Pro or Anti? Why must you be one or the other?

Pro or anti, pick one. Or so debates surrounding various parenting decisions claim. It seems that you are forced to choose one side over another absolutely. So you must be either pro-vaccine or anti-vaccine, pro-co-sleeping or anti, pro-home birth or pro-hospital birth, etc.

But is that the case, and are we just fueling the “mommy wars” even more by buying into that? In my opinion, we needn’t be one or the other, and buying into the false dichotomy only serves to separate us and fuel the vitriol.

Oh, but surely you must choose one or the other of these things? Yes and no. I think it is perfectly acceptable to choose one for your family and yet not be against the opposite choice for another. For example, I’m not pro- or anti-vaccines. I think each family should look at the actual data (look at the vaccine inserts ad studies, many of which are easily accessible online), as well as looking at their child’s circumstances and any impact the decision may have on others and make a decision from there. After doing that, some families may forgo some or all vaccines, and others would have them. Some might even make different decisions for different children in the same family. I support whatever informed decision is made.

As an aside, I do find it interesting when debate rages around vaccines that are routinely given in the US but not in the UK. I never even knew American infants were routinely vaccinated against HepB until Kieran was older, as we lived in the UK when he was born and so weren’t offered it. My Health Visitor thought the chicken pox jab silly and couldn’t believe it was given in the US.

Back to my point – can we not see that there is rarely a parenting decision that is always right or wrong? Reality is often more nuanced than that. So why don’t we agree to disagree when needed and try to get along?

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