Family is of utmost significance for a US Latina Mom. They desire a great future for their children and a life full of treasured family occasions, exceptional meals, prominent happenings, and health.* However, living in a new culture has proven to be a challenge for Latina moms as they work to achieve balance between two cultures. In doing so, they familiarize and adopt new American customs but manage to retain Hispanic traditions, values and heritage, and attempt to instill this discipline into their easily acculturated children.**
THE IMPORTANCE OF FAMILY AND CULTURE FOR US LATINA MOMS
Latina Moms don’t really value “Me” time*** and would rather spend any available free time with family members or close friends. As staying in touch with family is very important to the Hispanic culture, Hispanic Mothers act as the center of maintaining family connections*** and are responsible for instilling their heritage into their children and to be an example of this values importance by including their family with extended family through social events. And while most US Latina Moms have the deciding vote on what products to purchase in their households, they are three times less likely to shop alone than US moms because it is considered a family affair for them.****
When compared to US moms, a larger number of Latina Moms claimed dinner is their favorite time of the day as it is a moment they can share their days with family** and a way for them to instill culture into the lives of their children. While many Hispanic American mothers may face difficulty instilling, or finding ways to instill, the culture of their heritage country into their children’s lives, the recipes of their traditional food is something they obtained a passion for when they were young and it was taught to them by their own mothers. This, however, is also proving to be increasingly challenging as their children are being exposed to American dieting habits on a daily basis and becoming further accustomed to fast foods and common foods such as mac and cheese or hamburgers.***** To adapt to new flavors and eating habits, US Latina Moms have started to combine traditional food with the American diets to please her children and pass on the heritage.
Another important point in helping Hispanic matriarchs instill their culture in their children is language as most Latina Moms directly connect the Spanish language with their heritage.*** As a result, many Hispanic American mothers feel teaching their children Spanish is vital to preserving their culture. Further helping to support this connection, a recent study proved that advertisements in Spanish or Spanglish create a cultural connection with Hispanic moms*** because it acknowledges where they come from and they want their children to feel that same sense of acknowledgement.
HOW ADOPTING A NEW CULTURE IMPACTS THEIR OWN LIVES
US culture is rapidly influencing the lifestyles of Hispanic American Moms, compelling them to face acculturation in certain aspects of their lives for themselves and their family. Endeavoring for career advancement and hard work to provide a better life for their children,** US Latina mothers have greater time restraints and, as a result, are more deliberate to make adjustments that bump heads with their Latin traditions. As with combining the recipes of their Heritage countries with American recipes, Latina moms also display a tendency to cook more from scratch than non-Hispanic moms,** but as the influence of US culture continues rising in their homes, and they are beginning to embrace convenient foods on a daily basis. Beyond just combining recipes, Hispanic American mothers are also displaying greater amounts of purchases of frozen, canned, and microwavable foods as Latina moms battle to retain a sense of food culture.***** However, these easy to make foods aren’t the only grocery shopping changes exemplified by US Latina moms as healthy food choices are growing in the Hispanic community in general and moms are growing as health conscious consumers.**
When it comes to social media, Latina moms are becoming more and more involved as 85% of Latina women use it on a regular basis.****** As for their shopping, they are doing it at a lower rate due to their increasingly busy schedules and US acculturation.****
*Academia.edu, “Sociocultural Influences on the Determinants of Breast-Feeding by Latina Mothers in The Cincinnati Area”, by Jessica Valenzuela, 2010
**Corporate.univision.com, “Latina Moms Balance Taste, Health & Convenience”, by Liz Sanderson, Jan 2012
***Spanglishbaby.com, “What Two Recent Studies Reveal About Latina Moms: We Love Our Culture”, by Roxanna Soto, Feb 6, 2011
****Prnewswire.com, “Baby Center Releases Acculturation Study About Latina Moms”, Feb 14, 2011
*****Huffingtonpost.com, “Hispanic Mothers Have Difficulty Adapting to US Food Culture”, by Hope Gillette, Jan 2013
******Comprehension.prsa.org, “Latina Mom Bloggers: A Powerful Force to Drive Culturally Relevant Online Brand Awareness”, by Piera Jolly, Mar 7, 2012