Two of my kids got their second COVID-19 vaccination a few days ago. I got mine a few weeks ago, along with my boyfriend and ex-husband. I believe it’s the right thing to do and I trust it will save lives.
While I do have concerns about side effects, I have bigger concerns about the side effects of getting COVID, or unknowingly spreading it to someone who could get really sick.
A few months ago while at the hairstylist for the first time in over a year, a woman came in and I could hear her talking to the woman next to me about her daughter having developed huge spots on her lungs and how she has had trouble breathing since she was diagnosed with COVID over the winter.
Another person chimed in about how her husband got it and his whole mouth and tongue have been black ever since and the doctors are perplexed.
As a mother, I want to protect my children from everything I can. So, after doing the research my ex and I agreed that we felt safe having our kids receive the vaccine. They are all teenagers and our two youngest were on board and are very happy to get the shot.
But my oldest who has graduated high school and is 18-years-old isn’t comfortable receiving the vaccine. He says he’s been reading about certain heart problems kids are having and he wants to wait a few years to get it, or skip it altogether.
My ex-husband is furious about this. He’s really mad at our son and thinks he should get it regardless. Their relationship has always been a good, strong one and it’s breaking my heart to see that it’s strained now.
While I understand both points– it is his body and he should have a say in what happens to it– I believe this virus is bigger than he is. I’ve told him it’s not just about him. It’s about protecting other people. I’ve pointed out that the people he knows, loves, and trusts have all gotten their vaccination so that should mean something to him.
I’ve also told my ex-husband that treating our son differently and acting disgusted because he won’t get the shot isn’t going to make him want it. In fact, it’s making him retaliate even more. He is a teenager and this is how it works– there are times when a parent’s recommendations get vetoed and ignored simply because they think we have no idea what we are talking about.
I’m torn between putting the pressure on my son and letting him make his own decision. I want to help the two of them figure this out of course, but how much do I insert myself? After all, I am not married to his father any longer and maybe the dust will settle faster if I let them sort it out amongst themselves.
This virus has caused everyone so much angst and tensions are still running high even though it looks like there will hopefully be an end in sight soon.
When your child chooses who they want to be, and it is different from the plans you had for them, I think that’s something you have to accept as a parent. But, this feels different. His future could be affected if he doesn’t get the shot, it could affect his relationship with his father even more, and it may have an impact on his career if he doesn’t get it.
So, how much do you push an 18-year-old to get the COVID-19 vaccine if they don’t want it? I’m hoping we figure this out soon. We’ve all been through enough already and this really breaks my heart.