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What do you, if anything, tell your friends?

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
I live in a pretty rural, dare I say yuppy area of Ontario... and ALL of my friends who are either pregnant or have kids/babies are so mainstream! I never meant to be so crunchy... I don't know how it happened... I think it all started with the babywearing LOL

Anyways, FF to the birth of my DS and we have decided not to vax at all. I have mentioned it to a couple of my close friends who are too polite to say anything but I'm sure have a field day in their heads! I've also mentioned it to pg SIL who practically called me a child abuser! I sort of feel icky "hiding" it... and I certainly don't MENTION it... but when I hear "Baby went for his 2 month needles and he cried and cried, did Your Baby cry at his?" I am really wishing I could just pretend I didn't hear and move on. I am not embarrassed or ashamed of my decision, which is why I don't LIE, but I'm sick of the 30 minute defence I have to mount every time it "comes up"

Just wondering if anyone actually LIES ... I'm beginning to think it's easier than the circus - even though I 100% believe in my decision not to vax. I guess I'm torn between the morals behind lying about it, and the time and conflict that arises by NOT lying about it.
post #2 of 41
i do lie sometimes b/c i don't want dd to pay the price of being ostracized. also, we have a lot of drs in our social circle, and i don't want CPS called on us.

other times, i tell the truth. i try to be aware of what "anti-vax" argument ppl would be receptive to and just say 1 thing. i just tell about 1 shot that we skipped and why.
post #3 of 41
I rarely discuss our vaccination choices with ANYONE. EVER. I have in the past- made the mistake and WAS very upset I did. We got excluded from a play group!!!! I was asked in my home wasn't I worried my DS WOULD DIE!

I am very gentle when I do discuss it- using words like- We chose, and it was a hard well researched decision, it works for us but a VERY personal decision.
Sadly- Many people do not even know it is a decision for them to make....

It gets easier now that the kids are older and I have two and they are NOT dying of chicken pox and I feel more confident in our choice- .... but no- I do not reccomend having your kid become the NON VAX kid in the hood.
Em
post #4 of 41
I don't lie.

But I don't share, either.

If someone told me that their baby cried and cried, and if my baby did, I would take it completely elsewhere. I would tell them that crying like that could be a vaccine reaction, and that the head honchos in charge of vaccines want to know about reactions so they can see if they are actually safe, so to be SURE to mention it to their doctor. But since the doctors don't always understand vaccine reactions, that if the doctor didn't say they would report it, I would show her the reaction-reporting link on the NVIC site.

She might know by the end of all of this that I wasn't vaxing, but I don't answer that sort of stuff. I have a friend who works for the WA state health insurance program and is fully into vaccines, and she nearly started screaming at me on the train going up to BC for my bachelorette (stagette!) weekend b/c of my stand on vaxes. It was a crazy moment and I don't want to re-live it. She made a decision about her first son that I hated, then made it again with her second son b/c she didn't want to treat them differently, and I have NEVER said anything about it to her after the decision was made (she ASKED me for my opinion before her first was born), so I don't understand why she gets to berate me, but that's also not a question I want to ask!
post #5 of 41
I had moments where people have been talking about their child's reactions to their shots. They pause . . . for my imput. I change the subject to another topic or comment on their child "seems to be doing better." MIL is the only one I told, family or friend, that we haven't vaxed DS 2. She is very open to things like that. FIL too. They both have a distrust of medical professionals from their personal experiences. So that helps.
post #6 of 41
If they ask, I tell them the truth. Sometimes the truth sucks, sometimes it hurts, and sometimes its a challenge to muster up the guts to say it, but I do. It helps that I've never lost a debate about it, but in the end it is your decision and none of their business. That is a private medical matter.

If they ask "did your baby cry this much"

say "no, but then again I didn't inject them with questionable substances"
post #7 of 41
I don't talk about it unless I know the person is questioning the issue. DH brings it up sometimes, and then I'm stuck in heated conversation for who-knows-how-long. but DH thinks that I need to be more confident discussing it (I am VERY confident with our decision, but sometimes have a hard time articulating it when I'm confronted about it), so I think he does it on purpose...
post #8 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by fascha View Post
I am really wishing I could just pretend I didn't hear and move on. I am not embarrassed or ashamed of my decision, which is why I don't LIE, but I'm sick of the 30 minute defence I have to mount every time it "comes up"

Just wondering if anyone actually LIES ... I'm beginning to think it's easier than the circus - even though I 100% believe in my decision not to vax. I guess I'm torn between the morals behind lying about it, and the time and conflict that arises by NOT lying about it.
Sure, I'd lie. It is private medical information, but if you say that people make the assumption that you don't vax and that is none of their business.

What you could do is make "business" cards with some vaccine resources on it, hand it to the person horrified that you don't vax, and say "get back to me AFTER you have read these; I don't have the time to spend educating you/it's not worth discussing with someone who hasn't done the same level of research."
post #9 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joyful Mama View Post
I don't talk about it unless I know the person is questioning the issue. DH brings it up sometimes, and then I'm stuck in heated conversation for who-knows-how-long. but DH thinks that I need to be more confident discussing it (I am VERY confident with our decision, but sometimes have a hard time articulating it when I'm confronted about it), so I think he does it on purpose...
I couldn't discuss it with my husband because I cannot debate well. Finally I told him that my inability to debate him did not mean I was wrong and to research it himself.
post #10 of 41
I have mentioned it in the past, in our early days of not vaxing, but nowadays I just don't say anything. Friends and family know where we stand, and if they bring it up and want to discuss it, then fine. But strangers or acquaintances at playgroup etc., no way. It's not worth the bother.

And as for what to say when someone talks about how their baby cried after the shots, I just bite my tongue and change the subject...same as with circing. I had to listen to a mom at a playgroup talk about all the problems with her DS since his circ, but I didn't want to get into anything with her, so I just kept quiet and switched the topic.
post #11 of 41
I understand why it's much easier to just keep quiet, especially since most people in general are very pro-vax and cannot even imagine not vaxing. i belong to a pretty "crunchy" group of women who meet to talk about natural birth and young children - most people gave birth at home or had a natural hospital birth, breastfeed for an extended time, use cloth diapers, don't circ, etc. so i was really shocked when the issue of vaccines came up recently and about 1/2 the people there were adamantly pro-vax, and the ones who didn't vax mostly kept quiet or gave a humble defense.

however, i didn't even realize vaccinating was a choice or that it was controversial until i started reading some posts on another board. it prompted me to do research and I am SOOOO glad i have found this information before i had kids - we will most likely decline all vaxes for our kids.

our baby is not born yet and i've never had to defend my decision to anyone, but i also wonder if it's good to speak up to educate people and to maybe protect some children from vaccine damage. knowing what i know now, i would have been very grateful to anyone who had opened my eyes to this issue. but then again, i've not had to defend my position yet and i'm personally not even sure i want my family to know about our stance on vaccines because i don't think they'll react well.

what do you think...do you feel any obligation to educate other parents or to try to protect other children from possible vaccine damage?
post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmeline II View Post
What you could do is make "business" cards with some vaccine resources on it, hand it to the person horrified that you don't vax, and say "get back to me AFTER you have read these; I don't have the time to spend educating you/it's not worth discussing with someone who hasn't done the same level of research."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmeline II View Post
I couldn't discuss it with my husband because I cannot debate well. Finally I told him that my inability to debate him did not mean I was wrong and to research it himself.
You are brilliant. I love the business card idea (vistprint here I come) and I can't debate either, but people who CAN always make being flustered seem like you're just wrong.

Thank you!
post #13 of 41
I don't lie but its never really come up. I'd never tell my MIL or FIL they'd just lose it. But I guess I'd use the same reply I use for unschooling: "we're doing what we think is best for our children and we've done a great deal of research. We will only debate with you if you too have done your research and your opinions are based on more than just 'its not what we did with our kids'".

I already had huge trouble with 75% of the family over not circ'ing my boys. "We did it with our sons and they're fine." blah blah blah.

I do know that many people especially in Ontario don't know there is a choice for vaccines. I didn't until my attention was brought to it thru MDC or CPO (can't remember which). My first son is done until the 18 mth shots (I so regret... I think its why his immune system is not the best) and my second was only done up to 2 mnths. The nurse at the doctors office actually referred to the vax as "mandatory"

As to educating people, that's a tough decision for me not just for vax but for so many things. Do you stick your neck out and try to help someone get less than main stream information to make an informed choice? Or are you just going to get slammed for "judging" ??
post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluedaisy View Post

what do you think...do you feel any obligation to educate other parents or to try to protect other children from possible vaccine damage?
I used to, not anymore. Once word got out that we had a VPD, I had parents refusing to allow their children around mine for a long time after, they were vaxing families mostly, but some unvaxed as well. I no longer share any info, and at times lie.
post #15 of 41
I don't say a word. I don't go around asking people their personal medical info, why should I share my ds's?

I don't feel an obligation to enlighten other's about vaccines. I feel it's my responsibility first and foremost to keep my son happy and healthy. And he's happiest when he's playing with his friends. If I tell my friends and they're horrified and treat my ds like a leper and don't let us in the playgroup anymore, how does that effect my son?

So I just keep my mouth shut. I don't want my ds to be hurt (and if he had no other kids to play with, he would be very, very hurt. He's such a social boy.) so as his mother, I'm protecting him first.
post #16 of 41
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the responses. I sort of wish I hadn't mentioned it to the people I have mentioned it to now...

Oh well, I can go from here! I appreciate all of your thoughtful responses.
post #17 of 41
our close friends know
my family knows
i don't discuss things with my inlaws so i don't know if they know
if a friend asks, i tell, and explain why. several of my long-time friends (ones that i've known at least 12years) have also chosen not to vaccinate, although none of us live in the same city anymore.

if it's an acquaintance, i don't discuss unless i have an idea of what the intention is behind asking about it.
otherwise it's none of their business really.
post #18 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emilie View Post
I rarely discuss our vaccination choices with ANYONE. EVER. I have in the past- made the mistake and WAS very upset I did.
:

i learned friends have no idea its a choice.
post #19 of 41
If it comes up, I tell the truth. My family, dh's family, most of my mom friends, and most recently my neighbor, all know. Family-I told them because they asked. I won't lie to them. Some of them have actually learned something. A few think we are crazy, but most respect our decision. Friends- most of my friends understand my choice, some even agree with it. Dh's family- They think I'm a wacky hippy for nursing my kids past 6 months, so whatever...And the neighbor...well, we have kids who were born 2 days apart. Every time it comes time for a well baby visit, she asks "how were ds's shots". So, for a year while I got to know her I would just say "no shots today" and leave it at that. Now we are friends. Our kids are friends. Our dh's are close. It seemed like I was lying to her. So, last time she asked, I told her. She didn't seem to care, although I wonder if it will come up again. We are both health care providers, so we'll see...

Anyways, I'd opt for protecting my family first, if I thought it was an issue. If not, I like to let people know that it's an option not to vaccinate and that people they know choose this option.
post #20 of 41
DH and I have already decided that we'll be very choosy about letting people know. I don't mind telling certain people who seem genuinely interested and would be open to discussing the subject rationally, but if someone's just looking for a fight they can look somewhere else.

My son's medical history is no one's business but his and his primary caretakers' (us). Why would I discuss it with strangers whose intentions I can't accurately gauge? It's not my job or place to try to educate the willfully ignorant, and life's too short to spend it fruitlessly defending every non-mainstream decision I make, KWIM?

Some subjects simply aren't open for discussion with most people. These include our choice not to vaccinate or circumcise, cloth diapering, extended breastfeeding, etc.
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