Yes, it’s true.
We’ve recently returned from a lovely little vacation at Disney World. Where we flew in airplanes, and were around thousands of people everyday from countries all over the world.
Don’t worry though — my kids aren’t sick. They weren’t sick. They weren’t exposed to anything before we went, either (except the usual minor colds, I’m sure). In fact, I silently begged and prayed in the days before we left that they wouldn’t be around anyone who was sick, or show any symptoms, because I didn’t want to make any hard choices. Thankfully, they were healthy and active, and we went.
I realize that this admission might make some people angry. But it shouldn’t. Because here’s the truth: if children haven’t been exposed to any illnesses (and there’s nothing “serious” going around in my area at this time, just the usual colds and junk), then they do not pose a risk to anyone around them. At least no more than anyone else does — obviously everyone can still catch and spread colds. There were plenty of kids with coughs and runny noses there, and two of my kids came back with that.
I’m sharing this because I know a lot of people have really blown the “risk” of unvaccinated kids out of proportion. I want to make it clear that yes, I take it seriously if my kids are sick or have been exposed and we’ll stay home then. (That’s our responsibility to society.) But if they’re healthy? We’re out and about — as we should be.
In the next few weeks I’ll share a little bit about how we tried to eat mostly real food while we were there, and the natural remedies I brought with me to help us stay healthy. Traveling is tough sometimes, especially with little ones!
But don’t worry. This post isn’t really about vaccines.
A Break is Good for Perspective
While I was out of town, I took a break from the internet. This was right in the midst of all the fighting, when nasty articles were coming out daily from both sides, with harsh words being flung in all directions. It was really nice to step away for a few days, and just not worry about what was being said and not feel angry about it all.
Being around so many different people, from all different walks of life and places in the world gave me a chance to really observe them, too. I’m not such a social person; I prefer to sit quietly and people-watch. Or read. (I did a lot of reading on the trip.)
I noticed a few interesting things. First, none of these people seemed concerned about health. Nobody had a paranoid glance, wondering how many children around were potentially unvaccinated. They were too busy minding their own business and enjoying their vacation. This issue likely doesn’t cross their minds very often (if at all). This is probably true for most people in this world — the ones who aren’t glued to the news channels.
It kind of made me think that worrying so much about others’ medical decisions is kind of a first-world problem. Really. People who are struggling with day-to-day things like getting enough to eat, getting clean water, caring for their families — they don’t have the energy to care what others are doing. They’re dealing with their own business. It’s people with a lot of time on their hands who can get truly nasty about the choices others are making.
I also realized that most of the furor is caused by the media. People who weren’t worried a month or two ago are suddenly worried. They’re suddenly wondering what’s lurking around every corner — could it be an unvaccinated child, carrying all diseases known to man?!
The thing is, everyone’s buying into the fear. The media is making sure of it. They’re making outrageous comments that are getting people talking, and fighting. People are getting nasty because they don’t want their families’ rights to be destroyed. That is, some families think they have a right to a fully-vaccinated society, and others think they have a right to participate freely in society regardless of their medical decisions, and these kind of stand at odds to each other right now. So everyone’s up in arms.
What is this accomplishing? Not a whole lot. It’s not changing anyone’s mind, it’s causing them all to dig into their current position more. People don’t change their minds when they’re attacked or berated! What is happening, though, is a whole lot of relationships are being destroyed. I can’t tell you how many people have shared on social media that they have “unfriended” friends or family members or perhaps even ended real-life plans with people because they can’t agree on this issue and have gotten in big fights about it.
Is it that important?
Is fighting over this issue worth destroying friendships? Knowing that it’s not going to change the other person’s mind…is it worth it to end the relationship because you disagree so strongly? Would you have made it such an issue 6 months ago? 5 years ago? If not…why is it so huge now? Ask yourself if you really, honestly feel strongly enough to risk your relationships over this, or if maybe the media’s fear campaign is working a little too well.
I choose not to be angry about this now. Not to fight with people about it. I’m not going to convince anyone that my way is better…or that I’m not a crazy, anti-science, selfish nut job (as many were fond of saying to me on a recent post). That’s okay.
We’re beyond this now. We’re taking a break from the subject of vaccines while the topic’s so hot. We’re not really helping anyone at this time, we’re just feeding into the frenzy, the anger, the fighting. Later on we’ll circle back to it, and we’ll take a calm look at the subject, breaking down the details. Our goal is to help inform and empower you…not to start a fight.
What MAM’s About
While I’ve got you here, I want to tell you what we’re all about.
Yes, a couple weeks ago things got a little nuts. I got caught up in the media frenzy myself and I got angry with all the people who opposed my position. That was personal and it’s really not what we’re about here. The break from the internet really helped me to clarify why that was not a good reaction, publicly, and why it was not helping the situation.
Our goal here is to educate and empower parents to live a more natural life. We provide information on everything related to raising a healthy family — pregnancy and birth, diet, schooling, natural remedies, and lots more. Our goal is to bring you the facts that you need to make an informed decision, and then empower you to make the choices that are right for your family.
That means you’ll see us sharing recipes for natural remedies (you can find a bunch in A Practical Guide to Children’s Health as well as Healing with God’s Earthly Gifts), healthy diet advice and recipes (check out Real Food Basics), gentle parenting practices, and more. Really, anything and everything you need to raise a healthy, natural family!
If you’re a Modern Alternative Mama like me (a mama who’s living in modern times and choosing an alternative path), then you can click the little ‘subscribe’ box below this post. You’ll get a free copy of Start Your Healthier Life, One Step at a Time (my guide to a healthier, more natural life) and you’ll receive our monthly newsletter, also totally free. You’ll be the first to know about the best new content, upcoming books and events (live, local events — coming soon!), and more! Make sure you’re on that list. 🙂
Each year, we do a reader survey! We love to find out more about our readers — who you are, what you love, what you don’t love, and more. Let us know right here, and be part of the community. 🙂 Plus, you can win a copy of the ebook of your choice by filling out! https://docs.google.com/a/modernalternativemama.com/forms/d/1B8P3WeuMjxxRMt6XRetKr6BZHulWQBtsRwVWdtZQqBA/viewform” target=”_blank”>fill out our annual reader survey! One person will get a chance to pick one of our ebooks as a thank you!
The Newest Book
Speaking of new content, tomorrow is the official launch day for Unschooling From Birth to Early Elementary. You can pre-order your copy on Amazon right here, or you can wait until tomorrow to grab the print version (which isn’t available for pre-order). The Kindle and PDF versions sell for $7.49 and the print version sells for $12.49.
Plus, if you’re considering homeschooling or unschooling (which is a relaxed way of educating your child that uses no formal curriculum and instead goes based on their interests and needs), you can join us for a FREE webinar, “How to Unschool a Range of Ages.” One of the most common questions I get is “When you have a bunch of kids of various ages, how do you keep up with all their needs? How do you work with an elementary kid on their project while juggling a baby who’s into everything?” As a mom to four — with number five arriving this summer! — I’m very familiar with juggling lots of kids’ needs. My 7-year-old wants help writing a story, my 5-year-old wants me to help him design a new Lego creation, my 3-year-old wants to play a game on the computer, and my 2-year-old is just plain into everything. But we make it work! And you can too.
Today’s the last day to sign up for the webinar, and spots are limited. We’re capping it at 250 seats, and we’re really close to that! (There are about 50 seats left as of Saturday night.) You can register right here. All registrants get a free copy of “10 Best Sensory Boxes for Young Kids” just for attending!
I hope to see you there!