Joining the "Hands Free" Revolution!

>> Monday, February 10, 2014

Right before Christmas, I stumbled across a Facebook page called "The Hands Free Revolution".   I read her article "The Bully Too Close to Home" with tears in my eyes.....tears of guilt and shame because that was/is me.  It was a slap in the face, wake up call that I desperately needed.

As I continued to read the article over and over and over, I realized that I was doing to my daughters the same things that occurred in my own childhood.  I don't fault my mother......she raised me the best she could with what she knew, but I often find myself focusing on the negative aspects of my childhood instead of the positives.  And that focus brought me to where I am today with my own girls.

I've often been complimented on my girls are so polite and well-behaved.  While I smile and say thank you, I'd think to myself that if they could see me behind closed doors, they'd think I was a monster.  But thanks to this article, I was forced even more to take a harder, deeper look at myself, my parenting, and my relationship with my family in general.

I was thrilled to discover that Rachel Macy Stafford wrote a book about her experience to go "Hands-Free" and live more in the moment with her family.  I ordered it on the spot and devoured it in days......twice.....the pages dog-earred, highlighted, and comments in the margin.

I finished reading it again for the fourth time this past weekend and I told My Marine about it.  I told him that I wanted to live more in the moment with our girls, living more Hands-Free.  While he said, "You already do that", I debated with him examples of where I'm losing moments with the kids.  I could see realization dawn in his eyes as he could probably check off some of those infractions on his own list.
The book is broken down into 12 chapters -- with something that you can focus on each month.  Here - we're combining two steps - going public and setting up a Hands-Free zone.  And so, starting today, we're taking the Hands-Free pledge.....and our first step starts with technology.  We've talked and have decided where we can cut back and set limits on what we do in order to spend more time in the moment with our girls.  Some of the things we've decided:
  • Limit Facebook time.  This is a big one for me.  I've decided to limit my time to early mornings, 30-min in the afternoon, and 1 hour before my own bedtime.  Once the girls are up and getting ready for school and when they come home from school, the computer will be shut off.  I will also be deleting the Facebook app off my phone.  I found that I spent way too much checking and checking at every moment (in the school drop off/pick up line, at stop lights).
  • I will also be deleting my email apps from my phone as well.  There is no need for me to constantly check emails and respond on my phone.  I will be checking and responding to emails during my scheduled computer time.
  • As soon as I get into the car, my phone will be set to a "driving alert", will be set to vibrate and tucked away in my purse.  This is more for safety, than anything.  I have too often caught myself wanting to immediately check a text that comes in while I'm driving.  And while I have NEVER texted while driving, the urge to check is too great, so the temptation will be removed.
  • My Marine will also be limiting his time on his Flickr account.  He, too, would come home and instead of interacting with our kids, would spend time on Flickr...updating his pictures, checking stats, etc.
For, especially....this is HUGE....but something that we are willing to do.

I invite you to take this journey with me as well.  Below is the Hands-Free Pledge.  I printed this out, framed it, and  keep it next to my computer so that when I'm tempted, I can see this and remember why we're doing this.

I encourage you to check out the Hands-Free FB page as well as the blog and take the pledge -- whatever that means for you.  I'm looking forward to seeing where this takes our family!


Hands Free Mama February 10, 2014 at 8:41 AM  

Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful commitment! I am HONORED to share this journey with you. Thank you for inspiring me today!

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