Author Ashley Ludwig's Recession Home

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Hands Free Mama — a lesson in putting social media aside, not being the bully in your child’s life

Last year I became convinced that maybe I had a social media addiction.

On January 7, Zondervan is releasing a book that has been on my heart. How to live hands free. Put the phone down. Step away from Super Parenting, and into what matters. I wanted to write it, but I think I was too busy Pinning, Facebooking, and Tweeting. Now that I see that’s already been done for me, you bet I’ll be reading it.

Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford

Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford

I found her off Pinterest… on a post that slayed me to my soul. How not to be the biggest bully in your child’s life. Wow. That one cut deep, but it was true. I’ve given disapproving looks to a girl who spilled juice, not focusing that she was trying to get it herself. I’ve rolled my eyes at trippy feet, hustled dawdling steps, and I’m missing it. Me, who wants to give the perfect party, twice a year, missing out on so much.

From her Amazon bio,, “Three years ago, Rachel Macy Stafford admitted the honest answer to the question that had been a long-time source of pride: “How do you do it all?” Rachel’s answer was painfully simple: “I miss out on life, and what I miss I cannot get back.” That very day, Rachel began her Hands Free journey to let go of distraction, perfection, and societal pressure to grasp what really matters in life.”

I get that.

I have amazing pictures from last year. I spent a solid day getting them all in an album for my family…one thing that’s NOT in many of those pictures?

Me.

That’s right. I’m on the outside, looking in. So, this year, thanks to authors and bloggers like Stafford, I’ll be blogging with purpose, when people are at school or work. I’m reducing Facebook time to my “day job” only — promoting, sharing, and purposefully, while my loved ones are away. This is my work, yes, as a networker and promoter. However, no one works 24-7.

This year, in 2014, before reading the Hands Free Mama, I’m pledging to:

  • Set Office Hours for Social Media
  • Take all holidays away from the computer and phone
  • Look my children in the eye when we talk
  • Go on dates with my husband and leave the phone/camera at home.

Stafford, a life-long writer and certified special education teacher felt compelled to share her journey with others through the blog, “Hands Free Mama.” Using her skills as a writer, teacher, and encourager, She provides readers with simple, non-intimidating, and motivating methods to let go of distraction and connect with their loved ones. Rachel’s work has been featured in USA Today, TIME.com, MSN.com, PBS.com, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, and hundreds of other online and print publications. Her blog currently averages one million visitors a month. And here’s the reason:

The Hands Free Mama Pledge…

I’ve gotta put down the phone, I’d say. I need to look into my daughters’ eyes, my husband’s eyes, and not walk around texting, facebooking, or taking pictures of every minute thing everyone does.

Because there is ONE essential element. I want to be in the pictures. In the memories.

I need to keep my hands free so that I can give high fives on the soccer field, and hug, and smooth away tears before they’re too old to need me. And that’s the only resolution this year that matters.

Oh yes, and here’s Stafford’s bling…

Can you live Hands Free? Shop the bling, here

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