Look Ma, No Hands!

Melissa Mensavage
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being hands free = diy a-frame tent

As of January 1, the state of Illinois passed a ‘hands free’ law while driving.  As we all know that means no talking on the phone while driving, surely no texting, email or surfing the net. 

When Max was a toddler and I had just gotten my first smart phone, a pink Blackberry Pearl, I was in love.  I loved the idea of the internet at my fingertips, the texting instant thoughts to my sister and snapping a photo to capture those fleeting moments.  However, I didn’t have any rules of when I was allowed to use these awesome features.

One day driving home from work, I was dabbling on my phone and not paying attention and was SO close to hitting someone.  Max was in the back seat, babbling about something, while I was white knuckled on the steering wheel hearing my tires screech on the pavement and screaming, ‘oh shit!’.  After the realization settled in that I did not hit the car in front of me, I had to sit there for a moment and collect myself.  A few beeps from the person behind me and we were on the go again.

I didn’t pick up the phone in the car again for a good month.

I did eventually pick it up while in the car, however I’ve gotten into this habit of only at stop lights.  Instead of just waiting patiently I am on my phone, surfing Facebook, Instagram, eBay, etc.

Here’s the thing … I find I am on the phone in the house or the library or the restaurant.  I am CONSTANTLY on my phone.  It could be considered an addiction.  Why is this so important?  Why cant I just put it down and talk to my boys?

I recently purchased the book, Hands Free Mama by Rachel May Stafford.  (nevermind the fact that I am trying to read a page a night and that is quite the challenge as I typically fall asleep.  she also has a blog of the same title, however I am refraining from looking at that as I will get overwhelmed by the amount of data and information on the site and then do nothing.) Simply, the book and the blog are about living hands free – no phones, no computers, no to-do lists, etc – for the sole purpose of enjoying life and your family.

I’ve been doing about one of two or three days of intentionally putting the phone down.  I need to make it a practice.  I want to be free of this addiction.  I don’t want to measure my life based on Facebook posts or trying to incorporate countless activities that all these ‘perfect’ moms are doing with their kids.

Being hands free, I will not be missing out on brotherly love between Max and Theo, watching my boys grow and learn and share special moments with them nor will I be giving them memories of their childhood of Mom always being on her phone.  Instead I will be engaging with my boys, engaging with my life, engaging with nature and family.  How exciting does that sound?

So many possibilities are out there being hands free.  I cant wait!

(though I will make proper time for meal planning, blog writing and bill paying … though most likely after the boys go to bed.)

The post Look Ma, No Hands! appeared first on The Next Family.

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