Don’t Let Green Beans Ruin Your Day: Have We Set Our Standards Too High?

picky eater

There I was…  It was about 3 o’clock in the afternoon on a weekend.  My head was about to explode. My toddler and I had been sitting at the dinner table, at my in-laws, for just about an hour. She was crying and whining; I was pretending like I didn’t notice. That’s how I was taught to handle things like this. However, truthfully, I had run out of ideas. She was about an hour-and-a half past her nap time so she was tired and hangry. I was worn out. Ever been there before? I mean, moms take care of everything, right?  So, what was all of this fuss about?

Green beans. Yup. My daughter was straight up refusing to eat her green beans. Lawd help me.  She had filled up on just potato wedges and apparently had absolutely no room for healthy items.  And here I was trying to wait for the cows to come home so she would willingly eat her food. Note to self, never try that one again.  

Any guesses on what that did to my day? It. Was. Ruined. My attitude went down the drain. I glared at my husband every time he walked by in hopes that he would see my agony and jump in to the rescue or see my diligence and offer some praise. I was exhausted and crashed as soon as she went down for a nap. Even then, I was still in a terrible mood later on. 

I let green beans and a little tantrum steal my joy! I felt like a failure.

Isn’t that what happens so often to us as moms? We end up letting one little, teensy tiny thing get in the way of enjoying life that day and wind up feeling as though you’ve failed your child – or even yourself. As a new mom, I’ll admit, I’ve had several of these moments. My continual question though is, why? Why do these moments overwhelm us and we forget the beauty of motherhood?  Why do we focus on the fraction of time that, in all reality, doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things?

The conclusion that I’ve come to is this: standards. Yes, I’m saying it – standards. Standards on our children, and ourselves, that are unrealistic and lead us to feel as though we’ve failed. Sure, we want the best for them. Yes, we want to be the best moms out there. But, haven’t we set the standards too high? We expect our kids to potty train early, talk and walk by certain ages, eat all the healthy foods, and do all of the right things with the right behaviors. We listen to the voices of doctors, our own parents, friends, and even complete strangers over our own, maternal intuition. While some of those standards are OK to have and people may be well meaning, we tend to take those things to heart as moms.

We forget that we’re doing fantastic jobs simply keeping our kiddos alive {that’s a task in itself}, balancing jobs, staying at home, managing budgets, and so on. We often can’t see that our love goes further than just the words we say. As moms, we let green beans ruin our days and let standards, often set by others, engrain themselves into our daily activities with our children and set ourselves up for failure.

We tend to focus on the little things that rob us of the joy in our lives.

So, what am I saying through all of this? Focus on what matters. If your independent toddler is on their own timeline for potty training, you haven’t failed. If you haven’t planned a date night with your spouse in a long time because of a schedule overload, you haven’t failed. If your child doesn’t eat the green beans, you haven’t failed, dear mama. 

Let’s ditch the standards and create our own. I’m here to tell you that the standard for your happiness and joy throughout the day is found in the strength you carry as a mom and a woman. It might sound cliché but, YOU truly have the power to not let green beans ruin your day.

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