Advocating for Your Kids. And YOURSELF

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AdvocateRecently, I read “Louder than Words” by Jenny McCarthy. My choice for reading the book is neither here nor there. What I am here to tell you though is this:

  1. If you have a child. Or a pet. Possibly a plant. Or just have any concern for yourself… Go read this book!
  2. It is NOT about vaccinations. If I counted correctly, Jenny only mentions vaccinating (or not vaccinating 5 times and it was in such brief phrases that I would barely even consider it mentioning.) Whether or not she has said in other publications that she believes vaccinations caused her son’s autism does not matter. There is an entire community of people who think Jenny McCarthy is a complete quack and that her claims are not based on facts. Was she a Playboy? Yes. Does she use foul language and crude jokes? Yes. Is she raunchy and boobalicious? Yep, that too. BUT, she is a MOM, just like the rest of us. She is an actress. What we see on TV and magazines is not what she is to her son and in her home. This book is her story, a glimpse of the other side.
  3. Is Jenny McCarthy the next best author? Probably not. But it doesn’t matter. It’s better writing than “50 Shades of Grey” so at least there’s that. 
  4. This is about her story though.
  5. The story is about Evan and how he became a very, very sick little boy. It is heartbreaking as you read about him suffering. It is uplifting as you read about him recovering. The story is about the multiple
    diagnoses Jenny received in relation to her son. The story is about how it took Jenny fighting for her son to get answers because no doctor was willing to help her.
  6. This book is NOT about autism. (Okay, it is, but just hear me out.) This book is about advocating for your children. This book is about trusting your gut, your instinct, and your heart. This book is not about hating medicine or doctors or science. It is about knowing that the answers you are given may not be the whole story. It is about knowing that you can do more.

Parenting is tricky. Right folks? Like it is the hardest thing anyone will ever have to do. You make the choice to be a parent (no matter what that entails for you personally) and suddenly you have this child to raise. There are literally millions of “experts” that are ready to help you on your journey. That’s great isn’t it? It takes a village to raise a child and lucky you, you have an entire internet of experts in your village.

I have bad news for you.

It’s not that easy. Or that great.

You cannot explicitly trust the FDA or CDC or WHO or AAP or any other organization whether government based, medicine based, human advocacy based or chicken based. You have to take the advise of the laws and scientists and opposing “experts” and somehow find a way to mash it all into a reasonable parenting style.

So are you succeeding?

You thought so, didn’t you? I did too. And then I read this book and I started to question every member of authority I’ve ever trusted, not in a bad way but in an inquisitive way. Do I ask enough questions? Do I do enough homework first? Are there other or safer options?

You can make this about vaccinations if you want to. It’s not the point but I know the critics are out there. So make it about vaccinations. That’s fine. Just promise me that if you decide to vaccinate your child (which I support and respect) that you have valid, researched and solid reasons. Don’t make ANY choice for your child just because some celebrity told you to or because you read about it in a magazine or because it’s the way your mom, grandma, and ancestors for years and years have done so. Don’t be afraid to be the example. Don’t be afraid to do things different IF it is what you truly believe in.

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About Heather Campbell

I'd like to say I'm fun and interesting, but that all depends on who you talk to. I have everything I've ever wanted. I've been married, mostly happily since 2006. Together we have a spunky redhead and giggly identical twins. I am a mom/homemaker, doula-in-training and a freelance writer. Our story is magical. Our life is chaos.

5 responses »

  1. Loved this post. I grew up with an autistic brother and I have been dealing with our broken health system as our family’s advocate for some time. You are so right that no one else will truly fight for your children as you can. Our littlest twin had some breathing issues when he came home from the NICU, several ER trips later and multiple hospital visits (they thought reflux, underdeveloped trachea, etc.) I finally got a doc who suggested a minor surgery (lower throat scope) and I wanted to just do it to rule things out. Turned out our little 8 pounder had a giant cyst blocking 90% of his throat, poor dude. Had I listened to the doctors or other naysayers he might have at some point stopped breathing at home. As mommies we have to fight!! No one knows our babies like we do.

    • Thank you! We went through something similar with my daughter’s IBS and my adrenal health disease. No doctor in several years worth of tests gave us answers or explanations just wanted to stick us with some lifetime medicines.

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