Hands Free Life e-book club #3 www.theshortesttallman.com

Hands Free Life e-book club #3

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Month 3/Chapter 3 of our little e-book club for Rachel Macy Stafford’s Hands Free Life!

This chapter is entitled, “Build a Foundation.” Each chapter starts with a quote from elsewhere, and I feel they are all great, but this chapter’s quote (from Linda Hinrichs, as quoted on p. 63) is so perfect. It ties right to the most important part of this chapter for me, as a parent, which can be found on page 69: “Having a parent who listens creates a child who believes he or she has a voice that matters in this world.” Then she goes on to list some very important examples of when your child may need to use his/her voice to stand up to something or someone. And really, isn’t your goal as a parent to prepare you child for the world? So when they fly the nest, they have a strong foundation to keep them safe and allow them to soar?

Stafford mentions the real dangers of cyberbullying in this chapter, and how you can build a strong foundation and “lifelines” (people you can turn to in times of need) to cope with the challenges of life. I love the reminders she wrote to Natalie, her eldest, on pp. 74-75! These are EXACTLY the things I want my children to know as unshakeable truths- as fact. Rachel is my spirit animal, I swear.

Hands Free Life e-book club #3 www.theshortesttallman.com

Intentionally enjoying pizza with my two favorite boys 😀

In the “Hands Free Life Habit Builder” for this chapter, Stafford talks about the Best Ten Minutes (pp. 81-82). Spending your time, even just ten minutes, intentionally. That word is the most important to me- intentional. Living intentionally, not just going through the motions and checking off the to do list. And also for me, I wouldn’t say so much that it is technology that is my biggest distraction (although it’s a big one!), for me, it’s my to-do list. How about, “ten minutes to learn something new about the people who share my life”- well, isn’t that interesting? But I know these people best of all, don’t I? Is there more I could learn? That made me stop and think. Or how about, “Ten minutes to give the best kind of love- undistracted love.” Oh these darn distractions!!!

I think that this chapter tackles something I think a lot of parents struggle with: that is, giving your child lots of attention, and undivided attention at that. I think sometimes adults are afraid to let go of all of the stuff that doesn’t matter, to really focus on your relationships. Some parents are afraid of spoiling their children with attention. How many times have you heard a parent really shush their kid like what they are about to say isn’t important? (I know I’ve heard myself do that. And a lot.) But when you really think about it, do you feel that you truly show your child that their voice matters? I’m not saying you don’t lol, but do you show it as much as you would like to, or are you not quite there? I think I could be better.

Just recently, I heard someone speak at a PTA meeting about her experience building a school in the Dominican Republic, and how that really changed her as a person. Now, she said, her priorities has changed. ‘“In a minute”- how often do we say this to our kids,’ she said! I say it 8 days a week!!!! She said she really has changed her schedule-focused mindset to prioritizing her relationships, avoiding “in a minute” as much as she can.

Welp, I hope you have been enjoying reading through Hands Free Life along with me. I haven’t gotten much feedback, but honestly this has been such a great experience for me to reflect via my blog about each individual chapter, it’s worth it to me! It’s not too late to jump into either of Rachel Macy Stafford’s book, Hands Free Mama or Hands Free Life (This e-book club reflects on Hands Free Life).

What did you think of this chapter, “Build a Foundation” (pp. 63-82)? What are your thoughts on Rachel’s book so far? Has it changed you in any way?

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