For the next few months, I am going to do a brief recap of some powerful parenting (with educational topics) books I’ve read.
Sometimes reading quotes from books helps shift my mindset on certain topics and gets me focused on what’s really important when raising children.
Book Title: Hands Free Mama
Author:Rachel Macy Stafford
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.
As a mama raising children in this digital age, I recommend this book. The author says what no one really wants to admit. That we often times get distracted by our smart phones and miss out on what is really important—our loved ones.
Top Ten Quotes:
- “One day at a time – this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering. Ida Scott Taylor”
- “Today you too are presented with a blank page. A beautifully flawed, memorable, and gratitude-filled life is at your fingertips. All you have to do is open your hands. And say yes. Say it loud enough for the world to hear. Or just say it loud enough for the people who matter most to hear.”
- “What if you missed hearing the best part of your child’s day because you were on the phone? What if you missed a chance to inhale the sweet scent of your energetic child because you insisted on folding that basket of laundry before bedtime? What if you missed a chance to console your worried spouse because of your mile-long to-do list?”
- “The most life-changing experiences happen when I stop trying to control and simply let things unfold.”
- “from an article called “Three Things to Say to Your Child Every Day” by Lisa A. McCrohan, Wellness Counselor at Georgetown University.* She explains the power of these three phrases: I see you. You matter. I love to watch you.”
- “One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon — instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today. Dale Carnegie”
- “Choosing connection over distraction offers a chance to nurture your most sacred relationships — now and in the future.”
- “In what ways does your daily pace interfere with your ability to sit, relax, and be available to the ones you love?”
- “It is in the times I least want to be Hands Free that I most need to be Hands Free.”
- “THE HANDS FREE PLEDGE I’m becoming Hands Free. I want to make memories, not to-do lists. I want to feel the squeeze of my child’s arms, not the pressure of overcommitment. I want to get lost in conversation with the people I love, not consumed by a sea of unimportant emails. I want to be overwhelmed by sunsets that give me hope, not by overloaded agendas that steal my joy. I want the noise of my life to be a mixture of laughter and gratitude, not the intrusive buzz of cell phones and text messages. I’m letting go of distraction, disconnection, and perfection to live a life that simply, so very simply, consists of what really matters. I’m becoming Hands Free.”
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