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Ryan DeJonghe - The Avid Reader

I didn't always read, but that changed in June of 2013. I dropped the unnecessary stuff and picked up the awesome stuff--like reading! I started posting my reviews on Amazon and within a few months rose to the top 0.1% of reviewers. My reviews then went to Goodreads, and now my blog (http://ryandejonghe.wordpress.com) and Twitter (@Ryan_Reads). If you are reading this, why not leave a comment or send me a note? I love talking to other folks about books and my reviews. Publishers and authors, feel free to drop me a note if you want me to review your book. I usually stick to mainstream publishing, but I'll consider anything. If I review your book, I’ll give you a fair and thorough review and let you know when the review goes live. You can reach me at dejonghes@gmail.com. Happy Reading!

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!

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! - Rachel Macy Stafford If you’ve read the Hands Free Mama blog, you get the idea of being “hands free”. Put down your phone and free your hands for your child. The idea of spending quality time with your children isn’t new—Cat Stevens has been singing about it since 1974 (Cat in the Cradle)—but the timing is paramount. So much is vying for our attention nowadays: Facebook, Netflix, cell phone games, texting, email, etc. Where does that leave our kids and loved ones?

My first exposure to Rachel Macy Stafford was from a Huffington Post article entitled, “6 Words You Should Say Today”. The same article appears on her blog and in her book, but the importance of it remains—it’s not about being the best, it’s about loving the time spent together.

The book HANDS FREE MAMA is crafted as a journal used to help the reader go “hands free”. Much like her blog, there are bits of advice followed by large sections of personal stories, usually followed by poem-like repeated mantras. While inspiring, the ideas seem similar throughout. You may be just as well served sticking to her blog (but isn’t that anti-hands free)?

And that’s my one contention with going hands free: to what point? People reading this book or reading her blog may be inspired to totally do away with all technology forever. While that may be a good thing, it may not be for everyone. The book is gung-ho about spending time with your kids, but talks nothing about balancing it out.

Overall, my life and my kids’ lives have benefited from this book and the author’s blog. I would also say that my wife, my friends’, and my co-workers’ lives have benefited as well. When we go hands free, we reestablish the connections that bring about more productive and happier lives. And while the book is much of the same from the blog, I still give it five stars for the heart of its matter.

I would like to thank Zondervan for providing me with a review copy of this book; this review is my own and has not been influenced by receiving a review copy.