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Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters! Paperback – January 7, 2014


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (January 7, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310338131
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310338130
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (230 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Rachel Macy Stafford’s post, “The Day I Stopped Saying Hurry Up,” was a true phenomenon on The Huffington Post, igniting countless conversations online and off about freeing ourselves from the vicious cycle of keeping up with our overstuffed agendas. Hands Free Mama has the power to keep that conversation going and remind us that we must not let our lives pass us by.”
— Arianna Huffington, chair, president, and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, nationally syndicated columnist, and author of thirteen books

About the Author

Rachel Macy Stafford is a New York Times bestselling author and a certified special education teacher with a Master’s Degree in education. A few years ago, this life-long writer felt compelled to share her journey to let go of distraction and grasp what really matters by creating what became the tremendously popular blog “Hands Free Mama.” Using her skills as a writer, teacher, and encourager, Rachel provides readers with simple, non-intimidating, and motivating methods to let go of distraction and connect with their loves ones. Rachel lives in South with her husband and two children who inspire her daily. www.handsfreemama.com

 

Customer Reviews

Rachel Macy Stafford is an inspirational and honest writer.
Kayse P.
This book is great for all of us that need a little reminder about what’s really important in life and how to take time and focus on our family and friends.
C. K. Rogers
I would say that this book is a good one for moms who feel like they are living a distracted life, and want to make a change.
Tiffany Malloy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

181 of 192 people found the following review helpful By Kyle Ledbetter on January 27, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really like this blogger and was sure I'd like her book so I pre-ordered it. I still thank her immensely for her contributions, but I didn't like this book as much as I thought I would. Page after page reminded me to be present to my children, without any concrete suggestions on making time for other things that also make my life meaningful (other friends, outside hobbies, a fulfilling career). Also, a lot of the message seemed aimed at parents of school age children (example-do your phone/computer work when your kids are in school and turn these things off when your kids are home). Perhaps I was in a cantankerous mood when I read it, after a 14 hour shift of solo childcare for a four and one year old, but the message of "treasure every moment" didn't sit well with me. While it is a helpful reminder that these years go quickly, I was hoping for a little more balanced message about being a devoted mom AND a person with important outside interests/work, as I know the author is. Wish she's shared a little more of that. Just how did you write a book, get 7-8 hours of sleep a night, and not ignore your kids in the meantime!?!
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143 of 159 people found the following review helpful By Pliny the Elder on February 3, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really really really wanted to like this book, but I just don't. It's not so much a guide as it is a compilation of personal anecdotes about moments the author enjoyed with her children "hands free." And as a mother, I find the credibility of these moments to be questionable. Or maybe it's just the other moments that are missing - the real ones - the ones that all parents experience that aren't sparkly and quiet and loving and fun. The book is seriously lacking in reality. If I took the book at face value, and adopted all her suggestions, then I would never have time for sleep or for myself. I would be spending all my time (all 3ish hours I get with my kids after work) gazing into their eyes, and snuggling with them on the couch, and kissing their sweet smelling heads (which would require me to give them a bath), and letting them help me make the salad for dinner, and talking about each and every paper in all 3 of their school folders all the while postponing "unnecessary" tasks. Then I would read them extra books at bed time, and give them an extra snuggle, and then come down stairs to gaze lovingly into my husbands eyes while we have a meaningful conversation or sit together to do something that doesn't involve watching television and THEN I suppose I would tackle all those "unnecessary" tasks like dinner dishes, lunch packing, and laundry. But, according to Stafford, I am also supposed to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night. And none of this even accounts for my kids' mood at the time. Her children are seemingly perfect, because there is no mention of how to gaze into the eyes of a first grader who is having a melt down because she is tired.Read more ›
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112 of 140 people found the following review helpful By The Steadfast Reader on January 16, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
My first exposure to this author was a piece in the Huffington Post called : The Important Thing About Yelling and I really liked it, so when I saw Stafford's book on NetGalley, I went for it.

This book wasn't great, but it wasn't awful either. It just kind of ... was. I know that 'meh' isn't an incredibly helpful review, nevertheless, that's what I feel about this book. I don't know if I've been overindulging in these types of parenting/lifestyle change books, I don't know if it's because I'm reading The Happiness Project right now, where I feel much more connected to the narrator, I don't know if the market is just saturated right now with 'let go of the little things and live for what's important!!!!'-type advice books... I suspect it's a combination of all these things.

The narrator didn't speak to me. Which is odd because I suspect we're from the same little corner of Alabama, ... except I'm not really from Alabama... I wasn't prepared for this book to be religious. But page after page I was smacked in the face with the phrase 'God given gifts' and praise and thanks to god that made this book come across as more religious than secular. That's fine, but it wasn't what I was expecting or looking for.

The tone of the book was better suited for a blog rather than a whole book, the author uses no empirical evidence for her theories, nor does she seemed to have done any research into studies on better child-rearing, etc. All accounts are strictly personal and anecdotal. There are a few key phrases that crop up in the writing way too often, it made the writing seem a little lazy, like the author couldn't be bothered to think of a different phrase.

Again, this book isn't bad, it just wasn't for me. I think that there are too many other good books on this topic out there.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Dawn M. Pruit on February 8, 2014
Format: Paperback
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.
Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Three years ago, Rachel Macy Stafford admitted the honest answer to the question that had been a long-time source of pride: "How do you do it all?" Rachel's answer was painfully simple: "I miss out on life, and what I miss I cannot get back." That very day, Rachel began her Hands Free journey to let go of distraction, perfection, and societal pressure to grasp what really matters in life. This life-long writer and certified special education teacher felt compelled to share her journey with others through the blog, "Hands Free Mama." Using her skills as a writer, teacher, and encourager, Rachel provides readers with simple, non-intimidating, and motivating methods to let go of distraction and connect with their loved ones. Rachel's work has been featured in USA Today, TIME.com, MSN.com, PBS.com, The Huffington Post, Reader's Digest, and hundreds of other online and print publications. Her blog currently averages one million visitors a month. Rachel loves being outdoors, baking, and doing acts of kindness for those in need with her husband and two daughters who inspire her daily.

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Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters!
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