I’m a medical professional and a mom. Right now, sitting here, I could easily work myself into a full-on, can’t breathe, chest hurts, drowning panic attack. It’s that sinking feeling, drowning feeling, and I just don’t know which way is up.
The problem is that I read.
I read every article, delve into every crevice and I am the type who must find a definitive, peer-reviewed answer. I digress. Recently, vaccines have burst onto the scene once again as measles ‘ravages’ the country. I found myself avoiding taking my infant into public places, afraid that he would get measles and encephalitis and die. I can swear to you I am not a hypochondriac, but something in this momming predisposes me to worry.
At the same time, I find I get swept up in the anti-vaxx propaganda. Despite having myself read the pertinent studies I click on link after link of emotionally charged allegations. My inherent skepticism drawing me further into the dark murky waters of unverifiable statistics and heart-wrenching first person accounts of injuries maybe caused by the vaccines. It gives me pause when it shouldn’t. I try hard to find the peer-reviewed content in their claims. I search for something that proves their point.
I am a rational consumer of research and I know better, yet the conspiracy theories and the reality that money does strange things to people leaves a flicker of doubt in my heart. Either way, vaccinated or not, if the unthinkable happens it is entirely my fault. My fault he wasn’t protected from the disease, or my fault the vaccine hurt him.
That’s where I stop.
It’s my fault because I did or didn’t give him a shot, or feed him the right food, or let him have enough treats, or limit his screen time, or expose him to technology, or CIO, or because we didn’t co-sleep, or because he was spoiled, or he never had enough, or because I said, “good job!” or didn’t, or because he had too many activities, or because I couldn’t afford the lessons… I’m his mom. It’s my fault.
This love is the weight of the world.