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Moms of boys: Was to circumcise or not an EASY decision?
June 13, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Or was it something you struggled with?

Circumcision Is No Easy Decision for Anyone

on Jun 13, 2011 

The decision of whether to circumcise my son or not was the hardest parenting decision I have made in my nearly five years as a parent. As a Jewish mother, I was especially torn because even though I'm more culturally than spiritually Jewish, the tradition in my culture made it very hard for me to consider not making the cut.

Almost from the moment we found out the baby had boy parts, my husband I dreaded the idea that we had to make this choice. And yet, I'm glad we had the choice to make.

One woman's crusade to end circumcision is having repercussions all over the country, though the bans have only been truly explored in the Bay Area (where it's on the ballot this fall) and now in Santa Monica, California.

It's repulsive. For so many reasons.

As a Jewish parent, I take great offense to the notion that somehow one woman's distaste for a cultural practice could derail something we Jews have done since the dawn of our faith. It's unconscionable that something Jews and Muslims feel is commanded by G-d would be banned by the government.

But there are even health reasons for doing it. The American Academy of Pediatrics has always taken a neutral approach to the issue, but even they are amending their recommendations to stress the health benefits a bit more, namely the role of circumcision in preventing HIV transmission. They aren't outright recommending it, but they're saying it's a choice every parent ought to have. And it's one San Francisco and now Santa Monica would like to take from us.

Never mind that the potential ban is anti-Semitic (which it is). Never mind that the potential ban completely ignores any health benefits circumcision gives. Mostly, this is an attack on personal freedoms, on our ability to dictate what is right for us and our family. I hated making the choice, but I am glad I had the choice to make.

The fact is, part of being a parent is making hard choices. If we start banning all the things we find distasteful and unnecessary, we would be banning everything from earrings to braces and beyond.

I hated everything about making that choice. I hated talking to our pediatrician on the phone for a total of three hours. I hated crying when I thought of both choices. And I hated feeling cultural pressure to do something I didn't necessarily think I would do otherwise. But in the end, standing at the bris, I felt strong. Even as I also felt my heart breaking (I was eight days postpartum!) and had tears streaming down my face, I realized it was a good thing. What we did, we ultimately did with intention and love, in a ceremony standing right beside him. We did it because we love our son and want him to be part of our cultural history. We did what we felt was right for him.

This is the same way any parent makes a choice. You hold your breath and you hope it's the right one. What you don't do is become so self-righteous and sanctimonious in your own choice that you invalidate the choices of others.

I respect and love my friends who chose not to circumcise, but I expect that same respect and love in return. I thought just as long and hard and did just as much research as they did. I hated making that choice, but I was glad I had one.

Do you support the circumcision ban?


  • betsystipo
    July 22, 2011 at 5:14 PM

     both boys are circumsized, enough said

  • 3monkeys3
    July 22, 2011 at 6:16 PM
    Quoting betsystipo:

     both boys are circumsized, enough said

    she asked why. If you won't answer, why post?
  • dizzy77702
    July 22, 2011 at 6:50 PM
    My son was bc his father is. It wasn't a hard decision for us. I don't believe that it is necessary to ban something that has been safely done for years bc some people are against it. It should be up to the parents afterall they are going to raise this child not the govt.
  • Ricanmami1
    July 22, 2011 at 6:56 PM

    yeah my son was circumsiced 

  • earthangel1967
    July 24, 2011 at 4:08 PM

    It was an easy decision for me for my boys now 16 and 24 and they are glad they are circumcised as is my husband glad that he was.  As for my husband's dad who wasn't he said he wished he had been.

  • VintageWife
    July 24, 2011 at 4:21 PM

    I think it's totally up to the parents. Whether they do it or not doesn't affect me and it doesn't really affect the baby because there are pros and cons of each choice.

  • VintageWife
    July 24, 2011 at 4:23 PM


    Quoting 3monkeys3:

    Quoting betsystipo:

     both boys are circumsized, enough said

    she asked why. If you won't answer, why post?

     I believe she just doesn't want to elaborate any farther because these posts get as vicious as abortion posts. This is a nice new group and we don't wanna see any drama. I totally understand.

  • Charli627
    July 24, 2011 at 6:57 PM
    I researched it first then made a decision. It was easy for me. And I don't support the ban.
  • TruthSeeker.
    July 24, 2011 at 8:42 PM

     Yes it was an easy decision and No I do not support a circumcision ban.

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