If you are unfamiliar with the wisdom of the Hands Free Mama I encourage you to head on over and prepare to be challenged and inspired to see life in a whole new way – a distraction free way. Her words of hope and encouragement have been incredibly powerful for me personally, allowing me to re-focus on what is truly important and avoid getting lost in a sea of fruitless pursuits that have little value and steal my joy.
To grasp what matters, you must let go of what doesn’t – Hands Free Mama
So, what is this hands free revolution all about?
Hands free parenting is about learning to put down the phone……
Hands Free Mama describes in her book how while waiting at the doctors she would usually check emails and facebook on her phone until it occurred to her that this was the perfect opportunity to snuggle her child and share a story and heartfelt discussion. This simple illustration reveals just how ‘distracted’ we have become as a society, so disengaged from those around us and how we unintentionally deprive ourselves of precious moments with our children.
Hands free parenting is about burning the to-do list….
We can’t do it all.
We can’t please everyone.
Some things (like a spotless, uncluttered kitchen bench) are just not that important.
Hands free parenting is about letting go of perfection….
I can thank hands free mama from recently releasing me from the battle to create the perfect Lego-themed birthday party for my soon to be 8 year old. Without her I may have disintegrated into a blubbering mess, drowning in my own perfectionist tendency’s. But instead, I did something radical and made the decision that it didn’t have to be perfect and really, who was judging my imperfect Lego man cupcakes? The kids certainly weren’t! I released myself from the pressure to have my party featured on Pinterest to be praised and complimented by complete strangers and simply find joy in letting my kids have fun. I didn’t want my son to remember that his parties were always special but mum always turned into a stressed out raving lunatic.
Hands free parenting is about letting go to grasp what really matters…..
Parenting today is unlike the parenting of any other generation that has come before us. We all know our children’s current experience of childhood is in vast opposition to our own. In fact, our children are an experiment. No one knows what all the game playing, gadget fiddling, TV watching and distracted parenting will mean for the next generation.
We have to ask ourselves, daily. What is it that REALLY matters?
Can the washing wait while I sit and read to my toddler? How important is my facebook status update compared to simply watching and enjoying my son play basketball or my daughter’s piano concert?
I know that my vision for my family doesn’t involve a yelling mum who freaks out when someone can’t find their shoes or who ends up in the Mcdonalds drive-thru too exhausted to cook and too disengaged to spend time reading or talking with my children before they go to bed. But when so much time is spent trying to “do it all” and “please everyone” something has to give and it’s often our loved ones that pay the highest price for our own personal struggle with over-committment and inability to just say no.
Hands free mama’s book has inspired me as I look ahead to a new year and try to desperately recover the kind of mum I want to be. As Rachel says, The truth hurts but the truth also heals. Amen to that.