Every once in a while a book will fall into my hands right when I need it. Rachel Macy Stafford has a way of writing the books that I need to read just when I need them most. Hands Free Mama was her first and that book helped me to be a little less attached to my phone and more present in my life. Only Love Today is like a warm hug every time I pick it up and read the day’s short entry. This treasure of a book has been gifted to every mama I love in the hopes that Rachel’s words can wrap them up in love, support and grace. Live Love Now is her latest book which comes out on April 28th. It is geared toward parents and caregivers of teens/pre-teens but I honestly think anyone who interacts with children ages 8 and up can benefit from this book.
Oh did my heart and soul need this book! Quarantine has brought up a host of issues in our house but the biggest have been the battles with my 13 year old. The battles over screens, chores and not wanting to participate in family events. My exasperated response to it all has been, “You are being such a teenager!” and these battles have left us both feeling pretty terrible. The strong bond we share feels more fragile and I often feel like I am drowning in these new and uncharted waters of hormones, independence seeking and boundary testing.
The pages of this book have been like a life line for my family. They have not only helped me to better parent my son but have made me look long and hard about some of the parenting choices I have made with my ten year old daughter. This book has prompted dinner time discussions around internet safety, the importance of human connection, fear and the things we are not willing to trade away when it comes to technology use. My son and I have had long talks about what is not working in our current situation and we are working to fix those things. I have taken pages and pages of notes for my husband and have spent many late nights sharing the words from this book. We have discussed how we can better support our children and show them that we love them for who they are and not what they accomplish.
For two years Rachel visited schools and asked teens to answer this question:
If you could give your parents or the world one message, what would it be?
Their answers were anonymous and as she read through the collected index cards in her car, she could not believe some of their responses.
“I put on a smile. People think I’m the happiest person in the world. I act as normal as possible. I break down only when I’m at home alone.”
“I fear I am unlovable, and this fear dictates my life.”
“Mom and Dad, I want you to see the amount of pain and stress I deal with all the time.”
“I wish my parents understood that I am not an athlete.”
-Live, Love, Now, Rachel Macy Stafford page 25
Her desire to help these teens, their parents and her own teenage girls resulted in Live Love Now. I can not recommend this book enough. Every parent should hear Rachel’s wisdom and the words of the teens who answered her question. Let’s help this generation of teens to feel loved, appreciated and heard. Thank you so much Rachel for once again writing a book that this world so desperately needs.
I have reviewed this book because it has spoken to be deeply. I have not received anything for my review and all of the thoughts and opinions here are my own.