Mother’s day is approaching, and I know there will be lots of articles regarding our mothers one way or another. What I want to acknowledge is the Latina, single mother who had to immigrate here to provide a better life for her children. I want to acknowledge the hardworking mother, who barely speaks English yet that doesn’t stop her from anything. This woman has sacrificed everything and has asked nothing in return, because her children’s happiness is enough.
That woman is my mother and I want to thank her for giving me the world and more. I have seen her struggle each day, I have seen her work multiple jobs at once so I could have food on the table and a place to live in. I don’t thank her enough, but no matter how many times I tell her thank you, no matter the many gifts or compliments I shower her with, I will never be able to repay her for all she has done.
I thank my mom for teaching me how to be independent and strong. She taught me how to cook my first enchiladas, how to fix my clothing when it ripped, to not mix whites with colors when washing my clothes, and to never forget my manners.
The Latina mom is the most underrated person because we always run to her when we’re in need, but never truly stop to think that she has the hardest job of all. She’s the queen of the house – her word is a command and if no one follows her rules then the 'chancla' comes out to haunt you. Somehow, she knows what you are doing at all times even if she’s not around, and knows when you don’t eat so she calls you to yell in your ear about it.
Growing up with a Latina mom meant Sunday morning cleaning, weekly Sunday mass at church, and if you made her mad she would use any of the following phrases:
- Te calmas o te calmo. Calm down or I will calm you down.
- Espera que lleguemos a la casa, vas a ver. Wait until we get home and you’ll see.
- ¿Quieres llorar? Ahorita te doy algo para que llores de verdad. You want to cry? I’ll give you something to cry about.
… and if you heard your full name you knew you did something wrong, so you had to pray to God and la Virgencita to help you out. No matter how many times she spanked you, she never failed to remind you that it hurt her more than it hurt you.
At the end of the day you, and hopefully at the end of this article, you will look back and realize that the phrase “es por tu bien” is true and on Mother’s day you tell her how much you appreciate everything she had done since you were born. Power to the Latina mom.
-- Nancy Garzon