Day 13: The Ringmaster Hat – How to run your own circus (and join in the fun)

Ruthie The Ringmaster Hat 8 Comments

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untitled (192)Do you feel like you’re running a three-ring circus at home?  Kids running around acting like a bunch of clowns?  Are you’re being upstaged every time you take them out in public?


“The ringmaster is responsible for maintaining the smooth flow of the show – or at least an appearance of it.”


Motherhood is like walking a tightrope while balancing a bunch of monkeys on a ladder.

You need to remain calm in order to get to the other side.  People are watching you.

The rope is long between infancy and adulthood.

Will I make it to the other side?  Will my kids turn out ok?  What if I slip and fall?


Ladies and gentlemen, step right up

Years ago, a friend’s daughter went to church and passed out “tickets” to everyone – men, women, boys and girls of all ages.  Later, dad found out the whole congregation knew how much his van cost because the “tickets” were pay stubs for his monthly payments.

This same kid “decorated” the bathroom walls with poop one day while mama busily attended her other 3 charges.

Come one, come all.

One day her mama was so tired from her antics, that when the little girl defiantly poured her cup of milk straight onto the carpet, mom just sat there in defeat.

If these stories are making you feel better, you might want to read on.

I’m going to tell you how to run your circus like the circus master you were meant to be.


Welcome to the Big Top


From there to here, and here to there,

funny things are everywhere

~Dr. Seuss


They’re going to perform near death-defying acts and you will have to go behind them cleaning it all up.

It’s ok.  Someday you can be the crazy one and they won’t be able to do a thing about it except wipe your mouth and fluff your pillow.

Here's the deal. Kids are funny. If you don't learn to appreciate that - may as well fold up the circus tent . Click To Tweet

Learn to laugh.  Sometimes it’s all you can do.

But really, most of the stuff they do is too funny not to laugh.

(Otherwise, you’ll cry.)


Be the ringmaster


“He may be called upon to fill time by talking or by joking with a clown if an act is not ready for its entrance.”


untitled (193)Have you lost your crazy?

You need to find it.

Remember when you were a kid and you ran around in circles in the rain, jumped in puddles and sang at the top of your lungs?

Bring back that kid.

But what if the kids won’t listen to me if I get in on the act?

We’ll cover that next.

For now, just realize that it’s ok to be funny and let your hair down.

So many mamas look mad walking around stores and running errands with their kids.

They’re determined and aggravated.

I look at them and I think, “I wonder if they ever had a sense of humor?”

Don’t be that mom.

Be a bit maniacal.


Affordable family fun

I sing in a loud, throaty voice when I’m acting like a clown.  The kids all recognize it.  They know what that means:  time for the freak show.

(I know you were gonna say time for the fat lady to sing.  Do not go there.)

Once, on the beach with my 7-year-old, I sat down in the waves and dumped sand down her bathing suit.  She returned the favor.  We cackled our heads off.

Until I broke my finger on a beach chair and my husband cleaned me up for the emergency room. (“Where did all this sand come from?!”)


-Play games with your kids.  Life, Twister, Uno, Memory, Phase 10 and Dutch Blitz are some of our faves.

-Chase them around the pool and act like a crazy person.

-Crank your car stereo up, put your seat way back, roll down the windows, and pretend to be cool.  (Watch them duck in their seats – it’s hysterical.)

-Hide behind your kid’s door at night and scare the hooey out of them.

What’s that?  You don’t have time to be crazy?

I say you don’t have time not to be crazy.

Ever heard of crazy glue?

Girl, crazy IS the glue.

One characteristic of a close-knit family is regularly shared laughter. Click To Tweet

Laughter is the best medicine.  Take it in large doses.


It’s a juggling act


“The ringmaster’s big booming voice was important as it cut through the clutter and excitement to announce the act.”

Ok.  There is a time and a place.

You need to teach them that and show them where you draw the line.

Have a serious, “don’t-mess-with-me” tone, and be consistent every time.

Trust me on this one.

My kids will tell you I’m one of the craziest people they’ve ever met (besides their dad).untitled (194)

But they will also tell you they had a healthy respect for me.  They knew their boundaries and not to mess with poker-face mama.

That mama at the beginning of the post who was too tired to deal with her kid?

She dealt with her later.  Many times over.

Today, that kid is one of the most godly young women I know.  She has an impact on the people she comes in contact with daily – just like her mama, who always had a heart for others.  She graduated college last year and accepted a teaching position.


In the end, mama made it across that tightrope.

Know why?

Because she not only disciplined her children, but she also got in the ring with them.



She got her crazy on.  She learned to laugh at the funny stuff and shared it with others (because seriously, this kid came up with a new act at least 20 times a day).  She learned to enjoy her kiddos and yet remain the ever-in-charge ring master.

You can do this, mom.  One step at a time, one show at a time. Own that ringmaster hat.

After all, motherhood IS

…the greatest show on earth!



{P.S.  I am not the mama in this story of the crazy little girl.  But I knew them well back in the day.  If you have a strong-willer like that one (I like to call them “swillers”), you may want to read some helpful advice about them here.  And if  you’d like to follow along with this series, I’d love to have you join my email list, just up there on the right hand side, underneath my picture.  Also, you can follow me on social media such as twitter, instagram, pinterest, and facebook (see the top or bottom of this page for logos!}

*All quotes (except the good Dr. Seuss) taken from


Click here for Day 14: The Graduation Cap!





Comments 8

  1. Oh lady! You had me rolling! We LOVE to make our kids hunker down in embarrassment when we’re doing the “cool walk” I’ve got a graphic from FB with a monkey and a it’s my circus quote. I wouldn’t have it any other way! And besides, sometimes ya just gotta laugh or you’ll cry!

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      LOL I know isn’t it great?! I loved doing that so much and the kids yelling, “MOM!!! STOPPPPPPPP!!!” And YES – we must laugh as a survival technique sometimes!

  2. This is great!!! I’m right in the midst of the circus now, corralling 2 very active, adventurous boys – 5 & 2-1/2. Life always goes better for us, and I am definitely less grumpy, when I jump into the center ring and join the show. Not long ago, when I had tucked my littlest in for bed, I did something silly, and he kind of sighed, “You funny,” almost as though he wanted to roll his eyes at me. Bahahaha. So I’m already establishing my “crazy mom” status!

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      GOOD FOR YOU, mama!! Keep it up, they LOVE it, and you form such a close knit bond from it! Thanks so much for visiting, and sharing about your boys! Ah, you are right in the formative years. Enjoy!

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