January 6, 2014
Categories: Family, Self

Hands Free Mama

Over my vacation (which was incredible, thanks for asking!), I had the distinct pleasure, honor and privaledge of reading Rachel Macy Stafford’s very first book gift to humanity, which hits the shelves tomorrow, and which — trust me — you aren’t going to want to miss.

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 is nothing short of a treasure; a timely, desperately-needed, soul-stirring message to those of us awake enough to notice the beauty all around us, but so laden by our loads and burdened by busy that we’ve hardly a free hand to accept it.

I stumbled upon Rachel’s blog about a year ago and was reduced elevated to tears by her eloquent storytelling, honest self-reflection and brave vulnerability. Since then, I’ve been moved time and again by her offerings and have come to anticipate her posts like gracious gifts in my inbox.

Talented as she is though, Rachel is no mere wordsmith. Rachel…is a healer. 

Few are able (and fewer still willing) to face their darkest demons and examine the brokenness within, then piece themselves back together with so much grace, love and non-judgement that the end result makes you want to do the same.

She GOES THERE, and kindly invites us to join her.

With chapters like:

  • Acknowledge the Cost of Your Distraction
  • Make Purposeful Connection
  • Silence the Inner Critic and
  • Reveal Your True Self

Rachel circumvents the dime-a-dozen pragmatic parenting paradigms that appeal to the intellect only, and goes straight for the heart while weaving stories with such wisdom and reason that the intellect is fed all the same.

A refreshing reminder that WE must set the pace by which we want to live, her findings parallel my own discovery since living abroad:

When I’m not rushing through life at high speed,

When my schedule isn’t jam-packed with every spare moment accounted for,

When my attention isn’t consumed by the buzzing electronic device gripped tightly in my hand,

When I’m freed from unnecessary pressures,

Then the minor inconveniences like waiting in line don’t bother my so much. I actually start to see all moments–even the bad, frustrating, and tiresome ones–as gifts.


Because I am alive to experience them…and the significance of that fact should not be underestimated.

Perhaps most importantly though, Rachel proves, through an honest look into her own once-distracted and burdened-by-trivialities lifestyle that as long as we’re alive, it’s never too late to heal.  It’s never too late to connect. 

hands free pledge

My advice to you?

Go there with her. She’ll show you her heart, she’ll show you YOUR heart and shine light on your journey back to what matters most.

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  1. I recently discovered Rachel’s blog when she wrote a post called The Bully Too Close to Home. Although I’m not a mother, it really resonated with me. Maybe I related to her daughter’s feeling of defeat as I am the oldest of 5 children from single-mom-working-3-jobs household. Maybe I related to Rachel and the rising pressure of self-inflicted expectations of perfection and the lack of self-love. I’ll definitely be reading her book as all parents, soon-to-be parents, and humans alike should. We all need a lesson in letting go, self-love, and living a little more hands free.


  2. I am speechless & wiping tears from my grateful eyes. Never in a million years would I have thought anyone would say this about my book & about me. To be called a healer. I had to read that sentence several times. I have healed … through every difficult step of this journey, I have healed … but to think I am healing others by sharing my painful truths is incredible to me. And to think, this beautiful endorsement of my book and my words are coming from YOU — the person whose eyes I so often look through to see all that is truly beautiful and to see what is truly important. A million thank you’s are not nearly enough.


    • Rachel, you are indeed a healer, a beautiful, brave, inspiring healer. I read this review and your reply also with tears tolling down my cheeks, as I do reading all of your posts. I imagine the many million thank you’s from all of us who you have helped and whose lives you have touched and changed are not nearly enough to express our gratitude to you. But here us my heart felt Thank You for being the gifted person you are and fir helping me wake up, see the light and see my beautiful family. Congratulations on your book and ever growing success with your blog. xx


  3. Isn’t amazing the impact a person can have as they share their struggles and triumphs?! I also had a chance to read Rachel’s book and several people have asked if if would be good for Dads. I just want to let everyone that I would definitely recommend it for Dads! Guys are often scared away by “mama” in the title but the insight in this book is incredible and will make anyone a better parent.


  4. Thank you so much for recommending this book. It sounds like a book I need to read. I really struggle with perfectionism- a lot of times I don’t want to go out or have people over because I’m worried about my toddlers misbehaving in front of other people and the million things that could go wrong/make me look like a failure to the other “perfect” moms… sigh. It sounds like something I should read. Thank you.


  5. Vicki Sweetman

    I came across Hands Free Mama when I read an article titled ” The important thing about yelling”. It was a slap in the face on my own reality. Ever since then I have been addicted to her blog. It stated all my own personal worries, and guilt trips about being a mom to 5 year old twin girls. It made me for the first time, in a long time, see them as children again. It made me stop and pause when I lost my cool. Rachel says exactly what we all feel and go through,but are too ashamed to say, and she puts what’s really important back into perspective. I want to thank her. She has changed my outlook on my children and made me a better, more present mother, and for that I am eternally grateful. I’m buying this book asap.


  6. What a thoughtful review. I cannot wait for my copy to arrive….though {achem} there is some irony that I feel a sense of disappointment/anxiety when Amazon says 1-3 weeks, since we’re so used to instant gratification in our wired lives!!

    I’m stockpiling my tea, and clearing my schedule, so I can just delve into this book when it does happily appear in my mailbox!!


  7. How about a little stress free latin style parenting?


  8. I am VERY eager for my review copy. I only learned of it/Rachel in the past couple of weeks, but just in time to snag a copy. I suspect it will be in my top favorites of the year.


  9. I love when my favorite blogs know each other! I hope I’ll get to read Rachel’s book – she definitely has inspired me with her blog. :)


  10. I have been reading Rachel’s blog for about a year and ALWAYS share it with whoever I talk to that week. Without fail, she has inspired me to take a good look at how I live my life and how I’m parenting my kids and how I can improve both those things. Thanks Rachel for your honesty, which has encouraged so many people around the world. Thanks Beth for an awesome review and helping to share the Hands-Free Revolution with even more people. I wish more people would take this on board.


  11. I can’t wait to get my hands on this book now!


  12. I just discovered her blog via a post on facebook about how to miss out on your childrens childhood. I loved it. I do not own a cell phone, never have. I feel akward sometimes because I don’t have one but I am truly glad that I don’t have to break it as a habit!


  13. I found Rachel’s blog months ago through facebook and it has been life-changing to me. She is able to put dark truths of parenting in this electronic-dependent age into words. She’s not judging in any way though, just encouraging positive change. I bought her book and I bawled like a baby through the first chapter. I’ve put some more changes into place and am slowly working toward my goals of being a hands free mama too!


  14. This is so great! I am reading this now. I don’t know why I am missing your posts. Usually I get emails with each of your new posts! So glad to see this here :-)


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