A New Perspective on Past Mistakes

new view on past mistakes #handsfreemama

The farther I get from the distracted, perfectionistic, hurried version of myself, the more I can admit difficult truths … the more I can heal … and the more I can truly live.

Lately, I find myself reflecting back on the first year of my journey—the year I faced my external distractions head on. It was the year I learned to let go of my phone, slow down, breathe deeply and hug fiercely. I had a wonderful teacher—my second-born child, Avery … my lover of life … my apple seed planter who would literally lie down in the grass and wait for a tree to grow. Avery showed me how foolish it was to get upset over life’s little mishaps. Avery steered me toward joy, as noted in the acknowledgement section of my new book:

“Avery, it is you who put the joy on the pages of this book.”

And in my life.

But here I am now, three and a half years into my journey and I am going below the surface; I am digging into my most painful internal distractions—the feelings of guilt, regret, and inadequacy that prevent me from living, laughing, and loving more than any phone ever did.

And now my inspiration is coming from my older daughter, Natalie.

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Three Words for the Critic in Your Head

 someone #hands free mama1

When that little voice says, “You messed up again,”
Remember every tear you ever wiped,
Every knee you ever dusted off,
Every broken heart you ever mended,
Every disaster you ever fixed,
So someone else could be put back together.

When that little voice says, “You lost it again,”
Remember all the times you waited outside the school doors,
waited in the audience,
waited on the sidelines,
waited in the waiting room,
waited in the cold,
So someone else could be found.

When that little voice says, “You can do better,”
Remember all the times you put someone’s needs before your own,
Sacrificed sleep so someone else could rest,
Pushed away hunger so someone else could eat,
Gave everything you ever had,
So someone else could triumph.

When that little voice says, “You are missing out,”
Remember when you juggled a million things so you could be there.
When you smiled through your exhaustion,
When you crawled in the bed at midnight,
When you held a shaking hand,
So someone else could feel unalone.

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Keep Reading

In this space I call “Hands Free Mama,” I write about letting go of distraction to grasp what really matters. In my life, distraction comes in two forms: external and internal. And although I began this journey to break free of technology’s grip on my life, I found that my inner critic was just as effective at robbing my “moments that matter” as my electronic devices. So in honor of Mother’s Day, I offer some healing words. It is my hope that something written in this post will quiet the inner critic living inside a woman you love. Perhaps that woman is you or the one who shares your life. 


For the woman who savors a backwards letter in childlike scrawl and secretly hopes “liberry” and “strawbabies” will never be pronounced correctly …

For the woman who crawls on achy knees into her child’s tiny bunk bed to read stories and inhale his just-bathed scent  …

For the woman who would prefer a dandelion bouquet carried in a dirt-filled palm over a dozen red roses in a crystal vase …

For the woman who cries at the sight of her child and cannot explain why …

For the woman who feels her awkward bulges and morning breath slowly dissipate when a cherub voice says, “You’re so pretty, Mama” …

For the woman who is never at a loss for words when it comes to defending her child …

For the woman whose babies will never, ever become too heavy to carry …

If this sounds like you, keep reading.

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Take The Pressure Off

As my daughter admired my nearly fourteen-year-old wedding dress, I thought to myself: If I had to do it all again, I would lose the bow and take the pressure off.

When I began my “Hands Free” journey, my focus was on letting go of the external distraction in my life. However, the more I address my external distraction, the more aware I become of my internal distraction. And what I have discovered is that my harsh inner critic prohibits me from grasping the moments that matter just as much as my electronic devices do.

But I recently made a momentous breakthrough in my battle to silence my internal distraction and hear my victory song of self-acceptance.

If you are interested in putting the emphasis on the word ‘free’ in your “Hands Free” journey to let go of distraction and grasp what really matters, please read on.

This is my story …

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