We love to watch the mafia on TV and in the movies, and it's probably because their family business is a lot more like ours than you'd think. Moms are a lot like mobsters because...
- We know how to get blood out of everything. Kids are great at making it look like a murder scene every time they get a bloody nose, but moms can clean their carpet, clothes, and bedding so well it looks like nothing ever happened.
- It comes in handy having a secret hideout. Sure, we probably use it to stash a bag of Reese's Minis instead of laundered money, but every mom needs one. (I recommend keeping a Snickers bar inside an empty quinoa bag in the pantry.)
- Nobody likes a rat. The cardinal rule of organized crime is: never, ever tell. Snitching, being a stool-pigeon... call it what you like, but tattling isn't welcome in this house, either.
- We make offers they can't refuse. There's a reason we resort to bribes — they work. How else are we supposed to get the kids to try food not shaped like chicken nuggets?
- Fuhgeddaboudit. Seriously — just forget about it. Whatever you and your brother are fighting about, I guarantee it's not important. Just end it and move on.
- We're not above extortion. Who's too principled to lord that embarrassing potty-training picture over their teenager's head when they really need to? Not me.
- Sometimes it's best to hire someone to do your dirty work. Not a single day goes by that I don't fantasize about having a cook or a maid on my payroll. Or both.
- People are constantly coming to us for favors and advice. Whenever my kids need new shoes, have a run-in with the mean kid at school, or want to bargain for some extra Minecraft time, I'll give you one guess who they're coming to. My job is mainly handling requests of some kind, all day, every day.
- We're pretty good at keeping surveillance on anybody suspicious. Moms do better research than the FBI when we think our kids (or someone who interacts with them) might be up to no good. And we're usually right.
- Let me introduce you to "a friend of mine." It starts once you have a baby, and your eyes are opened to a black market trade of onesies and activity gyms right beneath your nose. If you need something, all you need to do is mention it to your mom's group and someone is sure to say, "I know a guy..."
- Don't get between us and our Italian food. Try to separate me from my simple carbs and you'll be sleeping with the fishes tonight, buddy.
- There's always a wiseguy. And it's usually your threenager.
- It's not easy being the Don. It's more than a full-time job keeping the mob happy and under control. To our kids, it might look like we're in a pretty powerful position, but the truth is we lose a lot of sleep just trying to keep one step ahead.
- We like to gamble. When you rarely leave the house after 8 PM, people assume you lead a pretty boring life. But no one takes risks like a mom. Going to Target without an extra pair of pants for the potty-training preschooler? Now that's ballsy.
- We're usually running multiple rackets. Moms are born multitaskers, signing permission slips with one hand while we make spaghetti and untangle a Barbie doll stuck in someone's hair with the other. And yes, we saw you make that face at your sister behind our backs.
- You never get to retire from "the business." From poopy diapers to prom dates, your kids will never stop needing you (even when they think they don't.) When you're a mom, you're permanently on call. Forever.
- We can be charming, funny, and likable — but mess with our family and we'll break your knees. Enough said.
Now that you know how much you have in common with the mob bosses you love to watch, all you need is a cool nickname. "Angel Face" and "Jimmy Blue Eyes" are already taken, but "Messy Bun" or "Lady Yoga Pants" has a nice ring to it, too.