13 Promises I’m Making To My Family In ’13.

Author of 5 books, podcaster, parent trainer, husband and father.

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Confession: I'm kind of bad at keeping promises!

Not the biggies, like promising to be faithful to my wife, or never cheat on my taxes, or pay my bills on time, or be there when my friends need me, or obey the law. I’m actually really good at those.

It’s the smaller promises that always get me. You know, eat right…excercise often…watch my spending…turn my cell phone off when I get home from work, etc. etc. As any good human being could attest to, the small things begin to pile up until they are one big huge promise I failed to keep.

That’s why this post is so dangerous. If the old saying is true- “You should never make a promise you don’t intend to keep,” well, then, I’m in trouble because I’m making 13 of them! And for good reason.

I’m tired. I’m tired of being tired. I’m tired of giving my family the leftovers of me. Why does everyone else in this world get my utmost and they get my scraps? They deserve first fruits, always! They deserve the best of me. I’m confessing now that I have failed at this a lot recently. Forget resolutions! I need to make some hardcore changes in the New Year.

So here are the 13 promises I’m making to my family in 2013:

1. Be content with what I’ve already been given.

I think I can honestly spare my wife and children the added burden of my stress and short temper by being content with everything I’ve already been blessed with and stop wishing I had something more.

2. Turn my cell phone off when I get home from work.

I don’t think I need to say anything more.

3. Save my money.

This isn’t everything in the world, but it does help provide security for my wife and kids. Plus, I’m called to be a good steward of all I’ve been given.

4. Always hug and kiss each of them before I leave in the morning.

5. Make hugging and kissing them the first thing I do when I get home at night.

6. Play in the snow (or backyard in the summer) with my kids more often. 

The truth is, I don’t spend enough time playing with my kids.

7. Spend time with each of them, on their turf, on their time.

Instead of expecting them to do what I want to do all the time, it’s time I spend time with each of them, every month, doing what they love to do.

8. Only blog early in the morning, before my family is awake. 

I’ve written too many posts while my wife and kids were in the other room playing without me or waiting on me to finish.

9. Dance with my daughters to Just Dance 4.

I take myself too seriously sometimes. But, as I do this, I pray no one records me from behind!

10. Not freak out over fingerprints on the wall or clutter lying around. 

I just felt my blood pressure rise a little as I typed that sentence. It’s okay Mike, calm down.

11. Tell my wife she’s beautiful everyday and let her know how grateful I am for her.

If I could add an 11.5 it would be- date my wife a couple of times a month (and kiss her in public on that date).

12. Model what I say I believe before my wife and kids.

If my family is supposed to follow my lead, then my lead needs to be a healthy model of the faith and hope I have.

13. Be nicer to my 3 dogs.

My kids love our dogs and our dogs (as dogs faithfully do), love them back. But I’m always annoyed with them. They bark a lot and sometimes use my house as a their toilet. Plus, they’re rowdy, all the time! It frustrates me. I call them names. Sometimes, really bad names. But my wife and kids love them. And they really are good dogs. Therefore, I promise to be nicer to them.

I feel overwhelmed. This is huge! I’ve just made these promises public, which means any of you are free to question me on them. Wow! This is good for me though. I need that accountability. So, it’s time to get going. This is going to be very, very hard to do, but I’m going to give it my best shot!

How about you?

What promises do you need to make to your family in the New Year? 




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Mike and Kristin Berry are the Co-Founders of The Honestly Adoption Company and have been parents for nearly two decades. They are the authors of six books, and the host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is the executive assistant to Mike and Kristin Berry. And she is the best in the land. In addition to providing a warm and friendly response to the many emails our company receives on a weekly basis, she also manages Mike and Kristin’s speaking and meeting schedules, and makes sure that team events go off without a hitch.

Nicole Goerges

Nicole Goerges is a Content Contributor & Special Consultant for The Honestly Adoption Company. She works with Mike and Kristin as a recurring co-host for the Honestly Adoption Podcast, and co-host of Kitchen Table Talks, exclusive video content for Oasis Community, along with Kristin. She is a fellow adoptive mom, and former foster parent.

Matt McCarrick

Matt McCarrick is the Content Production Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. If you’ve loved listening to our podcast, or enjoyed any of the videos trainings we’ve published, you have Matt to thank. He oversees all of our content production, from video edits, to making sure the tags are correct on YouTube, to uploading new videos to Oasis, to hitting publish on a podcast episode, he’s a content wonder!

Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson is the Community Engagement Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends the bulk of her time interacting with, and helping, people through our various social media channels, as well as providing support for Oasis Community members through chat support or Zoom calls. In the same spirit as Beaver, Karen is also passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and supported. Karen is also an FASD trainer and travels often, equipping and encouraging parents.

Beaver Trumble

Beaver Trumble is the Customer Care Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. Chances are, if you have been in need of technical support, or forgotten your password to one of our courses, you have interacted with Beaver. He is an absolute pro at customer care. In fact, he single-handedly revolutionized our customer care department last year. Beaver is passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and encouraged.

Kristin Berry

Kristin Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Content Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends most of her time researching and connecting with guests for our podcast, as well as direction, designing and publishing a lot of the content for our social media channels, blog and podcast. She loves to connect with fellow parents around the world, and share the message of hope with them.

Mike Berry

Mike Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Marketing Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. He spends the bulk of his time and energy designing and building many of the resources you see within our company, as well as social media and email campaigns. His goal is to use media as a means to encourage and equip parents around the world. He is also the co-host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.