Mommy Mantras

Mommy Mantras

Affirmations and Insights to Keep You From Losing Your Mind

By Bethany E. Phd Casarjian; Diane H. Phd Dillon

Crown Archetype, Hardcover, 9780767923804, 304pp.

Publication Date: April 4, 2006


Mommy Mantras are phrases you can say in your head, or out loud if you need to, during those trying moments of mothering. They act to empower you, revive you, and remind you that there is always another way to see your situation. Buddhist-inspired and psychologically grounded, these snippets of wisdom come through entertaining and universal stories of unpredictable life with children.

Here are a few examples of how a mantra can help you control your reactions to those mothering circumstances largely out of your control:

When it seems like everyone else's children are better behaved (and doesn’t it always feel that way?), you can remind yourself to narrow your focus, or stop comparing your children to others, which is only bound to make you miserable.

When the monotony of caring for a toddler gets to you, remembering to surrender to the goat, as one mother did when her son insisted on feeding the same goat at the petting zoo every day, for hours, will help you recognize the importance of being in the moment, and will help you endure and even enjoy the sometimes tedious routines.

When you begin to resent that you do more housework than your spouse, despite your best intentions and all the nagging in the world, you can learn to ignore the score, or let go of keeping track, which can become an unhealthy (and unhelpful) obsession.

When your mantras seem to fail you, you can always remind yourself that I am not Buddha. Motherhood is not something we can master. We can only try to be more mindful. Even so, some days are harder than others. Mantras are the deceptively simple words we can use to diffuse stress and choose appropriate, constructive behavior so we can recognize ourselves, find our center and be more mindful and compassionate mothers.

About the Author

Bethany E. Casarjian is a mother of three and the clinical director of the National Emotional Literacy Project for Youth-at-Risk.  She lives in Weston, Massachusetts. 

Diane H. Dillon is the mother of two and the Director of the Child Study Team at The School at Columbia University.  She lives in New York City. 

Both authors are psychologists who work with children and families.

Praise For Mommy Mantras

“A rare find, a book on parenting full of humor and deep wisdom, both ancient and modern, eastern and western. When faced with the sometimes mortifying craziness of family life, these mommy mantras can be valuable aids to restoring balance and perspective, helping us to see our children more clearly and meet situations with greater mindfulness and heartfulness.”

—Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn, authors of Everyday Blessings:  The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting

"Unlike many other mothering books, Mommy Mantras offers concrete and useful advice.  It looks at contemporary mothering in a thoughtful and humorous way and provides practical solutions to those daily problems that often feel insurmountable.  I would highly recommend Mommy Mantras to any of my patients and to all the mothers I know. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it as both a mother and a mental health professional."

—Ellen Stevenson, M.D., Clinical Director of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center

I love this book! I repeat the mantras at the pediatrician’s office, at preschool parent-teacher conferences, and in the bathroom and closet, my two hiding places for instant meditation. Casarjian and Dillon are brilliant at weaving together ancient Buddhist wisdom and psychology with humor and poignant stories that will help even the most stressed-out moms (like me). Thank you!

—Therese J. Borchard, editor of The Imperfect Mom

"Brimming with wise, heartfelt advice, Mommy Mantras offers specific tools to use in the moment when parenting threatens to drive you over the edge—when you are too angry, or too stressed, or too bored by the endless monotony of parenting. Mommy Mantras shines a guiding light in a long, dark tunnel."

—Patti Pitcher, author of Under the Chinaberry Tree