…and I don’t care what you think about it.
Few things get me worked up when it comes to parenting and opinions. I’ve always been firmly in the camp of not caring how you raise your kids as long as they’re happy and healthy. What works for my family may not work for yours, and vice versa. I’m all about support, but for some reason, when this article popped up on my newsfeed yesterday… it set me off. It’s literally one of the stupidest things I’ve ever read in my life. I am rarely one to leave long comments on Facebook, but this one prompted a long one from me.
If you look at pictures of Abbie, you’ll notice that her ears are pierced. I’ve written about it before, but we got them pierced when she was 11 months old. The only reason it wasn’t earlier was just that we were busy. I had my ears pierced at 6 weeks old. All three of my sisters had their ears pierced before the age of one. Clearly, I’m in the pro-ear piercing camp.
Growing up, I honestly just thought it was normal to have pierced ears. Nearly every female I knew had pierced ears It was unusual to me for girls to not have pierced ears. I vividly remember meeting my friend Lindsey on the first day of 6th grade, and her telling me how excited she was that she was almost old enough to get her ears pierced (we were 11 and she was allowed at 12). I remember thinking how strange it was – because it was just different from what I knew.
It continues to surprise me how people get worked up over this. Ear piercing is SAFE. It does not affect hearing, is easy to take care of, and can be reversed if you take the earrings out. Pediatricians, in my experience, are completely fine with it as long as vaccinations are up to date (ours just wanted us to wait until after the 6-month shots). It’s a personal choice, and it has been done for thousands of years. So why did we pierce Abbie’s ears?
- Primarily, family and cultural tradition. As I explained, it’s normal for me – it’s extremely common in eastern European, Jewish (as in my own family), or Hispanic cultures. There are places where baby girls come home from the hospital with their ears pierced. In fact, I could almost hear my grandmother’s voice in my head asking me why it hadn’t been done yet. My mom still has the earrings I wore as a child ready to be passed on to Abbie once she’s old enough for us to change her earrings.
- I was able to do all the work of taking care of them for her. They never got infected and have healed well. If I had waited until she was older, she’d be much more likely to touch them and mess with them, and much more likely to get them infected.
- She won’t remember it hurting. I personally have always loved that my mom pierced my ears as an infant. I’m a wimp and don’t handle needles well. Since mine were done, I was always able to wear earrings without any of the pain. I never worried about any infections. Also, since my ear piercing is almost as old as me, the chance is slim that they’d ever close even if I stopped wearing earrings completely.
- Honestly, they’re stinkin’ adorable. Yep, some of it’s vanity – and I don’t care.
What I want to know is why is this even a thing? Some people want to pierce their daughters’ ears, some don’t. It’s personal choice of the parents. My best friend had hers done in elementary school, and her mom made it a special outing and day that she remembers – that’s awesome. I think it’s a great tradition, and it was her mom’s choice.
Some people are arguing that it’s “pain and cruelty,” which is just a bunch of crap. Anyone who’s had their ears pierced can tell you it hurts for only a moment, and you quickly forget. Would we stop our kids from riding bikes or running on concrete because it would potentially cause pain? No, that’s stupid. Let each parent decide what works for their family. Ear piercing is not cruel. What would be cruel is banning it – people would still find a way to do it and it wouldn’t be safe or sanitary. (Like my mom, who pierced another hole in her earlobe in college with a nail and some ice. THAT is not safe.)
Bottom line, let parents make their own decisions, and leave my daughter’s ears alone.