It may not be the first time I’ve said it, and it certainly won’t be the last. But…
Knowing your why helps you tune out noise.
As a parent (and uh, a digital consumer), my brain is always racing with new things I want to expose my kids to or introduce into our routines. My husband is usually the instigator, because he’s an ideas person. Sometimes his many ideas overwhelm me, though, and that’s when I come back to my why.
For our family, we’ve written our why’s in the form of our family purpose statement. I come back to it over and over again as I try to decide what great ideas to pursue with our family and which ones to set aside.
It’s all about knowing your core.
Today I’m so happy to be sharing eight family mottos from real, regular families, just like yours and mine. (Most of them are readers, in fact!) I LOVE their stories of how their mottos inspire them to live as close to their core as possible.
8 Family Mottos from REAL, Purposeful Families
“We are bound and we are bound.”
From James Taylor’s “Shed a Little Light.” We’re bound to each other, and we are heaven-bound. | Emily
My husband speaks only Portuguese to our girls. After we have family prayer, we do a group hug and then a cheer: “Para sempre!” (“forever”). It’s very simple but reminds us to treat each other well and to make good choices because we want to be a forever family! | Allison
“Be Honest and Do Your Best.” Plus, “Integrity First.”
I’ve had the kids repeat the definition of integrity to me since they were about two years old: Do the right thing, even when no one is watching. You’d be surprised how this one word can tackle just about every scenario. I truly believe these three simple, guiding principles will carry our family where we need to go and ensure we raise our kids to be good people. | Stacy
“In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity.” St. Augustine
There are obviously things in our home that aren’t negotiable—the essentials. But there are other things that really aren’t essential, and in those things I want to give our kids and ourselves liberty to make those choices. Our motto leaves us room for structure and values, choice and agency—and above all of those, love and compassion through it all. | Laura
“Everything is awesome!”
This will definitely be the silliest one! Our new family motto is “Everything is Awesome.” Yes—from the lego movie. We will probably come up with another one later, but for now when someone is being negative or complaining, we just start singing everything is awesome!!! | Taren
You never have to grow up, you just have to learn how to behave in public.
My mom used this motto all through our childhoods. Now that my siblings and I are grown, when we get together, we act like kids. For me, our motto means not limiting myself to only adult activities. If I want to draw or frolic, I do! I feel like living this way has helped me live a fuller and more enjoyable life. | Sierra
“Two things are eternal: The Word of God and people.”
That helps us put everything in perspective. Stressed out at work? What ultimately matters? Not making as much money as you’d hoped? What ultimately matters? It helps us to keep the Main Thing the main thing. | Erin
“Less is more.”
This is how we weave an authentic life into our family life—by just saying less is more. | Shawn (Read more about Shawn’s family motto here. A must-read!)
Need some direction in creating your own? Try my ebook, available on Amazon!
How to Craft a Family Purpose Statement: A Guide to Discovering the “Why” of Your Family and Building an Identity that Will Stay with Your Children Forever
Photos courtesy of the amazing Kayla Maltese.
I love the variety and simplicity! I love “Integrity First” and teaching them so young what integrity is! And I love the St. Augustine quote! I have such a hard time narrowing down something official. I’ve been collecting words, scriptures and quotes for a while now trying to help me figure out what speaks to me the most. I want our family to pick something that sticks for us though and then have a board where I switch up different scriptures and quotes that goes with it all. Right now I have up “Refuse the evil and choose the good” Isaiah 7:15
I love love love your plan, Lorie! I love how it’s something you’re stewing over, sitting on—until it just comes together almost on its own. (It will!) And putting up quotes and verses to support your family’s mantra? SUCH a perfect way to reiterate it. I’m going to adopt that. Thanks!
Thank you so much for sharing this Erica. Means so much for me for the world to know my mothers wise words.
Oh I’m so happy to! I was thrilled to have an example of a family that has created a culture of FUN and lightheartedness. Thanks for letting me share!
Claire @ Lemon Jelly Cake
Laura’s family motto . . . wow. I feel like that may very well be my “homeschooling motto” when my kids are older. 🙂 It’s so easy to want to push kids into things, even potentially good things (I dream of a family orchestra, haha) but it’s important for me to remember that it’s not up to me to shape them into what I want them to be, but for me to guide them toward what they are created to be.
Thank you for sharing these!
Beautiful post!! At my age, the motto is “simplify”! Always fun to see what you’re up to!! Good thinking!
Simplify is one of my greatest quests, Mom! Love you!
Beautiful, Erica! I love reminders like these.
Thanks so much, Nina! And thanks for pinning!