I would describe myself as a fairly laid-back mom—or, at least, as laid-back as you can be when you’re a mom. I tend to follow the five-second rule when my 8-month-old son, Bodhi, drops a toy, and I have given up on lecturing my 4-year-old son, Miles, on the fact that his sleeve is not a tissue. But my low-key attitude takes a serious hit when it comes to vaccines.

If you have kids, you know the vaccination process isn’t fun for anyone. Miles just got his second round of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine, along with two others, and hated every second of it. Even his funny little comment to the nurse after the first shot (“I’m all done now, doctor!”) couldn’t make me smile. He doesn’t realize it, but I’ve been helicoptering him like crazy ever since he got the vaccine to make sure he’s OK.

Bodhi, a baby who pretty much never cries, completely crumpled and started bawling during his latest round of vaccines, which included three shots. I had to help hold his legs down during the process and started silently crying along with him while he got his jabs.

He recently ran a fever after receiving a standard vaccination, and even though that’s a normal reaction that many babies can experience, I mentally went through all of the wild scenarios in which he would become seriously ill because I made him get vaccinated. If something happened to him, I rationalized, it would be all my fault.

READ MORE AT: http://www.self.com/story/vaccination-empathy