There is a common misconception that all mothers are naturally nurturing, and loving, and would do anything for their children. It is an innate part of them to seek the well-being of their children. However, if you have a Latina mother like mine, you already know that is far from the truth.
Whether due to years of generational trauma or simply a personality trait, some mothers tend to be judgemental. Their beliefs are divine law, and if you stray from their norm, you are subjected to a life filled with ridicule and judgment.
Growing up, I always struggled with my family dynamics. My father was abusive, and my mother was stuck in a martyr role all in the name of financial security. As I continue getting older, I cannot entirely blame her for believing this was the best route because of her poverty trauma and what the previous generation taught her.
However, I always felt like she went too far in what she had to say. She would always call her “friends” to chismosear about me, telling them personal things I had confided in her.
She would make fun of the clothes I would wear and always tell me that I needed more meat on my bones because I was too flaca for a man. She would say anything that would bring you down so she could continue being the center of the world.
Thankfully, now I am a grown woman and have learned the art of setting boundaries. It is challenging because our mothers are under the impression that they can do or say anything regarding my life, but amiga, that is where we have to be strong and put our feet down.
And don’t even get me started on the unsolicited advice regarding how we should parent our children. Do they really think we are going to take this toxic advice from them?
It may (or may not) be coming out of a place of love, but that doesn’t mean it is correct. There is a very fine line between doing things out of love and being toxic. Remember, the cycle of generational trauma must end with us. It is up to us to change our parenting ways so that our children and grandchildren can prosper healthily.
If your Latina mother does anything that crosses your boundaries, you need to set limits. It doesn’t have to be as rash as fully cutting her out of your life, either. You can call her and have a conversation about how this makes you feel uncomfortable.
You can express that you are grateful for her wanting to help but that you are the sole party responsible for making decisions about how to raise your children.
If she chooses to view this in a negative light, then so be it. What matters is your mental health and your inner peace. It is time to stop feeling unworthy and insufficient due to our Latina mothers.
And who knows, maybe teaching them about these newer parenting techniques and the reason behind your thoughts will help shift their perspective and understand where you are coming from.