Momming while Latina in the American suburbs is a nuanced balance between instinctually parenting based on what I experienced as a kid, and implementing parenting skills I am expected to know based on my mama peer group. And to be honest some days it’s a toss-up rather than a conscious choice. There is a battle between the reactionary angry or dismissive mama I can be based on my upbringing, or I can be a self-aware, patient, kind. It really depends on a couple of factors. How well did I sleep last night and how many glasses of wine/cocktails/beers did I “responsibly” drink with dinner. (I can hear my mother, “Grocera, sin verguenza!”)
I mean the way I speak with my children, and not just to my children is weird. I treat them like actual people! Even as babies and could not possibly respond! I know, so progressive of me. It’s like I respect them or something?
This, just the amount of talking and sharing and expressing of words and feeling and drawings and colors that represent words that explain feelings. Oh. My. Goodness. Is it any wonder that my 5 year old never shuts up?
The modern American mother that I am becoming talks all the time. The traditional Latina mother that I was raised by did not. She gave commands. She gave reprimands. And when I got old enough, was not afraid to give some very traditionally female insults. I’m sure you can guess some.
Open and honest communication, building a relationship based on trust and respect, being conscious of what I say to and about others, truly understanding the importance and weight of words, listening; all skills I had to figure out along the way, and definitely not what came naturally when I began my parenting journey.
My huge generalization for the week is that Latina mothers from that time did not talk to their kids as much as we talk to our kids now, nor in the same way. How much and how do you talk with your children? Is it similar or different than how your family spoke to you when you were a kid? Was healthy communication an emphasis in your home or was it not existent? What factors contributed to this?
Would love to hear from you!
Wendy writes blog posts that turn into conversations for the Mamá Cita Podcast.