it's not like I can share with them ALL the many reasons why we don't vaccinate and all that I've learned....so now I feel almost this desperation to make them understand WHY we don't vaccinate and why that is a perfectly acceptable choice. All they know is that we don't do it because we think vaccines are bad, and with all that is on the media about how people are not vaccinating because they have been mislead about it causing autism, it makes me cringe to think that's how people have probably perceived me. I do not want to be misunderstood as a naive, foolish parent that believes everything they hear...especially after all the energy I have put into researching this decision.
If I could go back in time, I think I would choose not to talk about it at all, not because I am ashamed of the choice, but because it is pretty much impossible to fully defend it. I'm just curious how much others have chosen to share about their choice.
post #2 of 11
blog on this very topic

not U.S., so some of the terminology and names will be unfamiliar, but the problem is the same, I think.
post #3 of 11
I don't advertise it, but when the topic comes up I do share. I find that extended relationships (family, close friends) hear enough reasons through the years that they can see that it wasn't a snap decision for us.

-Angela
post #4 of 11
I'm pretty open about it with close friends and family. Neither are very judgmental and understand it wasn't (and still isn't) an easy decision to make. To be very frank I do selectively vaccinate, but it's very selective, so usually not worth bringing up. With perfect strangers, no, not something I advertise.
post #5 of 11
I don't tell anyone I don't know really well, and even with people I know well, I'm a bit hesitant because of bad experiences I had with my mom and a close friend who are vehemently pro-vax. Having said that, there are two people I'm really glad I told -- one because it turned out they didn't vax either and she pointed me to a lot of local resources, and the other because we are like sisters and she respected my decision, even though it doesn't change hers.

BTW, what I finally had to do with my mom was keep repeating this: "It's my decision and I don't make it lightly, this is a well-researched decision." That actually sank in better than all the facts, studies and logical arguments I threw at her.
post #6 of 11
If it comes up, I'm always very honest and blunt about it. But now that my dd is almost 6...it rarely comes up anymore. I was never worried about how family would feel. Just one more weird thing that I do and they can gossip about. I'm not interested in debating this with anyone and I always made that plenty clear. I did lose a few friends over it in the beginning, but I figure then they must not have been all that great of friends yk?

Not vaccinating is just a big part of how we do things as a family. I'm not ashamed, and I have no reason to lie about it. I'm not in your face or confrontational. I don't judge those who do vax (for the most part).

I think that by being super confident and treating it like it's no big deal, helped people to see that there was no point to bugging me about it. My mind has always been very made up on this topic and I just don't entertain too much discussion about the issue (though I will help educate/inform a person if they're really interested, though most people aren't).

Shrugging your shoulders and looking bored during these kind of conversations can often put a stop to it. No reason to get into scientific debates unless that's your thing. You made a decision and you're happy with it. That's all that should matter. People will catch on soon enough.
post #7 of 11
We share on a case by case basis. We were a lot more open about it when we were initially researching and making the decision. But, we now live in a very medically-minded area...most of are aquaintances are doctors or spouses of doctors. We definitely keep our health beliefs to ourselves, which stinks. I really want to move.
post #8 of 11
I dont unless someone brings it up and has the same views as me (therefore they just want to have a discussion). Otherwise, I know its just a probe to interrogate me and make me feel like im the devil, and really, our medical decisions are no ones business.
post #9 of 11
I tell people my daughter had a reaction almost died and is now mentally retarded. I tell them over my dead body would i vaccinate my son. hes 100 percent vax free.

I dont argue with people, I was one of them. Until you hold your child shrieking and shivering, you have no conept of how real it can be. If asked, Ill tell anyone.

If the cases of vaccine harmed children are made known again and again and the bottom line is affected big pharma will be forced to create a safer product.
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotmom View Post
I tell people my daughter had a reaction almost died and is now mentally retarded. I tell them over my dead body would i vaccinate my son. hes 100 percent vax free.

I dont argue with people, I was one of them. Until you hold your child shrieking and shivering, you have no conept of how real it can be. If asked, Ill tell anyone.

If the cases of vaccine harmed children are made known again and again and the bottom line is affected big pharma will be forced to create a safer product.
Wow, mama, this made me shiver. I'm so sorry for what you have experienced, for what your dd has experienced and how she suffers still from vaccinations. Looking at it through your eyes, OF COURSE you'd share.

In my situation, I have been really guarded about sharing with people. There are people I talk to about it (my parents and siblings know, but my sister doesn't vax either and she is the one who really opened my eyes to the risks). But I don't like to feel a) like I have to be defensive or that I'm being judged because I know what most people think of "people like me," and b) I also don't like to talk about it because sometimes people get weirdly defensive themselves if they are parents who HAVE vaxed, almost like if you say you didn't you're also implying that THEY shouldn't have. I don't like for it to get personal, and I find it often does. So I mostly keep my decision to myself.
post #11 of 11
The only people who know we don't vax are my parents & one of my sisters (and of course our doc). My in-laws don't know (we did give DS a vax once and my MIL saw the bandaid the next day so I think she assumes we vax even though he's only had 2 shots ever & he & our future kids won't be getting anymore). That's fine with me 'cause they are very mainstream and medical so they'd freak I'm sure if they knew! We don't tell anyone else, but if a friend said they didn't vax I'd talk about it with them (only if they bring it up first though).
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