No, I'm not talking about the heated discussion you get into with the other mom at the playground over whether or not you are getting flu shots for your kid(s). I'm talking about the debate that goes on in my head that also happens to be pretty heated.
Every year at this time, I am forced to make a decision that I just can't
seem to ever feel good about. Do I get the flu shot for my kids?
Normally I am very pro-vaccine. I have
followed the vaccine recommendations set by the American Academy of Pediatrics, and I have no doubt that I am
doing the right thing by having my children receive most of the vaccines
that are available and recommended for them. Whooping cough, polio,
Hepatitis, tetanus, etc. In fact, the only one that bothers me even a
little is the chicken pox vaccine, but that's a blog for another day.
But back to the debate in my head... Here is what happens in my head every year at this time:
I should get the flu shot for my boys because my pediatrician recommends it. But...
It doesn't protect against all strains of the flu, so they could still get the flu anyway. But...
They've gotten the flu shot before and have never had a problem with it. But...
You've gone your whole life without getting a flu shot and you've never gotten the flu. But...
Wouldn't you rather get it for them and know you did what you could to protect them than end up with a child who gets hospitalized with serious complications from the flu when you could have done something about it? But...
Alec and Chase have pretty good immune systems, so why inject them with something that you aren't 100% sure about? But...
I think you get the idea. This goes on and on, day after day, night after sleepless night. And when I finally do decide whether to get or not get the shot for my boys I am still not sure of my decision. I feel like I'm back in high school taking a multiple choice test, and I'm stuck on a question where A and C could both be the answer. I might as well just flip a coin and let the coin decide.
I thought maybe blogging about it would help me come to a
decision, but it seems all I've done is put my debate in writing, which
is possibly even more confusing. I did, however, realize that there actually is a way to
avoid the whole debate. If only I could figure out a way to become a
bear, I could hibernate and avoid the whole flu season altogether.
I'm a super big "what if" person, which is why I think I have such a hard time with this decision. I knew being a parent would be hard, but it's these kinds
of decisions that I feel are one of the hardest parts about being a
parent. It seems like whichever choice I make will be wrong. Both
choices have risks, and both choices have benefits. Usually I can easily justify the risks for the benefits, but this is one of the few times that I can't. Or can I? See what I mean? I literally drive myself crazy over this same decision every year.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Since blogging about it didn't help me come to a realistic decision, maybe your input will inspire me (though I have a feeling the responses will be just as opposite as the thoughts in my head!). Maybe I better seriously consider this becoming a bear thing...