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!

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!

by Rachel Macy Stafford
3.8 13


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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! by Rachel Macy Stafford

“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


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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310338130
Publisher: Zondervan
Publication date: 01/07/2014
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 73,764
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Rachel Macy Stafford is the New York Times bestselling author of Hands Free Mama and Hands Free Life. Her third book, Only Love Today, releases on March 7, 2017. Rachel is a certified special education teacher who helps people overcome distraction and perfection to live better and love more. Rachel’s work has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, The Today Show , Global News, TIME.com, and FoxNews.com. Rachel loves taking long walks, baking, and volunteering with homeless cats and nursing home residents. Rachel lives in the South 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! 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
lovelybookshelf More than 1 year ago
I didn't connect with this book. The author admits she has a Type A personality, but an incredibly emotional personality also comes through in her writing. In the chapter about using driving time to connect with her kids (and any friends who carpool with them) versus zoning out with her own thoughts, she uses the word "tragedy" more than once: "Not many tragedies are preventable - but this one is." There's also four pages in which she curses "Time" in one of those ever-popular "open letters." I just can't stomach so much hyperbole at once, especially when it is used in place of research. It makes me feel manipulated. Plus, I don't reminisce over my daughter's earlier stages in quite the way Stafford does. Those stages were wonderful in their own way, but I'm equally excited about what the future holds. So, to say I couldn't connect with the author is probably an understatement. I'm looking for a sense of balance in the parenting books I read, and I didn't get that at all with this one. It had an either/or, do this instead of that tone to it. The content focused very little on technology (which was my main interest in the book) and instead focused on distractions in general. She basically made the same points over and over again, in slightly different settings, over the course of 240 pages. Many of those points were definitely admirable and worth further consideration. Overall, the delivery didn't grab me. However, judging from the number of positive ratings on various review sites, there are a lot of people who feel differently. I can't help but feel happy about people making a deeper connections with their families, and if this book helps them with that, that's a great thing. People who share Stafford's writing style, personality type, and family dynamic will thoroughly enjoy this book. I recommend visiting the Hands Free Mama blog before deciding whether or not this book is for you. I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is not often that are we come across books that touch the rising problems in our lives and in society. So, Rachel Macy Stafford's A Guide to Putting Down.. is a really welcomed.This book may be a little bit too much Her narration is good. Her voice is strong in the writing and her style is unique. Poetic and fast flowing, she puts her points across without drowning in passions, opinions and verdicts. Reminds me of the insightful stories I read in The Shades of Fire. A recommended read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
On the one hand, since I use a dumb phone (which I tend not to hears when it rings), a 5-year-old laptop, and avoid list-making, I am not the target audience for this. On the other hand, this is a book about recovering after the intensity of parenting very young children and finding some balance between 'Mom' and other identities. I am the target audience for that. When her daughters were 5 and 2 years old, Stafford became heavily involved in responsibilities outside her family and overdid it. After a couple of years, she realized she was more attentive to text messages than to her family. I admire her courage to see herself clearly and persevere in choosing something different, one day at a time. She gives thoughtful accounts of how she changed her habits. What I did not like was the underlying motivation for change. Over and over the motivation to change is fear. "Is there anything we wouldn't do to save ourselves from years of painful regret, remorse and shame?" she writes. There was one moment of lightheartedness that I loved because it reflects an attitude I am working on with my family. Stafford describes dancing in the rain with her daughters and spotting a double rainbow. Watching her children, she tries to interpret what they are doing when they stretch towards the sky - trying to feel more raindrops? Wishing to grasp the rainbow? "Finally, I decided it really didn't matter what the children were doing or why." Amen and hallelujah! I'll take care of me, and while you are young I'll help you take care of yourself. Go on and be who you are and I don't have to understand it all. ****** I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review program. Book provided by the publisher, opinions provided by me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There are twenty four hours in the day eight hours needed by everyone for sleep. You can multi task and down size most everything when you are on a limited budget. If it is necessary to work then you are in an uncomfortable situation requiring an even stricter routine and help from your family. Quality time can not reverse the influence eight hours away at school can do and outside activitues increases that time away.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wish I could say you took the words right out of my mouth(March 27 2014) but your review was so wonderfully worded and just enough class but the most important thing- there was a connection! I agree with you whole heartedly. One more thing-HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all you mothers out there!!!! Granny B.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Words cannot even express how amazing this book is! So raw and real life! Every page hit close to home! Highly recommend
LauraMoss More than 1 year ago
The Hands Free Mama managed to masterfully combine endearing, poetically-written, true-life stories while extracting positive insights out of negative behaviors, which she passes along to her readers through realistic and attainable goals. Truly, Rachel puts so much of herself into this book that, by the end, you feel like you’ve been reading a personal letter from a dear friend. “Hands Free” isn’t just a set of life rules; it’s a new mindset and attitude about where and how you want to invest the best of yourself.
Wallace84 More than 1 year ago
My mom forward me the WOF Daily email with Rachel's blog on 'Vow to Breath' and it could not have come at a better time in my day. Under the blog showed her book and website. While on my much need lunch break I decided to take a look. Needless to say Rachel blew me away. "Me too!"  Thank you Rachel for this book! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I’m far from being a Hands Free Mama myself, but Stafford’s book has strategies and reflections and encouragements I can come back to over and over to remind me of what I could be missing if my face is plastered to a screen rather than engaged with my children. Reading Hands Free Mama was the nudge I needed to stay the course of trying to let go of all the control, all the To Do Lists, and all the screens.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had heard great things about this book. Being a very busy mama of a 3 and 1 year old who also loves her devices and social networking, I thought I'd really connect with it. If nothing else, this book made me realize...maybe I'm not so bad after all! I just don't think an entire book is necessary to tell us what is right there in the title -- hands free...put down your devices. Granted, it does have some good tips in it and even inspiring stories, but after just a few chapters, I found myself skimming. It was quite repetitive and not as necessary of a read for me as I had thought.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
And real cloth diapers hanging out to dry. we also have two food pantries and 48 grade school children who are considered to be homeless. these " how i ego trips" are a bore to read for any mother who has had one kid after the other come down with stomack flue and then hubby is sick too and the washing machine conks out. You cant eat the cake and save it too.