If you're a mom, you need a mantra, say the authors of the new book Mommy Mantras: Affirmations and Insights to Keep You From Losing Your Mind. "A lot about mothering is out of your control," says coauthor Diane Dillon, Ph.D., director of the Child Study Team at the School at Columbia University in New York. "But you have control over how you choose to view a situation. A mantra provides an opportunity to take a breath and see the range of ways to react." Try these on for size:
"I can handle this" You probably don't like it when your daughter cries for three hours, but you can tolerate it -- and almost any stressful episode.
"Surrender to the goat" When the 14th trip to see the goat at the zoo or the 29th reading of Goodnight Moon makes you feel like you're losing your mind, try to relax in the predictability of certain tasks of momdom.
"I'm not Buddha" Accept that there will be days when you're going to feel angry or frustrated and you won't respond to your child in the ideal way. Instead of beating yourself up, just muddle through and move on.
"This feeling is temporary" When you're consumed by guilt, say this to remember that your emotions are constantly shifting. There's no need to get locked into a negative feeling that's bound to change. Chances are you'll feel joyful and happy before too long.