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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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— 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
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
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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.
My first exposure to Rachel Macy Stafford was from a Huffington Post article entitled, "6 Words You Should Say Today". The same article appears on her blog and in her book, but the importance of it remains--it's not about being the best, it's about loving the time spent together.
The book HANDS FREE MAMA is crafted as a journal used to help the reader go "hands free". Much like her blog, there are bits of advice followed by large sections of personal stories, usually followed by poem-like repeated mantras. While inspiring, the ideas seem similar throughout. You may be just as well served sticking to her blog (but isn't that anti-hands free)?
And that's my one contention with going hands free: to what point? People reading this book or reading her blog may be inspired to totally do away with all technology forever. While that may be a good thing, it may not be for everyone. The book is gung-ho about spending time with your kids, but talks nothing about balancing it out.
Overall, my life and my kids' lives have benefited from this book and the author's blog. I would also say that my wife, my friends', and my co-workers' lives have benefited as well. When we go hands free, we reestablish the connections that bring about more productive and happier lives. And while the book is much of the same from the blog, I still give it five stars for the heart of its matter.
I would like to thank Zondervan for providing me with a review copy of this book; this review is my own and has not been influenced by receiving a review copy.
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