Growing up Hispanic is tough.
I mean, it’s cool because you have all these fiestas happening, the food is always good, and in general the culture is fun, colorful, and happy.
When it comes to discipline and formation, though, growing up Hispanic is not easy. In the long run, you thank your mother that she taught you how to fend for yourself in life, but getting to that state of gratitude takes a while. Below are the toughest parts of being raised by a Hispanic madre.
1. The Saturday Cleaning-Fest
Yes, Saturday is the day to clean at every Hispanic household.
No, that does not mean that we get to throw our crap around and not tidy until Saturday.
It means that we’re going to, literally, move every single piece of furniture, get behind the fridge, dust, and scrub every nook and cranny. The plus to this activity( I know you thought there wasn’t one) is that you get to blast Marc Anthony for a few hours and have a dance-a-thon in your living room while you make everything look spotless. It’s annoying when you’re growing up, but you’ll thank mom when you go off to college and your dorm room isn’t looking like a tornado hit it.
2. The Chancleta
I think it’s safe to say that most Hispanic mothers believe in some form of corporal punishment.
Whether it’s lightly hitting your hand when you tried to steal a maduro from the kitchen before dinner, or making you kneel on uncooked rice for 45 minutes cause you didn’t clean you room, the array of Hispanic corporal punishments is extensive!
The chancleta, in my opinion, is the most favorite and effective. A chancleta is a slipper or flip-flop . How does it work? Easy! You talk back, don’t eat your vegetables, or do anything else that’s considered offensive and that thing comes flying at you full force. The chancleta is not terribly painful, but just enough to put you in check and let you know that the attitude you just had won’t fly.
3. The “when are you getting married?” and “will I ever be an abuela?” talk
This one genuinely feels like hell on earth. Women today are so independent and most of us are so career-oriented that we hardly have time to think about marriage and children. But if you’ve been dating a guy for a while, these questions are bound to be asked and can be highly uncomfortable to answer. Hispanic mothers are old-school and it’s tricky to be modern and please them at the same time.
When either of these questions are asked, the best thing to do is gently let mami down and tell her that you have different plans for your life. There might be tears and an argument might sprout. She may take her rosary out and splash you with holy-water, but she’ll understand eventually.
4. The “that’s not very lady-like” comment
Don’t drink, don’t curse, don’t spit, don’t have sex, don’t focus so much on your career…the list goes on.
Hispanic moms want you to be a lady all the time, but the fact is that the definition of lady has changed quite a bit. Comments like these can help you weed out some of the bad habits you might have, but they can also help you become a stronger woman and teach mom to think differently.
5. The “you’re getting chubby” convo
Hispanic moms cook like the gods. Most things are fried and carb-y making it easy for your waistline to expand, but Hispanic moms have bionic eyes when it comes to weight gain. They will definitely let you know if you’re getting a little fluffy. If you enjoy a little fluff, make sure you let mami know. YOU should be the one to dictate how you look.
6. The “you’re getting too skinny ” speech
You’re getting your life on track. You’re eating right and exercising. You think you’re in the best shape of your life until mom says you’re too flaca. Hispanic women are known for their dangerous curves and losing them will always be a cause for concern to mom. If you like your slimness, there’s no reason for you to back down. The only one that needs to be happy about the way you look is you.
Criticism, when you’re from any culture, is tough to swallow. Just know that when mom says the things she does or enforces certain things, she means well. All in all, this stuff can really shape us into strong women. We just need to make sure to keep the good and not dwell on the bad.