As mums we are physically programmed to react to our kids’ crying.
When your baby cries it can cause your boobs to leak. When your toddler is wailing you find it impossible to focus on anything else.
When another kid cries, it’s annoying at times, but ultimately you can ignore it. When your own babies cry everything in your brain tells you to cater to their needs and stop the noise, to help them. It’s instinct.
So taking your kids along to have their vaccination, an event that absolutely will make them cry, seems a bit daft.
You are willingly taking your child to be prodded with a needle, which will cause pain, and filled with a medicine that can sometimes have side effects such as high temperature that will make them cry even more.
But do you know what, I don’t give a toss. I have taken my kids to every single vaccination appointment and I would do it all over again.
Of course I don’t want to see them cry, it’s awful. And to know it’s because they are in pain is terrible.
But do you know what else is awful?
Seeing your kid in a hospital bed, covered in a meningitis rash and fighting for their life.
Seeing your young baby dying of the flu, a common but potentially lethal virus.
Seeing your child unable to walk because polio wasted their leg muscles away.
Seeing your child get measles because you believed a stupid and thoroughly debunked study written by a discredited doctor that said (wrongly) the vaccine would cause autism.
Vaccinations exist to protect our kids.
They exist to protect everybody’s kids.
When you vaccinate your child, you aren’t just helping protect them. You are also protecting their friends, their friends’ siblings and those fellow parents you sometimes make eye contact with when out and about every single day.
Today I took my three-year-old to have her pre-school booster. This involved two injections, one in each arm. She handled the first one like a champ, the second made her cry.
She keeps asking me why I let the nurse put a pin in her arm.
I have told her over and over again that it’s because I love her. It’s because I want her to be stronger. It’s because clever doctors want to kill all the nasty bugs that could hurt her.
If you have vaccinations coming up, I get that it’s hard. I really, really do.
But please don’t let any of the silly propaganda about vaccinations put you off.
Don’t let the fear of the crying put you off. There are far worse things to be scared of than a little crying.