Thursday, May 5, 2011

Why We All Need to Start Thinking like a Smart Hispanic Woman or Motherhood According to Mo.

{Me being a Hispanic woman who means business, Mo-the wisest man in the entire world, and
my awesome drunk husband looking like
an unfrozen caveman lawyer.}

Over the weekend while celebrating at a party, I met a fantastic Cuban guy named Mo. We struck up a conversation about how I have two sons and that boys always love their mamas. I expressed my concern that they will one day grow up, get married, and leave me only to spend all the holidays with his wife's family. That was when Mo gave me the single most life changing piece of advice that has ever been bestowed upon me. He told me that I needed to "start acting like a Hispanic Mama."

In the most fantastic Cuban accent, he then unleashed pearls of wisdom on me about cunning ways to ensure that my boys stick with me and not his wife's family. His mother is a pro at this and I have a feeling that I was learning from the best. I was so inspired by these amazing techniques that I invited him to join us here on my blog to school us all on how we can be more like a Hispanic mama. Trust me, you will want to read every single item on this list. You must read this in your head with a very musical and wonderful Cuban accent.

Ladies (and you few gents)...I give you, Mo and his infinite wisdom!

I grew up with just one brother, but about 16 first cousins (that are like siblings to me). In my family, no matter the gender, we tend to have an unbreakable gravitational pull to anyone that marries into our family. So much so that we have even absorbed the parents and siblings of those that marry into our family (I call one of my cousin’s wife’s sister My Cousin since she’s been so ingrained in our family since I was a child). This was first orchestrated by my Grandmother. The Head of the Family. The Goddess of Parenting. The Queen on top of the Family Pyramid.

My mother has followed suit when it comes to my brother and his wife. As far as she is concerned my brother and I (and my brother’s children) are the center of her universe. And she plans on keeping us in her orbit until her last dying breath. This however is not an easy task, and it takes a lot of effort to maintain. Below is what I think are some of the key strategies my brilliant Cuban mother uses to keep my brother and his wife always at her house and in her life:

1. Pick the holidays that the kids like most. I'm talking any holiday with gifts and candy. I'm talking Christmas and Halloween. Let her family have Thanksgiving and Memorial Day. Gifts trump turkeys. Remember, the children are the key.

2. Babysit. Babysit. Babysit. The more time you spend with the kids the more they will like you. The less time your daughter-in-law (DIL) has to spend with the kids the more she will like you. Heck, my Mom takes care of my brother's kids after school. Guess which Grandma they like most.....

3. Constantly compliment how good a mother she is. Be the opposite of her actual Mom who is criticizing her mothering style as we speak.

4. Food is the magic elixir. Cook well and cook often. If you don't know how to cook, learn. Nothing is more awesome than a mother-in-law that makes fantastic dinners. When not having them over for dinner, occasionally make them dinner to go that they can pick up on the way home from work. This is yet more time they are spending in your house. After a long day of work, nothing says I love you more than not having to cook because your mother-in-law (MIL) made you dinner for you and the kids to go.

5. While on the subject of food, try to pass down some recipes from your dear old Grandmother. If you don't have any, make one up. This delivers the message to your DIL that she really is a member of your family. That she is like your daughter. This also works with old jewelry that belonged to your great grandmother the midwife.....

6. Occasionally buy her something because you were thinking of her or because it reminded you of her (even if it didn't). Hispanic mothers are not above a little bribery to buy her DIL's love. However don't spoil your grandkids too much, no mother wants to be outdone by her MIL.

7. Be a good Grandmother. Spoil your grandkids, but don’t make them rotten. Give then some freedom, but provide discipline. No mother wants to leave their kids someplace where they return with worse behavior then they left. (this one step almost doomed my mother, who felt her role was to let the grandkids do whatever they wanted to). Remember that when it comes to your grandchildren that your DIL is the Queen Bee. The Head Honcho. The Woman in Charge. You need to be on her side and support her disciplining decision (and yes, some are going to seem really dumb and not at all how you would have handled it). But the minute she feels you challenging her or usurping her authority with her own children she will be quickly returning to the comfort of her own Mother’s house whom she feels comfortable yelling at for doing the same damn thing.

8. Don’t immediately come to the defense of your Son when he’s done something idiotic. Because he will do something idiotic, he’s a man. And he will do it often. Make sure to take your DIL’s side every now and then. She will think you are wise and that you understand her.

9. Learn to be passive aggressive. I hate to state this one since it drives me absolutely insane, but I can’t argue with the results. Hispanic and Jewish mothers have mastered this skill. My mother can get me to do just about anything using guilt or by being passive aggressive. Personally, I think you should use this as a last resort. Your Hail Mary pass when all else fails.

You can thank me later for introducing you all to Mo.
You can't have him though, he's MY new bestest friend.


Holly said...

I know I can't have him but do you loan him out for parties? If you decide to "pimp" him out, give me a jingle.

singedwingangel said...

First of all Mo is hot.. secondly he is wise. I think the same rules apply often to Southern mommas. Anything and I mean ANYTHING can be fixed over a home cooked meal

Linda D. said...

I want to start thinking like a Smart Hispanic Woman, when it comes to my family! Thanks for the humor and inspiration!

R Montalban said...

He is a wise man indeed, and you know my Mother must have been somewhere in her gene pool hyspanic too (although she didn't have the cooking, but that in itself was a hoot and talking point) Mo sounds fantastic, he is a great NBF to have :-)

Sue said...

Thanks for sharing Mo's wisdom with us.


Sarah said...

I love these! Thank you Mo for the wonderful advice.

kayronrooster said...

Mo is wise and absolutely correct in every one of his points!
Great post!!!

Melissa said...

I love, love, LOVE, this post.

Queen Scarlett said...

Friggin' awesome. Can he do a post that will work for sons-in-law? ;-)

From Tracie said...

Mo is wise...and I will not challenge his position as your best friend.

I will, however, ask if I can be adopted into his family.

I would be a really GREAT daughter-in-law to a mother-in-law like that!

Ms.Wasteland said...

This is the best post I've read all week. Loves it!

Amanda @ It's Blogworthy said...

Hmmmm. I am bookmarking this for year and yrs down the road when my baby boy has a family!

Amanda @ It's Blogworthy said...

Hmmmm. I am bookmarking this for year and yrs down the road when my baby boy has a family!

Amanda @ It's Blogworthy said...

Hmmmm. I am bookmarking this for year and yrs down the road when my baby boy has a family!

Caroline of Salsa Pie said...

Oh my goodness this is WONDERFUL! A genius post! Mo is a wise, wise man!
Being married to a Venezuelan, I can tell you that he is 100% correct. And #2 is my absolute FAVE.

but, a BIG p.s. I have found (in being married to a Latin American) that Southern women actually have a lot in comment with Latin American women. We typically employ the same--keep our Mama's Boys at home tactics! ;)

LOVED this.
I'm coming back later to read the more recent posts--I missed some good ones. The kids are insane right now!

Erin said...

omg. i wish my MIL would read this---and she wonders why we can't stand her?!? LMAO. this post is perfection!! LOVE IT!

The Empress said...

claro que si, asi se hace.