I’m reading through Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford and blogging along as I go. Here are chapters 3-6.
Chapter 3: Choose What Matters
This chapter is all about choosing to find important and special moments in your everyday, mundane tasks. Household chores turn into an opportunity to bond and teach your kids valuable skills, and wait time at the doctor turns into a great way to connect. This chapter has really helped me change my attitude about down time in my life. I used to automatically reach for my phone when things got boring or uneventful, but now I stop and think about how I can connect with Corey or Jackson or whoever else is around me. I’m not perfect – I definitely still grab my phone sometimes – but I have noticed such a huge difference.
This is probably still the area where I struggle the most, to be honest. I feel like I’ve come a long way, but it’s still an automatic response to check Facebook or Instagram when my mind starts to wander, and I’m trying really hard to break that habit. I think it will get even easier for me as Jackson gets older and more verbal – right now I’m still mostly just talking to him, but when he’s able to talk back and really connect with me in those moments, I think it will be a lot easier to resist the phone!
Chapter 4: Recognize the Gift of Today
This chapter has been my favorite so far. By leaps and bounds. I don’t know if the words were just exactly what I needed to read or what, but I learned so much with this chapter and feel like it automatically helped me change my entire attitude. It’s all about setting aside the crazy stresses of life and the worries that don’t really matter, and embracing the quiet “moments that matter” with your family. This chapter (along with Chapter 6) inspired me to write this post for Hellobee and has calmed me from so many moments of frustration in the months since I read it.
Chapter 5: Take Pause
The first section of this chapter really stuck with me – she talks about how awesome it used to make her feel to pick up her daughter from preschool and see the euphoric excitement she had on a daily basis. She compares that to how she often responds when her husband or child walks into the room – not quite with the same level of excitement. It got me to thinking that I probably don’t always do a great job of making Corey feel like I’m excited to see him, and that’s such a simple change I could make to help him feel more loved.
My favorite part of this chapter, that I actually underlined and starred a few times in my copy of the book, is this:
“It’s time to slow down and listen. The world will undoubtedly keep whizzing by, but wait. Just wait. In times of stillness, joy and love can find you, bringing you closer to the place you are meant to be. Not only will you be fine, but you will be super fine. And that, my friend, is a lovely way to live.”
Powerful words, right? Such a great reminder that all of those distractions (like the dishes, the work you brought home, and the mail piling up on the counter) can wait, and the world won’t fall apart. You’ll be fine – super fine, even! – and you’ll get some quality time with your loved ones to boot.
Chapter 6: See Life Through Undistracted Eyes
The part that stuck with me the most in this chapter is what I referenced in my post I linked to above – the “moments that matter”. She talks about not allowing minor inconveniences in life to get to you and instead looking for ways those moments can be positive, and reminding yourself that those tiny moments are the ones that matter in your life – the big ones are the ones that make a difference. I’ve started a “moments that matter” list in my journal and have started to regularly ask myself in times of frustration if it’s a moment that really matters in the grand scheme of things – usually, it’s not. This is something I need to keep working on (and probably always will!) but I’ve come a long way!
I can’t emphasize enough how much this book is changing my life. It sounds cheesy, but it’s been such a huge influence on me lately and has really helped me re-focus and change a few things in my life. It’s been amazing and I can’t wait to see how the rest of the book continues to change me!
Is anyone still reading along? What books have changed your life lately?