Saturday, February 8, 2014

Book Review: Hands Free Mama by Rachel Mary Stafford

*I received this book via Booksneeze for purposes of this review, however all opinions are my own.

Hands Free Mama
by Rachel Mary Stafford

About the Book:
"If technology is the new addiction, then multi-tasking is the new marching order. We check our email while cooking dinner, send a text while bathing the kids, and spend more time looking into electronic screens than into the eyes of our loved ones. With our never-ending to-do lists and jam-packed schedules, it’s no wonder we’re distracted.
But this isn’t the way it has to be.
In July 2010, special education teacher and mother Rachel Macy Stafford decided enough was enough. Tired of losing track of what matters most in life, Rachel began practicing simple strategies that enabled her to momentarily let go of largely meaningless distractions and engage in meaningful soul-to-soul connections. She started a blog to chronicle her endeavors and soon saw how both external and internal distractions had been sabotaging her happiness and preventing her from bonding with the people she loves most.
Hands Free Mama is the digital society’s answer to finding balance in a media-saturated, perfection-obsessed world. It doesn’t mean giving up all technology forever. It doesn’t mean forgoing our jobs and responsibilities. What it does mean is seizing the little moments that life offers us to engage in real and meaningful interaction. It means looking our loved ones in the eye and giving them the gift of our undivided attention, leaving the laundry till later to dance with our kids in the rain, and living a present, authentic, and intentional life despite a world full of distractions.
So join Rachel and go hands-free. Discover what happens when you choose to open your heart---and your hands---to the possibilities of each God-given moment."
My Review:
If you are finding yourself so busy that you can't enjoy life around you, you need to check this book out.  From cell phones to cleaning, there is always going to be something to keep Mama busy, especially when the kids are home and your trying to make it all work.  Hands Free Mama will show you how you can put it all down and really look at your family, how you can seize the moments that are going to happen.  And they do, whether it's laughing with your kids or spending more quality time with the hubby, choosing to be in the moment and not on the phone is a choice we have to make.  Some women say that it's "no problem, I can do it all" but whether you admit it or not, when your phone, tablet, or computer are in your face, you are distracted.  Before I got the opportunity to check this book out, I found myself in many situations where my child was looking at me and I am looking at the phone, I mean I gotta check emails and blog and oh my I gotta check Facebook at least 3 times a day!  It only took the first chapter of this book to encourage me to change.  Now I put the distractions down, watch a movie with my daughter, sit and listen to my boys tell me about the games that have their attention or just look at their faces and shower them with hugs and kisses!
Although my kids are teens, they still want mama's attention and it hit me while reading this book that my kids are at the age where I better take the opportunity to spend time with them without distractions because it won't be long and they will be finding their wings and leaving me.  I have a few years, but that's just it, only a few years and they will be adults embarking on their own lives and my opportunities will be fewer.  

"The choices I make mean everything.
Because it is in the moments that I choose what matters over distraction that I make lasting connections and beautiful memories with the people I love.  I realize there will come a day when those loving human connections and beautiful memories will be all that I have left.  So in the meantime, I choose to keep running ahead - running toward what really matters and not looking back.
There will never be a finish line.  But there is something far better.
Every single time I let go of distraction to grasp what really matters, I am embracing life.
And life will embrace me back."

As I think about young mothers these days, I feel blessed that when my kids were little, I didn't have a computer and wasn't on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram and I spent so much time with my babies. Times that can never be replaced and moments that I and my kids will remember forever.  
In Hands Free Mama you will find ways to see life through undistracted eyes.  The author provides reflection opportunities as well as weekly intentions to help you get to that place.  Let go of the perfection and distractions and let your family see a Hands Free Mama!  

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