Friday, 25 November 2011

How a snowball starts an avalanche

I have had this blog post title sitting in my drafts folder for months.  I typed it with one subject in mind and then as I started to write realized it wasn't right.  I have held on to it knowing that it would be appropriate at some point....loving the visual....but what was it for?  A snowball starting an avalanche is not a positive experience and very much about loss of control.  At least that's the feeling I always got from the image.

Maybe that's what I am feeling and why I have chosen to finally use this title.  I was recently interviewed for an article about vaccines for a parenting magazine....I have no fear around my knowledge on the subject and I am confident on the info I provided.  I also have not, for one second, had second thoughts on our choice.......but now my image, my 'street cred', how people view me is left in the hands of another writer (a very talented one at that).  I do have a small fear that this snowball may in fact become an avalanche.

Early in my mothering days I vented to a good friend about how some friends of mine were responding to my choice to not vaccinate the twins.  Some of the horribly abusive and unforgivable crap people will unthinkingly say
--you can read more about it in a two piece article I wrote for Modern Alternative Mama--
Part 1 - The Delicate Ego of the Modern Parent
Part 2 - The Delicate Ego of the Modern Parent  

Her advice although excellent was not easy to take at the time.  Like any new parent I was looking for thoughtful conversation and maybe some camaraderie in the challenges of being a parent to babies.  That is not what I received.....  Her advice was to keep our decision 'sacred'.  That maybe it isn't something I discuss with friends or anyone for that matter.  The hard part about this is that parenting, especially if you are a stay-at-home parent, is a social job.  The play groups, playdates and drop in centers are social events.  Well checks, vaccines, illness and feeding/sleep schedules are the main topic of conversation with mothers of babies.  I needed (and need) a sense of community so to exclude myself from a common conversation was difficult.  Especially when it is a conversation you want to have.  I wanted to know other parents views, the research they had done and how they came to their decisions and how they felt about the results of the most recent study but that was never what happened. More often than not I left with my feelings hurt. 

As the twins have gotten older, the more educated I got on the subject and as a result more confident in our choice, the less I need this sense of camaraderie.  I will never be the same parent as someone else much like I have never wanted to be the same as someone else.  And no matter how hard I try there is no 'safe' conversation to have on the subject without someone feeling judged.  My reasons for not vaccinating become the reasons you are a horrible parent and vise versa.  It is a dangerous game to play and (I will say it again) I do not attend every argument I am invited to.  That being said.....being interviewed for this article could quite possibly open up a huge can-a-worms and turn this snowball into an avalanche.  I will post links to it when it comes out but I may just be setting myself up to have my feelings hurt again.

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