My Caregiver Mantra

January 16, 2020

My Caregiver Mantra

Many people have mantras to help them meditate but recently, I’ve created mantras to help calm me during challenging caregiver moments.

The Cambridge Dictionary provides these two meanings for the word mantra:


  • (especially in Hinduism and Buddhism) a word or sound that is believed to have a special spiritual power
  • a word or phrase that is often repeated and that expresses something that people believe in

In the past, I used two primary mantras to help me weather the storm of bad behaviour - “this will pass” and “I love you”.

At the beginning of January, I read an article that explained what happens in the brain with a child with autism to cause him/her to have a meltdown. It detailed the chemical imbalance and  sensory overload which causes a child to act in a way that is out of his/her control. The article highlighted that people with autism have brains that are more sensitive and less resilient.

Science. Wow - gotta love how science has improved our understanding of how the brain works for kids with cognitive disabilities. I’m not saying that I ever blamed Summer for her behaviour, but sometimes I did feel as I was being played. I would feel frustrated and in some instances, need to walk away to cool off.

Even now, it can be challenging to have her playing and being happy and then all of a sudden she’s throwing things and kicking the wall screaming.

I also find it difficult to understand how she can de defiant in the morning while getting ready for school - refuse to get dressed, brush her teeth and put on her jacket and boots - when she loves school! All of her friends are at school and she adores her teacher and educational assistants. She wakes up on Saturdays and cries that she wants to go to school and then on Mondays, she fights the morning routine (which was going great two months prior).

Now, given this article, and how it outlined the uncontrolled behaviours of the brain, I recently changed my mantra to “it’s not her fault”.

It has helped me a lot. Those four words have opened my heart to more compassion, more patience and a better understanding. Thus making me a better caregiver and mother.

For example when Summer woke up last week at 3:20 a.m., she went into the bathroom and turned on the water in the bathtub; and then started screaming when I turned it off. For some reason, she wanted a bubble bath. For real!! It took 45 minutes to calm her down and get her back to bed and fall asleep.

Through it all, I remained calm as a cucumber as I repeated “it’s not her fault, it’s not her fault, it’s not her fault” during those 45 minutes.

It was the soothing mantra that I needed.

Thank you mantra. Do you have a similar ritual that you do? 

Leave a comment

Also in News

a grey square with a white thought bubble in the top right corner
Stories That We Tell Ourselves

September 17, 2020

Thankfully, there is good news. We can slowly move the marker from mostly negative thoughts to fewer negative thoughts.

View full article →

A group of people standing in a line with their back to the camera and they're looking into a sunset. You can only see the silhouettes of men, women and children. It represents community and closeness. Some people are holding hands, leaning on one another
What Does Community Mean?

August 31, 2020

As we all know, caregiving doesn’t discriminate against age, race, religion or sexual orientation.  Therefore, there are lots of opinions, ideas, experiences and perspectives that come to the caregiver table.

View full article →

A photo of five frozen dairy bars laying on a while marble counter melting and making a mess
Managing Emotions & the Role of Forgiveness

August 21, 2020

When I’m wearing my caregiver cape, I somehow convince myself that I need to be perfect (which is impossible, by the way….) and part of that includes believing that I shouldn’t have any negative emotions related to caring for my daughter.

View full article →

Sign up to receive my weekly blog, recipes and to learn more about upcoming retreats & courses.