Now, new mothers may lull themselves into a false sense of security by thinking they have a few more years to go before they have to do deal with the school gate crowd. But I have news for you, girlfriend. The Mamafia is everywhere; where mamas gather, the Mamafia lurks. Sure they're at the school gates - but they're also at Baby Rhyme Time, at local library story sessions, at Happy Clappers Teenies Music Mayhem, stretching out at Baby Yoga, in your baby doctor's waiting room... they might even be in disguise as One Of Your Friends. Yup, now you're a mama you just can't get away from them.
But how to recognise a fully fledged Mamafia member? Here's a simple checklist:
- All Mamafia moms display Alpha characteristics. This makes them super competitive and extremely driven individuals, often agressive and highly territorial. Think CEO in mom's clothing.
- Mamafia members hunt in packs. Beware of the baring of whitened teeth (could be mistaken for a rictus smile), flexing of thigh muscles and high pitched laughter - all this means an attack is imminent.
- Mamafia moms usually have multiple areas of obsession when it comes to their children:
- Mamafia babies are always more advanced than other babies; sleeping and feeding better, smiling earlier and more often, even having more civilised bowel movements. Baby signing classes are invariably populated by Mamafia mamas.
- Older Mamafia kids are better behaved than other kids (unless there's no hiding the fact that they're little b*stards, in which case they are simply more sensitive), more beautiful (whatever the outward appearance), show a greater appreciation for gourmet foodstuffs from a young age - scarfing down caviar-laden blinis and pimento stuffed olives while other kids are just about getting to grips with chicken nuggets, and are highly talented at something or other (violin is a popular choice, as is Japanese - possibly because it's very tricky for most people to figure out the ugly truth). All this is because Mamafia offspring are more special in a million different ways than other kids; after all, Mamafias are breeding future world leaders, not those cretins (i.e. your kids) destined to become part of the seething masses.
- Mamafia moms chase after SuperMom status as if their lives depend upon it - producing 250 artfully-decorated organic allergy-free cupcakes and hand sewing 150 tuille bags for the school fair, not to mention directing the Upper School end of year musical performance of Madame Butterfly. It's all par for the course.
- Mamafia moms are not only SuperMoms, they are also SuperWives - part of the job description is to make their husbands look better, and how could they fail with such paragons of wifely virtue at their sides? To this end, Mamafias collect improving hobbies via part-time courses taught at reputable establishments (only the best, natch): popular pastimes include Wine Appreciation, Gourmet Cuisine, Flower Arranging, Art History, Watercolour Painting, Calligraphy and Interior Design.
- As an extension of the SuperWife thing, Mamafias lavish a lot of attention on their personal appearance. Not all of them are worked on daily by a dishy personal trainer or retain their own nutritionist, in fact some can be quite buxom, but they all groom to within an inch of their life; you won't see the flash of a furry ankle or last month's chipped toenail polish on a Mamafia personage - the salon is their religious rite and they wouldn't miss their weekly worship for anything. Don't, however, confuse them with the Glamazons of this world, the more svelte type of Mamafia may enjoy flaunting their toned buttocks in tiny running shorts en route to the gym, but the slutty/sexy look is not one to be tolerated (in fact, sluttyness or overt flaunting of sex appeal merits automatic expulsion from the gang).
- The key indicator of a Mamafia member is how they mingle with 'civilians':
- Is she mildly patronising and subtly rude?
- Does she pepper conversation with boasts about how marvellous her children are?
- Is everything she or her husband turns their hand to just wonderful?
- Is her life perpetually marvellous?
- If you announce something you're really pleased about does she subtly piss on your bonfire?
Next: Mamafia 101, part 2: how to fend off a Mamafia mama... without resorting to violence