Monday Mothering: Hands Free Mama

Posted 20 January, 2014 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

Monday Mothering: Hands Free MamaHands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford
Published by Zondervan on January 7th 2014
Genres: Family & Relationships, Inspirational, Motherhood, Parenting, Religion
Pages: 240

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange honest review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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 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 and articles. I suspect it’s a combination of all these things. 

The narrator didn’t speak to me. 
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. 

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. 

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. 


April @ The Steadfast Reader


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