"Good Moms" and the COVID Vaccine

Non-breaking news: Vaccines for kids 5-11 are now available in the US. As I type this, that sweet, sweet mRNA elixir is going right into small bicep muscles across the nation.

"Good Moms" and the COVID Vaccine
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya / Unsplash

Double Shifters,

Non-breaking news: Vaccines for kids 5-11 are now available in the US. As I type this, that sweet, sweet mRNA elixir is going right into small bicep muscles across the nation. (Can you tell I’m excited?? Excited to the point of inappropriate descriptions!? Yes and Yes. I’m excited.) I want to stand for a moment of the sunshine of hope that this could be a turning point, for both my immediate family AND the country in finally getting COVID to a place of long term manageability. 

I know many of you are excited too, keeping multiple tabs open and refreshing to get the first available appointment without any hesitation. But many smart and caring moms don’t quite feel this way. I’m hearing about what I call "vaccine anxiety" among moms, which I believe is different than how we have been typically thinking about vaccine hesitancy. Maybe you have some unanswered questions that are making you pause, even while being vaccinated yourself. Maybe you are feeling panicked that your kid will have rare side effect, and aren't sure how to weigh the risks. Maybe you are wanting to wait a bit to see how things go with other kids before rushing out to get yours a shot. Maybe you know you’ll eventually do it but you are still nervous about it. Maybe you’ve haven’t made up your mind yet.


(Action shot of my 6 year old getting vaxxed. Go antibodies, Go!!)

I decided at the last minute to change our episode plans so we could do an informative, non-judgmental episode about kids and the COVID vaccine. But it’s not just the nuts and bolts about safety (although we do tackle that) ... or answering Double Shifter questions (which we do also.) As always, I’m most interested in moms. So this episode is about how the vaccine is coming at a moment when parents are traumatized by the last nearly two years and can’t really see things getting better. We’re just beyond exhausted about risk assessment and suffering from massive decision fatigue. That’s all factoring into how we’re thinking about vaccinating. Some of us see it as a way out, and others aren’t quite sure. And another meaty element we’re tackling is how all of this is exacerbated by existing social pressures, especially on moms, to do “the right thing” or not “risk” choosing something that we could feel makes us feel responsible if something bad happens.

Angela is still hard at work on her book and there’s no way I could tackle this all on my own, so to my delight, I got one of my besties on the show this week. Dr. Liz Baltaro is a board certified family physician, a medical director and a mom of three -- including twin boys (isn’t that an awesome biographical coincidence!!) She’s spent most of the pandemic testing, treating and advising both adult and children COVID patients in an outpatient setting. Liz and I text and send each other Marco Polo video messages basically every day. We live on the same street and go on family vacations together. I would trust her with my own kids’ lives, and she knows her shit. So she’s joining us to unpack the science, the anxiety, the motherhood pressure and so many of your lingering questions on today’s episode.

Listen to "'Good Moms' and the COVID Vaccine," out today. 

Our producer Rachel describes this episode as "the warm hug every mom needs right now." Get your hug. You deserve it.

Til Soon,


Watch: Co-host Angela gave a wonderful 5 minute TED Talk on "What Working Parents Need From Workplaces." Plenty of truth bombs along with digestible action items. Watch, enjoy, and send it to your boss. 

What I’m Reading: I am diving into Walter Issacson’s tome, The Code Breaker, Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race, about the noble prize winner for 2020 who made breakthroughs on CRISPR, a DNA editing technology. I’ll let you know what I think when I make it to the other side, although I have serious critiques about how the 69 year old male author covers Doudna's motherhood.

What I’m listening to: Bad Blood, The Final Chapter. My version of a guilty pleasure is this series on Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of Theranos, who’s on trial in federal court for fraud charges and faces up to 20 years in prison. In a plot twist, she gave birth to her first child shortly before the trial began. Well reported and full of scandal, I loved the original book by the same title, and the podcast got me so sucked back in. I became a paying subscriber for weekly trial updates. 

YUM: Why did no one tell me before about the sumptuous condiment that is Miso Butter? I like it on pasta.


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