Hands Free Life – A Review

Tori Roberts reviews & interviews

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I’ve had an enormous girl crush on (read: I’ve been mildly obsessed with) Rachel Macy Stafford since I read her first book, Hands Free Mama. Yes, most of this comes from her poignant message: you can live a less distracted, more engaged life. You’ll never be sorry you were paying more attention to your kids than you were to your phone.

But the rest of my love for this writer comes from her words. Let me tell you this, Rachel writes like she is reaching into your soul. The artistry with which she weaves her prose is rarely matched. She pulls you in and doesn’t. let. go. Swoon.

We publish as much of Rachel as we can on Mamalode because she just gets it. And on top of that, she writes in the most relatable, yet gorgeous way possible.

Her message is so simple, but, as I’m sure many of you can relate, we as humans (and especially as mothers) tend to make life as complicated as possible. We overthink and overschedule all in the name of making life easier, when in reality, we’re driving ourselves crazy (queue the residents in my home now animatedly nodding their heads). It begs the question: what if life wasn’t as hard as we made it?

In her new book, Hands Free Life: Nine Habits for Overcoming Distraction, Living Better, and Loving More, Rachel outlines the 9 habits that she lives by that help her to live a more fulfilled life. The book’s cover describes itself perfectly: “With Hands Free Life, you will have the power to look back and see that you didn’t just manage life, you actually lived it – and lived it well.”

I mean is there anything else I really need? What will matter most when I’m 90 years old and reflecting on my life? What will my children remember of their childhood? Will they picture me standing 20 feet from the swing set scrolling through my facebook feed, or will they remember me as the mom pumping her legs as hard as she can trying to see how high she can fly?

And listen, I’m the captain of team Easier Said Than Done. I am obsessed with my planner and my to-do lists. Unchecked boxes give me serious anxiety. But Rachel’s message – the one that asks who it is that is putting this unnecessary pressure on myself (answer: me, obviously) – actually really and truly helps.

Because she isn’t preachy. She isn’t sitting up on some all-mighty soap box telling you how to live your life. Her book is one of an imperfect human’s honest reflections on her life, her role as a mother and what she has found to help her be a better person – not even better necessarily – rather just be closer to the person that she wants to be. The mother and wife that she wants to be.

Because we’re all just a work in progress, right?


And thank goodness for that. For the forgiveness in that, the slack you can begin to allow yourself when you come to that realization.

And it’s once you are there, in this place of ready to start from right where I am, at this moment, today – not perfect, but that’s ok, that you need to pick up Rachel’s book. It’s from this place that it will all sink in.

Rachel is one of the most relatable writers of our time. Period. Her writing style is so genuine, and her message so simple, yet profound, I promise you that you will not regret picking up her latest book.


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About the Author

Tori Roberts

Tori started as an intern, then worked as an editorial assistant, and is now our managing editor. She graduated from the University of Montana School of Journalism in 2013 and now lives in Boston, MA.

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September 2015 – BAM
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