My Weakest Link

After I became a mom, it was glaringly obvious that a very important gene was absent from my DNA.  Until that time, I had hoped it was there, but just sat dormant until I had children.  If you’ve read many of my posts, I bet you’re thinking, “Lady, there’s a lot that’s not right with your genetic composition.”

Growing up, I was the one who squealed, while covering my eyes, during the shark attacks in Jaws.  If I opened my eyes too soon and saw the murky red water, my stomach lurched and I immediately regretted eating an entire package of Red Vines.

In high school Biology class, we watched a film of a hip replacement surgery.  Well, I mostly doodled in my notebook, glancing up occasionally to see what made my classmates utter, “cool” and “check that out!”  I regretted my surrender to curiosity and skipped lunch that day because the pizza looked too much like what I saw on the video.

I feared having children because I sensed I wouldn’t be able to tolerate their grossness.  Just the thought of cleaning up whatever came out of either end made my stomach curl into a ball and do a somersault in my belly.  Imagining the appearance and smell caused my throat to constrict and my gag reflex to show off its superhuman strength.  Other mothers, including my own, assured me that “it’s different when it’s your own children.”

I’m here to tell you (nearly nine years after the birth of my first child): they all lied.

Maybe “lied” is too harsh – but they certainly were wrong.  The ability to handle all things disgusting is missing, which is a HUGE disadvantage, considering I’m a mom to two boys.

On Sunday, my older son wasn’t feeling well.  He came into the living room and announced, “I don’t feel good.”  My hubby knew the translation: the floor’s gonna get it in 2.7 seconds.  He ordered our son to get to the bathroom, but sadly, it wasn’t soon enough.

So, on Father’s Day, my hubby got to demonstrate the true meaning of love by cleaning up our tile – twice.  I stayed outside of smelling or hearing distance, but my stomach still revolted.  I’d like to believe my queasiness was the ultimate show of motherly empathy, but I know it was just me being a wimp.  In my defense, I did ask my son if there was anything I could do for him.  Does it still count even though I stood around the corner with a towel over my nose?

When the last crisis ended, my hubby asked me what I would’ve done if he hadn’t been there to clean up the mess.  “Go to a hotel” was my half-joking response.

Now you know my stomach single-handedly dashed any hopes of med school.  What’s your weakest link?  Please share – if you don’t have one, I’ll be jealous of you; and jealousy shows the dark circles under my eyes 🙂

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29 thoughts on “My Weakest Link

  1. Carol Ann Hoel June 21, 2011 / 9:24 AM

    You are not alone, and I don’t think this is an “attitude”. I think it has more to do with your genetic makeup. This is just my opinion. Those things that make you turn inside out don’t bother me much at all. I don’t think people lied to you, but they were looking from their own viewpoints. It didn’t bother them. My daughter, like you, will literally vomit if someone else does in her presence. It matters not that it may be her own child. She has a weak stomach and all the other experiences you mentioned affect her the same way. It’s always a good thing if someone is there to help, because I think she, too, would prefer moving out of the house than attacking the cleanup.

    Oh, I forgot. My weakest link? Odors. An unpleasant odor sends me running for cover. Duh. Blessings to you, Janna…

    • jannatwrites June 21, 2011 / 8:42 PM

      My mom could handle anything, but I didn’t inherit her strength. I remember throwing up on her more than once as a child and she never freaked out. I’ve tried to ‘suck it up’ and be tough, but my stomach just won’t cooperate.

      I’m much like your daughter – I can’t listen to someone getting sick either. And, if I smell it, the gag reflex kicks in. I’m glad I’m not alone there, because I do feel bad that hubby gets stuck with all the yucky jobs.

      Odors are a big thing for me too, Carol. As far as food goes, scorched popcorn and burned toast both make me sick (and I get to smell both at least once a week at work!)

      Thanks for sharing your weakest link!

  2. crumbl June 21, 2011 / 11:06 AM

    LRHG works (don’t ask me why … with her background and education, she doesn’t have to) as a personal support worker, and deals with things daily that I don’t even want to hear about, much less contemplate having to deal with myself. I dealt with more than enough having 3 younger siblings, largely contributory to my never wanting or having children. Mr. Mom I’m not.

    Blood, I’m okay with, so to speak. At least it doesn’t impede me. Puke and poop … NOPE. Can’t go there. LRHG deals with all three almost daily, and maintains a cheery disposition. I’m in awe. I couldn’t do it. Certainly not with a smile.

    I know when I had to do it, babysitting my siblings as a teenager, my youngest of whom is 12 years younger than am I, it revolted me, and yep, the gag reflex kicked in HUGE, but, it had to be done. Don’t have to do it no mo’, and I’m ever so grateful. I’m sure motherhood is the same for many … like it or hate it, it’s you or no one, so you suck it up and hold your breath, while …

    What’s my Achilles’ heel? My gag reflex threshold is so low, I can’t even stick a toothbrush too far into my mouth before I gag. Last time I had dental x-rays, they had to use children’s film on me, and even then, I was tearing constantly (not crying, just tearing), and trying my best not to lose my lunch on the technician. Not pretty.

    • jannatwrites June 21, 2011 / 8:55 PM

      I admire LRHG! There’s no way I could that (obviously.)

      Luckily I don’t have younger siblings, so I wasn’t treated to diapers before my time. *Whew* It’s the combination of the visual and the smell that gets my gag reflex going, but as bad as mine is, I think yours just might be worse! Going to the dentist isn’t fun anyway, but if you have to work that hard to keep lunch in its place, it’s even more miserable.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your weakest link, Crumbl.

  3. J. P. Cabit June 21, 2011 / 11:22 AM

    I too am squeamish. I even had a hard time watching the Three Stooges episode about the dentist. I am squeamish towards pain rather than grossness though. Think the difference lies in empathy vs. weak stomachry…

    I was also pretty grossed out on Sunday when I
    ****SPOILER ALERT—DO NOT READ FURTHER IF YOU DON’T WANT TO GET GROSSED OUT!!!*** discovered that a bag of trash I had left in a dark location…several bags of trash, actually…had grown a colony of little white worms that crawled around everywhere. It was NASTY. Seriously. There were dozens of them…maybe a hundred or so, all squiggling in different directions. :p Naaastyyy!!!! I ended up spraying them with a bottle of cleaner, but that didn’t seem to do anything. 😦

    • nrhatch June 21, 2011 / 12:07 PM

      Eww . . . maggots!!!
      We had a bag of potatoes in the “root cellar” (a/k/a basement) once. One went rotten and the maggots appeared. Ack!

      • J. P. Cabit June 21, 2011 / 1:38 PM

        So you know exactly what I’m talking about!!! Ick. Maggots are abhorrent and loathsome.

    • jannatwrites June 21, 2011 / 9:04 PM

      You do know that as soon as you put a warning, it’s like a dare and I have to read it, right?

      And…..yep, that was a gross story 🙂 I would have lost my lunch and hubby would’ve had two messes waiting for him. How did you get rid of the maggots? I’m thinking gasoline and a match would do it 😉

      I’m not sure what this says about me, but the pain thing doesn’t bother me (on a TV show, at least.) If I saw someone getting drilled without novacaine for real, I would be upset, though.

      I’m glad you stopped by and shared your weakest link (and the super-disgusting story), Seph!

      • J. P. Cabit June 22, 2011 / 11:25 AM

        😀 Glad my story “hit the spot.” lol 🙂

        Well, I no longer put trash in said confined dark space. And as far as killing the little annoyances, I barraged them with some super-nasty-take-the-paint-off-a-barn chemicals. Or at least that’s what I had been told about the stuff. Like I said, the offenses didn’t seem phased by it.

        • jannatwrites June 22, 2011 / 9:18 PM

          Interesting. The wormy critters hang on, but all other life within 100 yards of the area will be killed off for several generations 😉

        • J. P. Cabit June 23, 2011 / 1:19 PM

          Lol 😀 SO true!!

        • jannatwrites June 23, 2011 / 7:29 PM

          Oh, except roaches. Those things would survive a nuclear blast. Sorry..

        • J. P. Cabit June 24, 2011 / 5:34 PM

          You mean because they have two brains, in addition to being able to survive on a greasy fingerprint for two weeks? Yah. Probably right.

  4. Tori Nelson June 21, 2011 / 11:36 AM

    Thank you! Finally another mom that can’t control the gag reflex. I still have trouble working up the nerve to conquer my boy’s toxic diapers. I suppose I thought the whole magical mama love would overcome my disgust 😦

    • jannatwrites June 21, 2011 / 9:08 PM

      I’ve always felt like a an incomplete mom because I get grossed out so easily. My good friend, who doesn’t even have children, could change a poopy diaper like nobody’s business and I’m in the next room gagging and groaning. Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone, Tori!

      Mama love is powerful, but is no match for toxic diapers 😉

  5. nrhatch June 21, 2011 / 12:10 PM

    My mother encouraged me to go into nursing. For all the reasons you’ve described herein, I told her that she was obviously NOT my real mother . . . since she knew me so little.

    I don’t like blood, pain, pus, poop, vomit, nasty smells, or any other manner of bodily secretion.

    • jannatwrites June 21, 2011 / 9:17 PM

      That’s funny, Nancy! My parents never suggested such a thing (they knew better :))

      Ditto on your list of dislikes. I have a hard time even visiting someone in the hospital because all of the things that make my stomach turn (including that odd antiseptic smell) are all in one place. I feel like a child locked in a closet full of monsters. (The only thing worse is a nursing home.)

  6. Miss Rosemary June 21, 2011 / 12:38 PM

    Too much pride. I hold myself to standards too high for superman, never mind little old me.

    And driving over bridges.

    • jannatwrites June 21, 2011 / 9:23 PM

      I get freaked out driving over bridges, too! I’m not crazy about tunnels, either.

      I used to be a lot harder on myself, but I have mellowed some with age. I hope it works that way for you, too 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by, Miss Rosemary!

  7. pattyabr June 21, 2011 / 5:58 PM

    Oh honey. I am a nurse practitioner and my whole family thought I was crazy for being a nurse. I screamed at EVERYTHING as a child. The experience of being a parent – phenomenology – was my qualitative focused thesis. I learned about the experience of being a parent but it never prepared me for the authentic experience.

    Right before the births of both my children I had a level of anxiety sweep over me then went in for the long haul. Everything in life that I experienced as a nurse is similar but completely different than when I experienced it in my own backyard. That said, I worked in an adolescent, locked psychiatric unit as a young adult and it never totally prepared me for raising my own teenagers. I expected more and different behaviors from my children. How silly was that????

    • jannatwrites June 21, 2011 / 9:41 PM

      The thoughts of teenage years scare me! I have a little less than four years to not think about it.

      I think it goes for anything – learning about it and doing it are two very different things. It makes sense that parenting would be no different. It’s harder when you are in the parenting process because you’re not objective (when things aren’t going right, it’s hard to see what needs to be changed.)

      I’m glad you overcame your squeamishness and went on to be a nurse practitioner. You proved the doubters wrong 🙂

      Thanks for sharing your comments on my weakest link, Patty!

  8. pattisj June 21, 2011 / 8:28 PM

    Red vines? You can’t be too bad genetically. 🙂
    Diapers didn’t bother me too much, but vomit? Forget it. Hubby always took care of that, because he didn’t want to clean up twice as much!
    Weakest link: small enclosed, stuffy spaces

  9. jannatwrites June 21, 2011 / 9:45 PM

    Ha! Red Vines might be the only thing genetically okay with me.

    I’m reluctant to own up to too many weak links (I’d rather pretend they don’t exist) but enclosed places get me, too. I once ran out of a Payless shoe store barefoot when the aisle I was in got too crowded. I couldn’t breathe and I got dizzy, so I grabbed my own shoes and bolted outside, gasping for air. It was a little embarrassing because people stared at me, but I don’t go shoe shopping nearly as often 😉

    I’m glad you stopped by, Patti. Thanks for sharing your weakest link!

  10. Blossom Dreams June 22, 2011 / 12:19 PM

    My weakest link is actually my strongest link at the same time…I have such a STRONG sense of smell…good if there is a gas leak or something is on fire….TERRIBLE if there’s a person within close proximity who forgets to use that amazing item we all call deodorant….or if somebody ate garlic the day before…or even the week before! My sense of smell is so annoying at times!

    Chloe xx

    • jannatwrites June 22, 2011 / 9:22 PM

      A heightened sense of smell wouldn’t be fun. Luckily, I have allergies, so my senses are dulled. (I still had some problems when I rode the city bus for a few months a couple years ago. I was ready to hand out bars of soap as a strong-smelling hint to some of these people.)

      I’m probably one that would offend you, though, because I LOVE garlic. At least I use deodorant 🙂

      Thanks for sharing your weakest link

      • Goodbye to Yesterday June 23, 2011 / 3:36 PM

        LOL – how funny would it be if a person handed out bars of soap on public transport.. 😀 I would love to try that one day – just to see the reaction I got!

        I LOVE garlic too….just not on people’s breath!

        Have a great day and keep on smiling xx

        • jannatwrites June 23, 2011 / 7:43 PM

          I have a feeling the reaction would not be gratefulness…just a hunch!

          I’m with you – I don’t like garlic on people’s breath, either. But then again, there isn’t any food I’d like to smell on someone’s breath. Fish has got to be the worst, though 😉

          Thanks for visiting and leaving your comment, GTY. It was nice to “meet” you.

  11. Debbie June 24, 2011 / 12:12 PM

    Janna, this one made me laugh out loud! I can so agree with you. Fortunately, my son is old enough to clean up his own messes (well, sort of, if anybody ever gets that old!); now, it’s just the dog who makes messes and won’t clean up, haha!

    • jannatwrites June 24, 2011 / 9:06 PM

      I’m glad you enjoyed it, Debbie. I felt terrible that I couldn’t bring myself to get within ten feet of my son. I blame it on that missing gene (that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.)

      Yes, it would be nice if the pets could clean up after themselves. If you could train your dog to do that, you’d surely be the envy of the entire neighborhood!

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