Saturday, January 11, 2014

Book Review: Hands Free Mama

Rachel Macy Stafford's Hands Free Mama chronicles her journey of discovering 'what happens when you choose to open your heart--and your hands--to each God-given moment.

This book was a difficult read for me.  The concept of the book itself is what attracted me to it but while reading I became more and more disheartened by the author's statements.  The author professes to be a Christian and yet states on page 91:

It is my belief that greeting our children with happiness and love matters more than any other parental effort we can make.

It is unclear to me where the Bible fits into her parental efforts.  The book is a myriad of examples from the author's experience of coming to the realization that she had to disconnect from her to do lists and plug into the lives of her children.  However, example after example is given mostly of her younger daughter.  Although she admits that her younger child suffered the brunt of her disconnectedness, I can not imagine that her older child was any less affected.  

Her CVS epiphany on page 144 was too much for me.  If your worth and validation is found in the sunscreen aisle because a twenty year-old says you are beautiful, clearly there are some deeper issues going on.  But this is where the book took a turn for me.

Up to this point, I really did not see the point of her sharing all these experiences and the ante dote of just spending more time with your children until the author's vulnerability came through and the reason became apparent.  The author's transparency in detailing the issues as heart issues and not just time-management issues made me not only continue to read the book but actually enjoy it.  

She actually packs a lot into this book by providing multiple hands free weekly intentions in one chapter along with a Hands Free Reflection and Reflection Questions.  I would have liked to see more Scripture interwoven.  This book might turn some readers away, but I think that if you stick with it, you are sure to find some valuable information for personal change. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”