Navigating Motherhood as a Modern Latina

I am a fun mom! That’s my honest truth. This is what I strive to be day in and day out. I am a mother of 2. I am Puerto Rican. I am in my thriving 30s. I am married. I was raised in Brooklyn, New York and later moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and to this day I still live here now with my family of four. 

OK, so maybe that doesn’t sound so fun and modern yet, but I’m getting there.

I identify as a full time working millennial Latina mom. I am modern enough to have grown up in the digital age, but still come from an old school-ish era. While I embrace new technology, Target runs, gentle parenting techniques and have grown up in an American city my whole life, I still value my Latinx culture immensely. I love being Puerto Rican! I love our food, our music, our family tightness, I love to dance salsa and the list goes on. As a Nuyorican, my childhood foundation was built off of a tight knit Brooklyn community in NYC where we played outside and in our apartment building all day everyday! I am also the first from my family to graduate college and buy a home and am currently helping my 60ish year old  parents through the retirement process and buying their first home, while taking care of my own family.

By profession, I am a Higher Education Professional as an Administrator responsible for Community Engagement at a large Community College. It was my dream to work in higher education as it had a huge impact in my life. It is where I started to find myself, it’s where I learned to advocate for myself and I wanted to help students advocate for themselves too.

I’ve always taken my work seriously and knew that I wanted to be a professional woman first before becoming a wife and mother. I simply wanted to “make it” before making my own family. I give major props to stay at home mamas though! I don’t think either journey is easier. I saw my mom as both a working mom and homemaker at different points in my life, and it helped me choose my journey as a working mom. For me, I needed full time income for myself to pay off debt and provide for my family!

I don’t mom alone! I met my husband while in college. However, we met online on which years ago was like a Myspace for Latinos (pre-facebook)! When we got together it wasn’t as cool to say you met someone online and now that’s the only way people seem to meet. He’s been one of the reasons I am allowed to be a fun mom, because he handles business at home! I can’t keep up with cleaning to save my life, but he gets it done and does it well!

My dream in life was to live the quintessential American dream. Having a house with a backyard with my husband and children that I have now! It doesn’t feel real and I feel like Drew Barrymore in 50 First Dates sometimes, waking up to a husband and kids everyday out of complete shock and surprise (haha).

I take mothering seriously as a fun mom!  I make big messes with my kids and I get on the floor and play! I make them laugh until their tiny tummies are tickled out. I chase them, we share experiences together and we sleep together as an example of what I mean by fun. Being a modern mom to me is being a fun mom. In order to be a fun mom, I believe old school norms, for the most part, cannot be part of your day to day child rearing! I’ll get into how I believe that to be true below.

So what’s in it for you? I want to help other moms be involved in their children’s life without feeling like they need to do everything perfectly at the same time. I want to share the message that you can be imperfect and still be a great mom. That if your child is messy, girl that’s completely normal and we should embrace their childhood, the big mess that it is! I want to encourage my single ladies that you should have a partner in life to support you, but that you can also do it all alone and find your village of support too! That you are worth this life!

This “hood” is hard and some of our upbringings make being a mom this day and age even harder! We didn’t learn coping mechanisms to handle kids behaviors because our moms yelled and our abuelas hit us with chanclas. We may still be in school, the first to graduate college, in a professional career and now have to figure out all of our kids extracurricular activities that we may not have had growing up on top of everything else. I believe we can do it all, just maybe not all at the same time, but nevertheless we can enjoy motherhood, enjoy our kids and enjoy ourselves as women! 

My thoughts about modern motherhood looks like this, in no particular order, because well, mom brain:

  1. We don’t raise our children with gender stereotypes, because we’re all unique individuals (our kids included)
  2. We don’t have to force potty training, we can allow our kids to feel ready to go on their own.
  3. We can bedshare with our children until they are ready to sleep independently. I absolutely love it! My husband does not lol, but we’ve since upgraded our bed. My kids still need me next to them. 
  4. We don’t have to endorse hitting and yelling as disciplining tools for raising our children. I hate yelling, my kids hate it too. Why suffer this way on purpose?
  5. We can go to work and we can “let go of the house.” I only clean for guests if they’re lucky lol. 
  6. We can appreciate our “mom bods” and not worry about yo-yo dieting anymore. I am on the road to body positivity. My kids love my body so why shouldn’t I? What kind of example am I setting if my confidence is low?
  7. We can have partners in our life who share the parenting and household load. I am thankful that my husband is hands on in every way. I grew up thinking we had to clean, cook and serve our husbands, but in this house it is 50/50 or rather 100/100.
  8. We can breastfeed even if our moms didn’t and our families don’t understand why our boobs are always out. I think it’s your right to choose how you feed your children, but if you choose breastfeeding you should feel supported and not ashamed to let your boobs hang to feed those babies! It’s such a beautiful and hard journey, but for me it was well worth it.
  9. We can let our children cook next to us and with us. I grew up knowing that the kitchen was my mom’s area. I don’t think I was allowed in it until I was a teenager. Thus, cooking has been a challenge for me ever since. I now choose to cook with my children and use safety precautions of course.
  10. We teach our kids to be independent and do not enable our boys as an example that is fitting for the Latinx culture. Again, serving men on a silver platter is not my thing! It won’ t be a thing for my boys either. They see mommy and daddy work. They see daddy cook and clean. They see us as partners!

Simply, we will raise good humans!

In this blog I hope to share fun tips I’ve picked up along the way from my own motherhood journey and having read parenting books, being a part of other virtual mom groups and participated in parenting workshops. I will share fun things I do with my kids, and most importantly I hope to bring laughter, smiles and happiness in my writing and photos to all who read along. As a recap to my post, below is a list of the top 10 ways I honor being a Modern Latina Mom.

  1. I let my kids make a big mess and we do our best to clean up together. I understand that playing is learning for my kids.
  2. I get on the floor and play too.
  3. I do not physically discipline my children and work on not yelling at all!
  4. I introduce new cultures to our family through food, language and travel; and hold diverse relationships outside of my Latinx culture.
  5. We balance screen time with science experiments, reading, cooking, building and playing outside!
  6. I let go of household chores as time spent with my children is more important to me than cleaning.
  7. I am conscious about my finances and spending and teach my kids to give back and earn their money.
  8. I chose a partner and continue to choose  my husband as a partner in love and life and to share household and family responsibilities with me. I do not gender stereotype my sons.
  9. I practice conscience parenting which includes positivity, patience and being present and playful.
  10. I honor self care, mentally, physically and emotionally.

My final thought on modern motherhood is knowing that motherhood looks different for everyone. I can speak to my experience and no one else’s, but I recognize that old school traditions are being thrown out the window and many of them should be! The advice we got from our parents, abuelas, tias, primas, amigas, may not work for us and may be potentially harmful to our children and parenting style . With every article you read and blog you browse, you must ultimately do what works for you and what is absolutely beneficial for your child and relationship with your family.

Thanks for reading my very first post! I look forward to building a village of like minded yet diverse mamas who are doing their best in motherhood and in life! I can’t wait to chat more!

Are you a modern mom? Did I miss anything regarding modern motherhood? Comment below. 

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