Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Hands Free Mama - Deliberateness - Chapter 3

Welcome to my blog series based on the book "Hands Free Mama" by Rachel Macy Stafford.  

If you are just stopping in for the first time you can catch up by reading my previous posts via these links:

Today I'm sharing from Chapter 3 entitled, “Choose What Matters – Deliberateness”.  

You can either read my post below or watch/listen to the video {3min 40sec} where I'll read it to you.

I love how Rachel starts each chapter with an inspirational quote like this one:
At least three times every day take a moment and ask yourself what is really important. Have the wisdom and the courage to build your life around your answer.”  – Dr. Lee Jampolsky
This chapter just might be the one that stands out to me the most.  She gives so many ideas on what we can do to connect with our kids more.  I had no idea how many opportunities I was missing.  One example was time spent in a doctor’s waiting room.  I have pulled out my phone far too often while I expected my children to sit patiently beside me.  Since I read this book, I use these moments to engage with my children.  At our doctor’s office, they have a mat on the floor with letters and numbers.  I did math facts with the boys while they hopped on the answer.  I did animal trivia with them and they had to hop on the first letter of the answer.  Ie. "This is a bird that can’t fly but runs very fast."  O for ostrich.  It was a fun time for all of us and I think it brought smiles to the other people waiting too.

Rachel had some great ideas like having a bag specifically for waiting rooms.  I want to put together one using those activity and word search books we have floating around, note cards to write thank you or thinking of you cards, small toys that the kids don’t use that often, a deck of cards, etc.
The point is, there is a better way to spend that idle time.  I honestly never thought about it! Yelling at your annoying kid while you are entertained on a gadget is not fair!  I won't do that anymore!!

We say that spending time with family is important to us, well I say I should prove it!  Our kids grow fast and I know I don’t want to look back on these years with regret.  I feel like I am an involved Mom but Rachel gave ideas on how to be engaging in ways I hadn’t thought of before.  She pointed out the difference between sitting on the edge of the pool watching kids swim verses getting in and swimming with them.  So I choose to get in more, even when the kids play well and don't need me.  

I think swimming with them,
building sand castles with them,
coloring with them,
doing cartwheels with them,
playing basketball with them,
playing board games with them, etc all add up to happier, more connected memories than if I was just watching.  My problem is that I’m the photographer and I find myself observing my family playing more than I play with them.  I want to become an active participant in my children’s memories rather than sitting on the sidelines with a cell phone in hand.      

I want to add one more thing that wasn’t in the book but advice received from a lovely woman I know with amazing grown children.  Nancy Shelburn once told me to be sure that my husband and I get in family photos TOGETHER.  Now that the kids are older, I ask them to take pics for me.
A family trip last year to the Lego Discover Center in Boston, MA.
I think that is great advice for everyone!  My family isn’t just the kids, it’s all of us.  I try to take group shots when I can even if they aren’t perfect!  I'm sure the kids will enjoy looking at these one day!  I just ask the group to pose and snap.  I get what I get.  haha!  So there you go a bonus tip you won't find in the book!

So this week I am being more deliberate and investing in my children's lives.  Love this book for all the fresh ideas, especially since they are on summer break!!!

What fun thing do you love doing with your kids?

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