Family Rules!

Could be said “Family Rules” or “Family RULES!”

I love my family. We’ve recently been put through the wringer with moving, new jobs, Brian’s health, temporary living situations, and buying a house DRAMA. I’m trying to keep a happy face, but after three months of living in transition, it’s become hard. My job as a Mom is to be the backbone of the family. It’s to keep the kids happy and loved so they don’t feel the chaos that’s happening behind closed doors. I also have to work, keep house, play, cook, entertain, chauffeur, and on…and on. I saw my attitude sinking away, feeling unappreciated, overworked, but knowing that it was all we could do.

Yesterday, I reached the tipping point. It was just more than I could handle.
I broke down and cried.
I hate crying. I feel weak and out of control. And, I was.

My sweet Kaylin became immediately concerned and asked what was wrong and I just couldn’t speak. She was feeling the chaos, something I try so hard to protect her from and it just made me feel worse. I drove to the park just to stop and breathe.
Kaylin said “Mom, can we go run in the grass?”
Here I am stressed about being the best parent, buying the best house, being the perfect wife and all my kids want to do is RUN IN THE GRASS!
I wiped my tears and said “YES, let’s go run in the grass!”
I let the kids run and play and just stopped to be in the moment.
Moments that I’ve been physically present in, but mentally absent.
We played, we laughed, we ran and I felt myself regaining control.

I’m a HUGE believer in everything happens for a reason and once I opened my eyes, I started seeing the signs. First I saw this, then this, then this, then this and I knew my focus was wrong.

I came home with the kids and we just played, silly playing, laughing, and loving. We sat down and decided to write our Family Rules to remind ourselves (MYSELF) what’s really important.

I grabbed the only marker I could find, literally the only marker we have in the house and Kaylin, Braden, and I wrote our family rules. No re purposed scraps of wood, no more fake pussy, no fancy Cricut cut vinyl letters, no paint, no glitter (Shocking, I know), just some good old fashioned paper, marker, and some tape to hang it up.

Here are OUR Family Rules. I wholeheartedly encourage you to do the same to remind yourself that HUGS, KISSES, and ICE CREAM are really what life is ALL about!



  1. First of all I just have to tell you how much I LOVE the new layout!!!! It’s pretty freakin awesome!

    Oh how I feel you so much on this one!!!!!!! I think making some house rules is a great idea for myself. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in “life” and not give our babies what we really want to, all of the time. I’m SO glad you went and ran in the grass!! I’m trying to be better about saying yes to those types of moments myself.

    I love that you posted this and shared your struggles and solutions. So many of us have the same struggles, but are too affraid to admit it to oursevles and others. It’s good to know that we are not alone in it all.

    Good luck with it all!! Some days are good and others really suck. As long as you share your love with one another and do your best, that’s all that really matters.

    Lots of Love to you, Katie!!! Hang in there, it’s hard right now, but everything will fall into place when the time is right (that’s what I keep telling myself). :)

  2. Ash - I'll Love You Forever says:

    Oh lady! you are simply amazing! Loved this post. It is amazing the simple things that please our children. Running in the grass, so precious. I love your list – especially the we eat ice cream 😉 Hope things look up for you sweet friend! xoxo

  3. Kelly R says:

    Loved this post. It’s true sometimes we get so caught up in our struggles, that we forget to have a little fun. I hope things start looking up for you… Like the saying goes, and I am like you I believe in this, Everything happens for a reason and it will get better…

  4. Ashley B. says:

    Such a great idea! We so often get caught up in all the stresses of life- doing activities like this is a great way to open your eyes to whats truly important.

  5. Let me just say first that I love this font and 2 thank you for sharing your family with us.

  6. Emily Anne Ploch says:

    What a beautiful post! Those are amazing rules. Your kids are lucky to have a mom like you. :)

  7. I also love this post. Very cool.

  8. Virginia says:

    awww I Love this! Makes me want to do the same ! =) Love your family rules.

  9. Kim Nascimento says:

    Thank you for sharing this, it couldn’t have come at a better moment. I had a bit of a breakdown after a tough morning with my lil MAN and found myself crying as I drove him to daycare. He immediately stopped whining and started soothing ME, telling me, “It’s okay, Mommy. Just take a deep breath.” After I took his advice, he told me, “Good job!” Sometimes you just have to let the stress go, get the emotion out, take a deep breath, and jump back into the moment. I hope that the drama settles for you soon. Love the family rules :)

    • Katherine Sullivan says:

      Oh I TOTALLY understand!! Once my daughter felt my stress I KNEW I needed to snap out of it. I totally admit that after losing it, I felt so much better, lol :)

  10. Lexie Lane says:

    Awww … I’m sure you are such a good mom. I think family drama runs in every household, big or small. I love the reinforcements of “love.” I think that’s really important to have our children understand exactly what that is because I am a firm believer that “love conquers all.”

    • Katherine Sullivan says:

      TOTALLY Agree Lexie. Our family motto is “We’ve got the best of the most important things”

  11. Corinne says:

    Love these! Pinned it so I can remember to make our own later.

  12. Brittany C. says:

    This post came at the perfect time! I needed to read this! Lately I’ve been focusing on my “to – do” lists that I’ve stopped enjoying a few things (playtime with the kids!) I totally get the “physically present/mentally absent.” It’s tough to try to do it all. This was a great reminder to enjoy my family this weekend!

    • Katherine Sullivan says:

      I’m so glad to hear that! I can totally understand how we just get so busy and side tracked. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  13. I’m sorry you reached a breaking point. All of us can relate at one time or another to such moments, but what a happy, fast ending you had to yours! I love this post. :)

  14. Melinda Dunne says:

    Great post! I agree with all your family rules those are awesome. I do want to just say as a mom, wife, backbone of the family etc it is important to take care of you and your needs. Take time for yourself even if it is just a couple of minutes. Other wise you will get lost in the shuffle and feel even more overwhelmed.

  15. Lalia Frolick from Found Frolicking says:

    I think as parents we sometimes forget… it is not just our job to teach our children, but be open to the concept that our children may teach us a few things too, if we’re paying attention! Life is all about the little stuff — trying to count the stars, a nice walk in the park, or, yes, running in the grass! Thank you for sharing!

  16. Awe… stress sucks and as much as you didn’t want to break down, it was probably for the best. Everyone needs to let it all out… Love your rules and think you are doing great!!!

  17. Alaina Bullock says:

    What a great post! I love how you and your daughter both got together and made the list of rules, such a wonderful idea!

  18. Melissa Alexander says:

    Those are great rules!! I am going to need them, especially this summer with all 3 kids home. Crying is good for you, I love to get a good cry in now and then! Just don’t let them see it 😉

  19. Amanda Rodriguez says:

    I love this post, and your family’s rules! I bought my mom a similar piece of art a while ago, but I love how personal yours is!

  20. HUGS! What a great post! I agree…when I’m down or stressed goofing around with my kids makes them and me feel better! I LOVE YOUR RULES!

  21. LisaLisa says:

    Wow this is a great post! Hang in there I agree with everyone,,,,it will get better. Great family rules!

  22. jessica bevil says:

    I want to start off by saying that this post could not have been introduced to me at a better time. Things have been extremely rough for our family the last few months as well. It’s not often enough that we pay close attention to our kids. It seems that they really do have the answers, even when we don’t. :) TY for sharing this special post with us!

  23. Jennifer @ Money Aches says:

    There are many stresses in life and sometimes all it takes is a child asking you to be like them. Enjoy the moment, play, laugh, love, live, and have fun. It’s not always easy to remember that we can’t do it all. Your rules can help remind you of all the great things you do together as a family that can bring you joy.

  24. I love this idea! And I feel ya on this, my husband lost his job months ago, I just miscarried twins, five of our six kids are all out of school now…it’s overwhelming and I think we need to go run thru the grass today!

  25. Juliana Crawley says:

    Love it! Great reminder to all of us with life stress!!

  26. Elisebet F says:

    That’s so sweet! I love the “rules.”

  27. Nicole @ One Punky Mama says:

    Oh honey, we have ALL been there. I remember once when my husband was deployed, I was baking Christmas cookies and my bathtub on the second floor sprung a leak and flooded my kitchen from above. I couldn’t stop crying. I was a mess. This too shall pass – deep breaths. :)

  28. Alicia Figueroa says:

    Awww, that’s really sweet. I agree with what Nicole said, we have so ALL been there. One of the toughest parts about being a mom is that moms don’t allow themselves to go first, they don’t let themselves break down, they don’t give themselves a time out, a moment of peace, a gift, a self-hug, … heck, some of us don’t even find time for a five-minute shower some days. Every once in a while, it’s good to have a little bitty meltdown. It’s cleansing, it refocuses you, and it helps you to be stronger for the future – and that’s good, because we ARE the backbones of our family. (Sorry men, you guys are pretty awesome too… but the first man-cold you came upon you would wither away without us and you know it.)

  29. Kathy Radigan says:

    I loved this Katherine! When the world feels like it is falling down around me I have often found that the one thing that keeps me and my family sane is the little things, the hugs, kisses, and laughing. It’s so nice to come here again, I have missed you! I was on Facebook and a friend had recommended your post! You were one of my first blogging friends and it so nice to “see” you. So sorry things are going crazy for you!! You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers!!

  30. What a beautiful post! It’s amazing what children can show us! It truly is the little things. Great idea! Your family is in my prayers. Hang in there! *hugs*

  31. Kathryn says:

    Love it, plain paper and all. Thanks for the reminder to have fun!

  32. Sabrina Dix says:

    Great Blog post! I think I am going to implement the rules list…cute. Thanks for sharing.

  33. Reesa L says:

    I love this!

  34. Stefanie says:

    I love your family rules!!!

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