A look at the fascinating and often infuriating sub-culture of Mothers...from THE MOMMY MAFIA; the Urban Dictionary of Mothers by LJ Charleston - publication date late 2013 - with more than 100 different categories of weird & wonderful Mothers. From Olympic Mom (My kid was walking at nine months, what's wrong with yours?) to Can't Stop Breeding Mom (six kids and another on the way!) Thrift Shop Mom (this dress only cost me $2!) to Natural Birth Interrogator Mom (WHY did you have a C-section? You really missed out on the real motherhood experience!)

Remember, in motherhood, a woman is more dangerous than a shotgun.

If you thought meeting the parents was tough, now it's time to meet the mommies.


Follow the Mommy Mafia on Twitter @themommymafia

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

extra curricular mom

Extra Curricular Mom – the Moms who sign their kids up for everything; from baby gym, to swimming, to ballet, to paint classes.
For some bizarre reason, these women feel the pressure of having to do everything for their child. Usually they are only children, so mom wants to give them the best of the best, all the experiences they can get their chubby hands on. Flamenco dancing, gymbaroo, swimming lessons, jitterbugs music classes, toddler fitness, karate ..anything to fill up their time. Also so the kids are so exhausted by the time they get home they are near comatose, begging for bed, so the mom gets a 'break' at last

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Confused and Bewildered Mom

These are the Moms who are constantly asking other Moms for advice…suffering from a strange sense of feeling incompetent and needing reassurance.
If they have trouble breastfeeding, they are constantly on the breast feeding help line. Confused and Bewildered mom is often seen up at the baby clinic asking for advice. She will ask perfect strangers in shopping centres about any strange rash on the baby, worried that she has been eating too many mangoes and its gone through her breast milk and infected the baby
"So do you think she has an allergy?" she asks.
"Nah. It looks like heat rash. You've got her in a cardigan on a hot day!" says baby clinic nurse.
But this leads to a new paranoia about over or underdressing her baby. Of course her favorite question is "How do you get them to go to sleep?" Chill, lady.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Molly Coddle mom

Molly Coddle Mom – this lady is killing her kids with kindness. The most pampered (annoying) kids on the street. She usually insists on her kids calling her by her Christian name, she doesn’t really want to be a mum she wants to be a best friend. Anything the kids want, she will get it for them. They will never want for anything. Too bad if they’ve just had their second candy bar, if they desire a third, they’ll get it.
If her son hits another kid, this mum will barely stop short of congratulating him for his excellent fighting skills. A boxer in the making? She has the ability to turn every single situation into a positive one. Bad grades at school? Don't worry honey, that That just means you're going to be a sporting superstar. You're crap at all sports, never mind honey, you'll be a scientist. Her son has bad grades and is crap at sports, no problem, you're going to be a famous artist. There is no room for reality for this mum.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sling mom

The Sling Mom loves to keep her kid in a baby sling long after they are able to walk around. They also love to lecture moms who use a pouch that the sling is better for the child. 'Don't you realize a Baby Bjorn forces your child to sleep in an upright position? It isn’t natural!" they say. According to Sling mom, who usually hang out with Extreme Alternative mom and My Child's Body is a Temple mom, the sling makes the baby feel like it's back inside the womb. Why would they want to go back? It's no fun in a sling, no matter what kind of fashionable material the darn thing is made out of, especially as the poor kid gets banged into whatever his mom walks into. Ok I'm speaking from experience here. I had a sling when my singleton Dash was a baby and yes I had several - my favorite? It was denim. As far as slings go, this was sort of cool. But because I am uncoordinated at the best of times, the poor kid sustained several minor bruises because everytime I entered the front door, I would - without fail - manage to whack him against the hallway shelf. Slings are great for the first few weeks but to all those moms who think putting a 3 year old in them is a good thing - let him walk or put him in his stroller. It's time to put the sling in the box in the back shed until the day you can stand to be parted from it. Out of sight, out of mind.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Guilt-Ridden mom

These women have sleepless nights if they put their child in front of television for more than ten minutes so that they can get on the computer and reply to a few emails. If Guilt Ridden Mom spends more than ten minutes in the shower, she feels guilty for neglecting her kids. If she reads five books to her kids at night she feels guilty that she didn’t read a sixth book.If one of her kids gets a cold, she feels guilty because it must be her fault. "Oh, no I haven't been giving them enough vitamin C!" she says. If they're not doing well at school, she blames herself. If they get into an argument and use their fists, she feels guilty for exposing them to violent cartoons. The guilt-list is endless and this woman is constantly emotionally exhausted. Her friend, Botox mom, is always telling her, "You gotta do something about those frown lines!"

Monday, September 8, 2008

Mini-Me Mom

Mini Me moms are usually moms of girls...nothing makes her happier than seeing her little darlings wearing the same clothes as hers (if their child is a son, they often do the androgynous thing. Why the hell not? Life is all about finding a new challenge, isn't it?)

When MM Mom goes shopping for clothes she will buy something that she likes, such as a lilac jacket with a matching skirt and then will not stop until she finds an identical one for her daughter. She laps up the comments, 'Oh, you've got a little clone,' the people say. Even when people are sarcastic, she still laps it all up as affirmation of her accomplishment. One MM mom even dyed her child s hair blond so that they would look more alike, as she was sick of people telling her she looks like her brunette father. Ditto with the son.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Scream from the Sidelines Mom

This mom is more than an enthusiastic sports parent, she is obsessed with the idea her child is the next David Beckham. She screams at her child for every goal, every missed goal, every kick and every missed kick. “Harrison! You’re looking the wrong way! The ball is behind you, you idiot!” Yet, at the same time, she likes the idea of her child being wrapped in cotton wool and gets mildly hysterical if another child’s boot ever so slightly grazes his precious shin. This is when Scream from the Sidelines mom turns her attention to other parents. “Your child is a violent menace to society!” Beware of this mom, she is very scary.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Thrift Shop Mom

These ladies takes pride in saying, ‘This outfit only cost me two bucks!’ She's the worst dressed mum in town and her kids are the same..their entire wardrobe is a throwback to the 70s and 80s or whatever era is going on the $5 and under rack. She likes to mock women who spend hundreds of dollars on clothing, "Oh, look at them! Everything has to be new! There's a great op shop in every suburb, you can even get a designer (ie Target) handbag for cheap!" I knew a totally eccentric Thrift Shop mom who once found a Halston skirt going for the top rate of $12 and she wore it to death. No matter that the skirt had holes in it, no matter it stunk of mold and she never washed it, who cares? It's a bargain. Don't get me started on her shoes. She wears the same pair every day, month after month. "I don't buy a new pair until the old pair is smiling,' she said.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Buns of Steel mom

These moms will let nothing get in the way of her workout, even if it means leaving kids in the car while she’s on the treadmill.

Everything revolves around her exercise routine. The child's only social activity is in the gym crèche where he is forced to go twice a day, morning and afternoon. Midday he goes home for lunch and a nap. Sure he doesn't get to have fun with his mum but so long as she has buns of steel who cares?

Her biggest fantasy is when all kids are at school and she can spend the greater part of the day at the gym; a pump class here, water aerobics there, pilates and then weights. Wow, it's tough being a gym mum. She gets so many compliments about her hot body that she no longer thanks people for telling her she looks hot, it's water off a ducks back.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Chardonnay Mom

Chardonnay Moms love to pour their first glass of wine at five o’clock…many call it ‘wine o’clock’ claiming it’s the only way to get through the witching hour consisting of cooking, feeding, bathing, bedtime (usually for multiple offspring) will constantly invite mums over for a ‘party’ any excuse to crack open the champers. They are big fans of the champagne breakfast and will go to great lengths to organize mommy get togethers after school drop-off on the off chance somebody brings a bottle of wine so that she can get that buzz early in the day. These moms never got out of the habit of ‘Thank God it’s Friday’ drinks that they enjoyed to excess during their pre-mom days. Instead of departing the workplace with a handful of colleagues and traipsing to the nearest bar, these days Chardonnay moms organize ‘after school drinkies’ at various moms’ homes where she leads the ladies in the fine art of getting sozzled while the kids run amok in the backyard. These drink parties usually wind up by 6 o’clock so the moms can get kids home to be fed, bathed and into bed. Preceding this hour is a chorus of ‘Are you okay to drive?” and a stampede of women stagger to the kitchen where they guzzle large glasses of water, as if that is enough to lower their DIU score. The only time it isn’t good to be friends with Chardonnay mom is when she insists on being the designated driver. It’s never going to happen. Chardonnay mom is also the first mom at school fund raising functions to get up on stage with the band, flash her underwear and sing the first verse of the national anthem, over and over, until she collapses in a heap of emotion, usually crying about the beauty of the night and bemoaning the fact that the bar staff have left for the night. Tip: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!

Can't Stop Breeding mom

Can't Stop Breeding Moms are that strange breed of mom that does not believe in contraception and for whom taking a year off in between pregnancies is something of a sabbatical. Seven kids? No problem. They are usually condescending towards 'normal' moms who, on average, pop out two-three children.

"Only three kids? What's wrong? Couldn't you get pregnant again?" asks CSB mom.

"Well, we only ever wanted three kids. Isn't that enough?" shrugs Victim mom.

"No. Three is not enough. You are not doing your bit to help populate the country. I'm not stopping until I have at least five more. Three kids? You should be ashamed of yourself."

Can't Stop Breeding moms usually fall into the extreme categories of being either filthy rich or quite poverty stricken. One CSB mom is pregnant with child number eight and her family is already so poor that both sets of grandparents have had to chip in and buy them a van so they can actually leave the house. On the other end of the monetary scale, I've met a CSB mom who hires a new nanny everytime she has a new addition to the family. Their house is so damn huge there is a separate wing for the hired help.

These moms are harking back to last century where having eleven kids didn’t really raise an eyebrow. Of course, back then, they had a pretty good excuse – there was no contraception, save for the odd old wives suggestions that rarely work (such as having sex standing up)

Devils Spawn mom

Devils Spawn moms are the moms of kids who are absolute terrors, the devils you never want to invite to your house…they kick, they scream, they pour orange juice over the carpet, they wipe yogurt on the sofa, they rub vegemite/marmite/promite or whatever dark coloured condiment they get get their grubby hands on over walls, picture frames and will even find their way into the master bedroom and rub it on your pillow (by the way, none of this is an accident!) yet the Mom, for reasons quite unknown, believes their child is an angel and cannot understand why her child has so few invitations for play dates.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Too Cool for School

The Cool mom is so laid back her kids would have to be on their death bed before she drags them to a doctor. Her two year old just fell off a two metre monkey bar, no problem. If she's crying, she's not dead.

Her son fell off his skateboard, he's sitting on the sidewalk nursing his badly grazed knee. Does Cool mom rush to comfort him? 'Nah, I'm not getting a band aid. It's not bleeding that much. I mean, the blood hasn’t reached his ankle yet."

The baby is crying. Perhaps she is hungry? "Oh, she'll be okay. I mean, it's not lunchtime yet, they only need three meals a day, right? Kids want to play out on the street in the rain? No problem, let them do what they want to do. So long as they're not bugging me, that's cool. If they want to walk four blocks to the nearest park while I stay at home and catch up on my crossword puzzles, that's fine too.

Cook dinner? Me? Well, not all the time, I mean, the kids can open the fridge. It's good to be laid back, it teaches kids to do everything themselves. Look at me, I could make an omelette by the age of three."

Her six year old fell downstairs and spent a week with a broken arm before she took him to doctor. But her pets? If her cat is limping she gets a trip to the vet, go figure.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Pacifier/Dummy police

Those of us who have committed the 'sin' of using a pacifier/dummy, mostly out of desperation to drastically reduce the volume of a screaming child, would have met the Pacifier Police mom. She likes to harass other Moms whose little darlings use a pacifier, lecturing them about how bad it is for the shape of their mouth and also giving ‘helpful advice’ about how to stop your child using a pacifier, including giving the pacifier to the ‘pacifier fairies.’

Other advice - usually for mothers with toddlers ie kids deemed 'too old' for a pacifier (in my opinion it's the two year olds that need pacifiers the most and - let's face it - we've all met the occasional adult that could benefit from a pacifier too) :

1. Tell your child you are giving the pacifier to Santa.

2. You're giving the pacifier to the babies that really need them.

3. When you're driving, casually wind down the window and toss pacifier out the window, saying 'Oops, look what mommy has done!"

Pacifier police preface most conversations with, "He is too old to have a pacifier," and "Why does he have a pacifier?"

"He is a bad sleeper so I've gotten into the habit," said Victim mom.

"Well get out of the habit. Just throw it away. Simple," said PP Mom.

"It's no big deal. He won't have a pacifier when he's 21," said Victim Mom.

"Really? How can you be so sure?"

"Well its better than thumb sucking. At least he won't get buck teeth. Plus, you can throw a dummy away but you can't throw away his thumb!" yells Victim Mom.

You will never win a debate with the Pacifier Police. She will give you a list of bizarre psychological reasons why a pacifier will have a negative impact on his life until death. For example, think about what he is sucking on; a plastic nipple! He will always have a nipple fixation and end up being a hopeless sex addict.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Beware of Natural Birth Interrogator Mom

There seems to be a new breed of mom that gave birth naturally and delight in criticizing mothers who didn't; even when a caesarian is performed in a life-saving situation!

She tells pregnant women, "Oh I hope you don’t have to have a Caesar. It will take away the importance of womanhood."

Following the birth of my twins - born by caesarian (twin 1 had his head downwards, twin 2 had his feet downwards, known as a 'footling breech') an old school friend said snidely, "You didn't give birth, you had an operation."

No matter how your babies are born, you still 'gave birth' to them!

One mother sent an SMS to let a friend know her baby had arrived and the friend responded with ‘natural or ceasar?

Some natural birth interrogators see ceasar mums as copping out, taking the easy road. Do you really think its easy having a major operation that you are wide awake for, as a surgeon cuts through nine layers of skin/stomach muscle - that also means you're left with nine layers of stitches - and then you have to get up right away and look after a baby. A hysterectomy is a less severe operation and women are told to have bed rest for weeks.

Having twins, one is always confronted with that question; "Did you give birth naturally?" When I explain that twin 2 was a footling breech and would have died without medical intervention, one Natural Birth Interrogator Mom shook her head and said, "But surely the doctor could have turned him?"

The moral of the story is this:

Nobody gets to wear a medal around their neck saying, "I gave birth through my vagina."

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Afternoon tea with Neat Freak Mom

Neat Freak mom lives as though there are no children in the house. If a child drops even a crumb of a cookie, these Moms will whip out the vacuum cleaner in an instant. She virtually much neglects her kids because she is so busy dusting and cleaning up after them. Of course, she always takes spare set of clothes with her in case a kid gets even the smallest amount of dirt or food or , God forbid, a blueberry stain.

She doesn't like to take her kids to the park because the park is full of dirt and kids get dirty. Kids never allowed to do things like jump in a puddle or roll through the autumn leaves. In fact her kids are forced to wash their hands at least six times a day; sometimes twice depending on the grime, depending on whether they have petted a dog, cat or guinea pig.

Neat Freak Mom cannot handle seeing any food around her toddler's mouth so she's constantly wiping him until the lower part of his face is red. She stands closeby, a face cloth in her hand on standby just an inch from her child's chin at all times. In fact the face cloth is usually in her pocket for any ‘emergencies.’ She also keeps a dust buster in the car...food is banned in the car but on the rare occasion a child is brave enough to smuggle a cookie in the back seat, she will pull over, even on major highway, and bust that dust. She will never lighten up.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wikipedia Mom

My friend Katie is a Wikipedia mom. She is a walking encyclopedia on everything to do with fertility, pregnancy, childbirth, raising kids etc. You name it, she will tell you all about it. Over and over again!
It doesn’t matter if you have experienced something that they haven’t; they still know more about it than you do. You don’t need a baby book. You just need to befriend a Wikipedia mom. Twins, triplets? Well, she hasn’t had them herself, but she might as well have! What she doesn’t know about twins and triplets isn’t worth knowing. In fact, she knows everything about them; from giving birth, to raising them. She can even give share her valuable insight into the advantages and disadvantages of separating twins/triplets at school.

“You must separate twins at school because otherwise the teacher and students will keep mixing them up,” said Wikipedia mom.

“But my twins are fraternal. One is blonde, the other is brunette,” said Twin mom.

“It doesn’t matter! You also have to split up non identical twins so they can form their own identity and discourage competitive behavior in the classroom.”

There’s no point arguing with a woman who truly believes she knows more than anybody else.

Do you need some tips about recovering from a caesarian? Wikipedia mom gave birth naturally but, rest assured, she will give you a blow by blow description of what it felt like to be awake for major abdominal surgery. Breastfeeding tips? Wikipedia mom has an answer for everybody; ask her about mastitis, breast pumps, inverted nipples and whether, in the world of breast milk, size matters.

Maybe Wikepedia mom hasn’t had a natural birth but she has all the advice you’ll ever need.

“You need to chew ice cubes in between contractions. Oh, and don’t bother putting vitamin E oil on your belly. Stretch marks are hormonal. It’s a bit like death; if your number’s up, you are going to die.”

Wikipedia mom will tell you everything you need to know, as well as all the stuff you don’t give a toss about. “Kids who watch television before the age of two will have stunted physical interaction crucial to early brain development. Did you know, 78% of disposable-diapered babies have diaper rash, compared to 7% of cloth-diapered babies?

The world if filled with moms who want to give you advice and most of it is given in good faith. But if you come across a woman who repeatedly gives you unwanted advice, just say, “Thank you” and leave it at that. Or you could tell her that you are committed into only absorbing the wisdom of one mommy friend – perhaps your own mother. You have no room for two. It’s a little like religion. Why pray at two altars when it’s easier to pray at one?

My first encounter

My first inkling the Mommy Mafia existed was when I found myself in a crowded doctors’ waiting room with my two-week old twins asleep at my feet. The room was filled with mothers talking a mile a minute, looking proud, frazzled, drowsy, worried, lonely, bored, happy, and totally kaput. It sounded like a nightclub without the music. Without the sexual tension. Without the fun. Yet, still quite entertaining.

I was seeing my doctor about a pinched nerve in my upper thigh which was terribly painful and made me look like I was walking with a watermelon between my legs. Within moments of my arrival a woman holding a red-haired toddler screeched at me.

“You must never put babies in capsules. Don’t you know that the angle means they’re at risk of having their respiratory tracts cut off?” she said.

“No, I didn’t! Should I be worried?” I asked. But, before I had a chance to reply, she found something else that I was doing ‘wrong.’ My babies were dressed in matching white jumpsuits. She told me I should never dress twins in the same clothes.

“They will have identity problems. You’re encouraging other people to treat them as one person.” Hello, Nazi Mom.

Then I noticed the lady to my left who was literally shaking. I asked her if she was okay and she grabbed her little darling and told me she was terrified. Why?

“He’s had a runny nose for five days. I’m sure he has caught something incurable. This is my third trip to the doctor this week. Maybe I should take him to casualty?” she said.

“I’m sure he’s fine. I mean, he looks okay to me. Not that I’m a doctor,” I said, speaking softly. But she ignored me, running out the door, presumably straight to casualty. I imagined, with every step she took, she was already planning his funeral.

Hello, ER Mom.

Behind me a woman was holding a potty in one hand, a little girl in the other. What was going on? Before I had a chance to ask her, she read my mind. “There is no way I will let her sit on anybody else’s toilet seat. She might catch something.” Hello, Germ Phobic Mom.

I slid back in my chair, extremely thankful that both twins were fast asleep. I’d only caught a couple of hours shut-eye the night before as the moment I got one baby to sleep, the other baby would wake up crying. There’s nothing amusing about having to deal with two screaming babies at 2am. I couldn’t imagine how easy it must be with one baby. Just being pregnant with one would be a cinch after this, not to mention breastfeeding one baby. Starting motherhood as a mother of two is motherhood by baptism of fire. Still, after losing my first to miscarriage, having twins felt like the clichéd double blessing. Plus, I’d convinced myself that all the exercise from dashing between the cots, patting one bottom here, the other bottom there, in a desperate bid to settle two at once, will eventually help me shed my pregnancy weight. As I was smiling at my babies, a woman approached me and without saying hello, she asked, “Did you give birth naturally?”

“No, I had a caesarian.”

That was all the ammunition she needed.

Why did you have a caesarian?” she asked.

“Well, if I didn’t, one of the twins would have died. He was a footling breech,” I said, almost apologizing. But that wasn’t good enough for her. She launched into a long incoherent speech about how caesarian rates in the western world have sky rocketed. “All these women are too posh to push. I think that’s disgusting,” she said, slapping her leg with her two-years out of date Vanity Fair. Hello Natural Birth Interrogator Mom

Thankfully my name was called and I was able to escape a further grilling as I carried the boys into the doctor’s room. During my examination the twins were blissfully quiet; hypnotized by a ceiling fan waving a piece of purple streamer from its blades. A remnant from a recent celebration? I grimaced as the doctor prodded my upper thigh. The prognosis was not good.

“There’s absolutely nothing you can do. It will just fix itself,” he said. Great, I thought. Then, the moment I stepped off the table and bent down to kiss my little boys, they started crying – a whiff of breast milk was all it took to set off a feeding frenzy. I quickly debated the idea of doing the double breast feed in the waiting room or whether I should brave the ten minute drive home with two crying/hungry babies and reasoned the latter would be best for all. Feeding twins in public is very tricky; partly because you need a large feeding pillow and partly because you need to take your entire top off for easy access to both breasts. And while I don’t mind exposing some of my post baby body, I wasn’t about to expose my entire torso.

So I hobbled to the car park in the pouring rain. Just as I was about to get myself in the car, I was accosted by yet another mother who stood alongside me, putting her two darlings into the neighboring car.

She gazed at my sleeping babies and asked, “Twins?” I said yes indeed they are twins and was expecting her to repeat the comment most people say to me, “How do you do it with twins?” when she pointed to her own little darlings and said, “Mine are eighteen months apart. That is much tougher than having twins.”

How strange. Did she really think that having just one baby and then a year and a half later having a second baby is anything like having two babies at once?

Big deal, I wanted to say. Mine were born two minutes apart! Was she serious? Deadly. Then, as an afterthought, she stuck her head out of the window and yelled, “My son was walking at ten months!”

Hello Olympic Mom.

Suddenly, I understood the politics of motherhood. A world where women exist in a different world, where mothers belong to distinct ‘groups.’ It was like realizing the Mafioso is alive and kicking in your neighborhood. How on earth was I going to survive the Mommy Mafia? And would I be drawn into their spell and become a member too?

In motherhood women are more dangerous than shotguns

Sometimes the hardest thing about being a mother is other mothers.

Just when you think you’re doing a good job (kids happy, food nutritious, house spotless, bodies bathed, faces kissed) somebody lets you know that you are not. Their way is the best way. Your way is not. Beware of the Mommy Mafia. You never see them coming