Cherish Every Moment . . . OR NOT.




Parents are inundated with messages from complete strangers on the Internet and in person reiterating "You're going to miss this!" "It goes SO fast!" "The mess can wait!"

The problem is... sometimes the mess can't wait, you might NOT miss this stage, or there's so much more to look forward to!

Let's stop forcing undue pressure on parents and instead, consider the hope and gratitude in a more longterm approach.


  • A viral post and a well-written rebuttal 
  • The lies I believed and what I believe now as a mom to 10 + 11 y/o's
  • Permission to step away without guilt


  • The best might be yet to come

Failing Motherhood will be on break until August. *

FB Post: Last Time for Everything by Shay Toler

IG: @parent_wholeheartedly



Danielle Bettmann  0:04  
Ever feel like you suck at this job? Motherhood I mean. Have too much anxiety and not enough patience? Too much yelling, not enough play? There's no manual, no village, no guarantees. The stakes are high. We want so badly to get it right, but this is survival mode. We're just trying to make it to bedtime. So if you're full of mom guilt, your temper scares you, you feel like you're screwing everything up, and you're afraid to admit any of those things out loud - this podcast is for you. This is Failing Motherhood. I'm Danielle Bettmann and each week we'll chat with a mom ready to be real - sharing her insecurities, her fears, her failures and her wins. We do not have it all figured out. That's not the goal. The goal is to remind you, you are the mom your kids need. They need what you have. You are good enough and you're not alone. I hope you pop in earbuds, somehow sneak away and get ready to hear some hope from the trenches. You belong here, friend, we're so glad you're here. 

Danielle Bettmann  1:11  
Hey, it's Danielle - Positive Discipline Certified Parenting Coach for strong-willed kids ages 2 to 10. I am so glad you're here. I help defeated parents find validation, support and proven techniques to parent their strong willed kids with composure, connection, confidence and cooperation through a three month group coaching program based on the Wholehearted framework I developed over years of working with families one on one. If you've just found the podcast, go to to view a playlist of our most listened to episodes as well as where to start if you have a strong willed child. Now, note, this is our last episode in the school year of 2023/2024. We are going to come back strong in August with the new school year and there's going to be some changes in my group program. It's going to be Calm 2.0 and I'm excited to have the team and I working on that between now and then.  We have some awesome interviews that we've already recorded that are ready for launch in the Fall, and I can't wait to share them with you. So between now and then catch up on the episodes that you have not listened to yet I know there are plenty to keep you busy between now and then on your trips, and all of those things. 

Danielle Bettmann  2:32  
I know I am not the only one that has been told to enjoy every moment. Or when they're really little, people coming up to you just complete strangers saying you're gonna miss this - when you're holding them in a surfboard position carrying them out of a store. Or I know you've seen the reels and TikToks on social media beating into you the point that you only get 18 summers with your kids. And you never know when it's going to be your last time that you pick them up and set them down and never pick them up. Again, these messages are so prevalent, they're everywhere. I have been so guilty of really letting them get in my head so much that when my girls were really, really little, and I knew early childhood was my world, that was my thing, it was my expertise. I wanted nothing more than to soak them up and to stay there and let them stay little and be little. And I love the identity of being a parent to young kids. I thought it was going to be so sad when I could say "when my kids were little." Right?  I know for sure that I thought out the summers as thinking okay, this summer is like number five and so we have three more summers until you know, they're really in elementary school or whatever it is -  I was doing the math and trying to make it work. This prevailing fear or threat or pressure is so real in our society to be present, soak it up, you know, we know we're distracted and we know we're overwhelmed and we need to be better at being patient and focus and, you know, be in the moment with them and be in their world. I know we're doing a pretty darn good job. Right? We are not not thinking about this. We can't not, we didn't even have a choice. But I really wanted to speak to this in this episode. It just felt like the right topic to address before going on break, before letting the rest of the summer play out. It also came across my newsfeed not too long ago that I saw a viral Facebook post that really brought this to my attention yet again and I'm going to read it to you and then I'm going to read a response that someone had commented underneath, and then I'm gonna share with you my thoughts.

Danielle Bettmann  5:05  
Okay. So the post was called, 'There's the Last Time for Everything:' There will come a time when you feed your baby for the very last time, they will fall asleep on you after a long day. And it will be the last time you ever hold your sleeping child, one day you will carry them on your hip, and then set them down and never carry them that same way again. You will scrub their hair in the bath one night and from that day on, they will want to bathe alone. They will hold your hand across the road and then never reach for it again. They will creep into your room at midnight for cuddles, and it will be the last time you ever wake to them in your bed. One afternoon, you will sing the 'Wheels on the Bus' and do all the actions and never sing them that song again. You will read a final bedtime story and wipe your last dirty face, they will one day run to you with arms raised for the very last time. And the thing is you won't even know it's the last time until there are no more times. And even then it will take you a while to realize. So while you were living in these times, remember there are only so many of them. And when they are gone, you will yearn for just one more day of them, for one last time. 

Danielle Bettmann  6:09  
Geez, I mean knife, twist. Oh, all of the comments under this post and I will tag the original writer in the show notes in case. I want to make sure I credit them. But so many parents and moms were commenting underneath this post saying oh my gosh, I'm just drowning. It's so hard I needed this reminder. Or I feel so guilty, or I love this or you know all the comments. I read it and I could see the toxicity just raining off of it and it felt so icky to me. But sometimes I don't always have the words to be able to put that in until I read, you know, some more other comments and kind of find where my line is. So I found this comment from Deanna Isles. And so she wrote on June 14: "I shared this post with a friend that has young children and I commented this to her: This was my version, she said forever. They won't be babies, but you'll feed them. It might just be holidays, but that's acceptable after you get through the teenage years. Even as adults they will lay on the sofa with their head in your lap when they need to. We can't carry them anymore, but as we age someday they might have to carry us. They'll eventually bathe their babies and seeing that is so joyful. They'll hold your hand again, different ages, different reasons, but they will. Coming to your room to talk and snuggle also still happens. My girls are adults now and they and their children still like Nana snuggles. They will sing those songs to their babies and will remember when you sang it to them. You'll help them at night with homework and read those books, keep your favorites to your grandchildren. I have more kids books in my house right now than I did when I was raising my three. The nose wiping is replaced by accepting nose rings, sort of. They will always love mommy hugs even when they are taller than you. Yes, you will reminisce when they were little, you will remember even more as they grow and mature and make you so very proud. If you are fortunate one day to become a grandparent, you absolutely will realize how precious those moments are. The looming clock of our limited lifespan ticks louder. Find joy in the changes of your motherhood, find joy in everyday with your children, they will always hold your heart forever." And I love and appreciate this so much, Deanna, because we don't always get to hear that hindsight from 30 years down the road. And honestly, with all of the messages that we get sent as young parents, it can feel pretty bleak a lot of times, because they are only so little once, and you do have to soak up all the snuggles and the cuteness and the littleness and the love, because it is so temporary, and it goes by so fast. And we know that we know that so well. And there's tremendous pressure, and a desperation that almost takes over. So that's what got me thinking about this long term view and asking why. Why do we have such a tremendous pressure to cherish every moment, soak up every detail and be present and you know, enjoy every moment? 

Danielle Bettmann  9:30  
Well, then, I remembered a poem. And I don't know if again, this is an original. I found as far back as I could find on the internet that it came from a 1958 Ladies Home Journal, and the end of this poem said "Oh, cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow but children grow up as I've learned to my sorrow. So quiet down cobwebs, just go to sleep. I'm rocking my baby, babies don't keep." I know you've probably seen that embroidered somewhere or on Pinterest, you know in a blog that you read, because somebody is telling you don't do the dishes, don't do the laundry, just hold your baby because they are growing so fast. Hold your baby, nothing's more important than holding your baby. And while I'm glad that we do have not as much pressure on parents to like that they're spoiling them by by holding them, there's still so much problematic with this whole idea. Because, frankly, a lot of times the mess can't wait. The mess is an external representation of how our brain feels and we get burned out. We get very overstimulated by our environment, and it sucks our capacity and it sucks our patience. So there isn't a way to frankly detach from the way that that impacts your life. It's a huge part of how you parent is where you're parenting, and if you have a clean bottle, and all of the other things that are logistics, when you are solo, or not having family in town or other support or paid support, you do have to do the dishes, right? And it's what's even worse is when you do choose to do the dishes and feel really shitty and guilty about it. Right?  And at the same time, you're beating yourself up and saying that you're failing as a parent, if you're not holding your baby or you are when you're holding your baby. You're saying you're failing because you're so behind on housework. And thus the vicious cycle continues. Yes, they're cute. Yes, it goes by fast. Yes, it is so fleeting. And there's so much to love. But the pressure doesn't help. Honestly, when I kept reflecting on this over this weekend, I really do feel like there's a bigger picture here that we can zoom out on. Why are we so obsessed with enjoying the baby and the toddler years? I really think it's because when their cuteness fades, their independence and their individuality soars. And that appreciation, we have as a society for infants and toddlers wanes as children get older. Because kids ages 6 to 18, they're not as cute, they're a little more mouthy, right? They act out in a lot more different ways that are harder to cope with when it's someone that you have still have complete control over their body and picking them up and you know, forcing them. It's a little bit more manageable. They become a little more of a force to reckon with, right? And honestly, it might be hard to admit, but some parents really love being needed. They love the dependency that their young kids have on them. They love being able to live out the fantasy that they just imagined. They can start to see their kids as an extension to themselves, find a lot of pride in the family pictures and in all of the milestone pictures and you know everything that mommy identity means about them. Because kids aged 6 to 18, they don't meet those needs in the same ways. They don't have the cuteness to pull it off in the same way. They lose that quote unquote appeal. And the fantasy begins to fade and as parenting humbles you, there's a lot to reckon with. 

Danielle Bettmann  13:56  
So in my opinion, parents who come into parenting with the full expectation of cultivating a whole adult by the end, you get to enjoy each season and phase as it comes. There are treasures and pros and cons to every single age. Every single one of your kids ages can be your favorite age. Watching your child become their own person is thrilling. It's so much fun to get to know them when you're not looking for them to be your report card or to live your dreams vicariously through them and be disappointed. So I can say now, my daughters are 10 and 11. I honestly didn't think that I would enjoy these ages. When they were little when my girls were like 3 and 4,  I was like this is my jam. This is my favorite age, I absolutely love early childhood, I love just seeing the light bulbs and their brains just exploding with all this new insight and information, how observant they can be, how just fascinated they are with nature and animals. And I get to teach them so much fundamentals about the world and I loved it. When I thought about fifth graders, sixth graders, I remembered student teaching, and I remembered how I didn't feel comfortable, or like I could pull off teaching those ages, because it just felt so foreign to me. I was like, I don't know, I'm not gonna like parenting older kids. And then there's so much narrative around, 'just wait until the teen years and how with hormones and puberty, especially with girls like, it's going to be so awful.' You can't go a week, probably without hearing that on social media somewhere and now I fully admit, there is going to be ups and downs. And there has been ups and downs to every single season, age and stage that we've been to up until now. And I am not about to say that the teen years are going to be cupcakes, rainbows and butterflies, absolutely not. I have truly enjoyed every age as my kids get older, because they're still my babies, they're mine. I am getting to watch their lives unfold in front of my eyes, and every day, they learn more, their curiosity and their creativity grows. Every day, I get to see them in a new way in a new light that I haven't before. And I am getting the privilege of getting to know them every single day a little bit better. That brings me so much joy. It might not be Wheels on the Bus it might not be, you know, their cute little piggy toes, giving baths in the little baby bath thing. But honestly, when they get older, you have so much more sleep that allows you to enjoy the moments more, that allows you to not be absolutely exhausted by the care routines where you can do more, have more freedom, go do things that you actually enjoy more than playing pretend and you know, getting being told that you're doing it wrong. There's so much more to unlock, and enjoy as your kids grow up.

Danielle Bettmann  17:37  
I have an episode in the podcast called It Gets Better, which is specifically talking to parents of strong willed kids about how it does get better and kind of casting that hope. But I wanted to do that on a broader scale on this episode. Because, again, I'm not saying my kids are perfect. I'm not saying that isn't hard, parenting will remain hard as long as you are taking it seriously. But I do believe you get better at it. I do believe there is still something to look forward to around every corner. And I don't think we need to live with such a desperation that everything be soaked up and cherished and enjoyed in the seasons that are actively objectively hard, difficult, exhausting, up all night doing, holding them, changing them doing all of this physical care task labor, that does get better. And I do think when you come into parenting with a long term lens, there's still so much to be enjoyed at every age. So when you are proud of the ways that you're showing up, day to day, you can take a break without guilt, knowing it makes you a better parent. If right now you feel absolutely riddled when you take a break, because you think I shouldn't be doing the dishes I should be holding my baby. I hope that this can just give you a little bit of a perspective shift. Because if there is nothing that I want to do with this podcast, it is that I want to empower you with the thoughts and the mantras and the mindset that allows you to feel like your needs matter in a way that matters in a huge way to your child. Your mental health matters in a huge way too. That influences how you parent and you absolutely do not deserve to have any guilt when you take care of your needs. Because if you have nothing to give, you have nothing to give. The more you give yourself the more you have to give your kids and your family and if that's important to you then that needs to be built into that process. And that looks different. And we're not talking about all the ways that we do that right now. We're just saying, guilt and pressure added on and beating yourself up for it does not make it any easier, does not make it any better for enjoying the moments, right? When you know, your relationship with your child was on a great trajectory, you were able to look forward with hope and excitement for a whole life spent together in the future. Rather than desperately soaking up the moment now or living in the past with nostalgia. When you know, there is nothing your child could tell you about themselves, that would change how you treat them, or how much you love them, or whether or not you accept them for who they are - you're not threatened by their growing independence and individuality as it grows. So the goal is not to cherish every moment, not to keep having babies to relive the newborn years. The goal is not to ground your identity in being a mom to young kids. The goal is to be grateful for the privilege of seeing your kids grow up. The goal is to give them the crucial foundation they need to soar and thrive. I know it's painful, to have your heart on your sleeve, out in the world, about to learn hard lessons the hard way and be hurt and have that heartbreak of knowing. It's like my sister in law said it's like one really, really, really long breakup as they walk away from you. But if you have this goal, for them to feel safe, walking away, and beginning and living their life, and then they feel seen and accepted enough to want to come back home and spend time with you, you will get to continue to have a front row seat to their life. No one does this perfectly. No one doesn't harm their child with out context being added and things going wrong that are out of your control. You cannot anticipate the future. Absolutely. There's so much value in being present and getting to have very, very small intentional doses of connecting with your child. Don't hear me say that I'm not telling you to connect with your child, right?. But if you do have really heightened anxiety and awareness of the time passing and you want to have more confidence of the long term status of your relationship with your child, so that you can take a minute to do laundry or let them play independently or go back to work without crippling tremendous guilt. It's probably time to reach out and get more support. So that you know you did what you could before it was too late before. You know the sooner the better. It's okay to step away from parenting. It's honestly a disservice to your kids, if you don't. Please zoom out and appreciate who they are becoming and love them for it. When you're nostalgic, challenge yourself to look forward to the next milestone. If their independence feels threatening, dig deeper and ask yourself why. Because the days are long, and the years or are short. If we strategize intentionally now, we can take comfort in the hope of many more years with them. 

Danielle Bettmann  23:51  
I'm so glad you're here. Have a great rest of your summer. If you haven't yet, of course, go watch that free training on parenting strong-willed kids at Calm and Confident = Watch that with your partner have new language and new goals to set with your big emotions, zero to 60 high highs, low lows kiddo that you cannot change their mind. Go listen to some old episodes of Failing Motherhood and catch up between now and then and I will see you in August. I believe in you and I'm cheering you on. 

Danielle Bettmann  24:36  
Thank you so much for tuning into this episode of Failing Motherhood. Your kids are so lucky to have you. If you loved this episode, take a screenshot right now and share it in your Instagram stories and tag me. If you're loving the podcast, be sure that you've subscribed and leave a review so we can help more moms know they're not alone if they feel like they're failing motherhood on a day basis and if you're ready to transform your relationship with your strong willed child and invest in the support you need to make it happen - schedule your free consultation using the link in the show notes. I can't wait to meet you. Thanks for coming on this journey with me. I believe in you, and I'm cheering you on.



Tuesday, Sept 27th at 1:00 PM CENTRAL

Confidently parent your strong-willed child without caving in or dimming their spark so you can finally break free of power struggles, guilt + self-doubt!