A1CEkvklRIL._SL1500_Reviewed by Lindsay Yocum

I had first heard of Rachel Macy Stafford and her “Hands Free” self when I saw a link to one of her blogs from a friend on Facebook. The first blog post I read was amazing, and she just had this incredible way with words. I felt like in a weird way she knew that I am guilty of being on my phone too much. She made me realize that you can miss a childhood by doing that (in fact, that’s the first blog post that I read, “How to Miss a Childhood”) and it was amazing.

Eventually, I started to really dislike her because as her blog grew, she came across more as condescending than the understanding mama I had grown to love. So I stopped reading her blog. Until I saw another post by her and fell in love all over about a year later. I was happy to see she went back to her roots on her blog, and I was even more excited to see that she had written a book!

I can’t explain how excited I was about Hands Free Mama because let me tell you, being on your phone (uh, LIFELINE!) is an incredibly hard habit to break. Incredibly hard. But I had read all these wonderful – even heart wrenching – posts that made me cry because I saw myself in Rachel. And it was horrifying even though I realized that I was not the only mama not hands free, and I was not the only one distracted. But that didn’t make me feel any better about myself, so when I started reading this book, I was amped! I had a full on “I am SO going to change my ways. Screw my iPhone, I am a MOM” pow wow with myself.

This book is set up to take place over a year. Rachael gives you challenges on how to get rid of the distractions in your life so that you can focus more on what is important, and I really liked that. But…I wasn’t necessarily happy with the year-long timeline. A year to become a better mama?! How was I even supposed to write a review?! But honestly, I just read it straight through, promising myself that I’d flick back through and actually attempt the challenges. (For the record, I use her tips and advice but will admit that I have yet to go back and do the challenges and journaling. I will though–one day.)

Hands Free Mama was such a great book. Rachel really put out her emotions, her thoughts, her fears and was very real throughout. She was real about the looks on her kids faces–that disappointed look they have after hearing you say “Hey, not right now, I’m BUSY” 30 times, and the fear when you get so exasperated after the 31st time they ask that you actually yell at them. She really makes you take a good, hard look at your life. Not only as a mother, but as a person. And it will likely crush you, but it will also build you back up and really help you take charge of what you want and what you need. I give this book a 4 and recommend it to all the mama’s out there because let’s face it–we are ALL on our phones too much and we all need a good hard kick in the heart to face the reality of the damage it does to our relationships.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Lindsay Yocum resides in California with her 5 year old firecracker daughter, Bear, and her hilarious husband. She spends her free time traveling, baking, ruining DIY crafts she finds on Pinterest, and running, when she isn’t nose deep in a book.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Zondervan. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.