Most traditionalists think that a family is made up of a mom, a dad, and children. But Latino families know that structures are much more malleable and that being a single mother often involves incorporating other family members in key roles for our children and us.
Although some believe that single mothers have to play “mother and father,” in reality, our support system goes far beyond traditional gender roles.
Enter Abuelos y Abuelas
When you become a single mother, life changes completely; your priorities and those of your children become indistinguishable. That’s when the support and help of your family become critical.
And it is your parents who often come to the rescue before anyone else.
The Role of Grandparents in the Family Structure
Every family has its own way of functioning and structure, but in a single-parent family, things change a bit. Single mothers may seem invincible and feisty women, but every mother must support someone else, especially in child-rearing, where Abuelos y Abuelas play a key role.
The role of grandparents is not only limited to taking care of the children when we are at work or when we are busy with day-to-day chores; they also offer that love and invaluable teachings that come with age and the miles traveled in life.
In fact, recent research has found that for Hispanic children, living with a single mother and grandparent is associated with greater cognitive stimulation and higher reading recognition scores compared to living with just a single mother.
Finally, and for those of us who must face the adventure of being a single parent, our parents support us, listen to us, and understand us, and although we always fight because they spoil our children too much, we really don’t know what we would do without them!