Happy Fathers Day, Mom? A story of single Latino mothers
Ahhh, the time of the year where accidentally everyone seems to forget! Sure marketers see a better return on their money when it comes to Mothers day, but what about daddies huh?!
Disclaimer: Before we start off with this awesome post, I first want to congratulate all the responsible, caring, loving fathers. It´s the toughest job on the planet and with no training, you´re practically learning everything on the job. Note that this is for informational purposes as I´m sure they´res great dads all over the world. (including myself)
So my hats of to you, keep doing a great job, trust me I know how much work you put in and they surely appreciate it (even though you don´t see it now, oh it’s in there).
Family in the Latino Community
For the Latino community family is like food and water, a must have for our existence. According to the chart below from the U.S. Census Bureau from 2015 (I know a bit outdated), the Latino or Hispanic Community was number three when it comes to children living with 2 married parents.
Following with the number two spot in children living in a single parent home, but we´ll get to this later in the post.
According to the Data Center Kids Count in 2016, there was a 42% single parent homes recorded in the United States by Hispanic or Latino families. We´re right with the African American and Native American groups but what does this all mean?
In reality, the percentage of a single father raising his children is somewhat slim (no offense what so ever just following stats) most of the time its single mothers raising their small ones.
Sadly this is very common in most cases. (including myself)
Fatherhood in the Latino Community
During the 80´s and 90´s or from what I remembered during my early childhood years, just like the Asian community, we Latinos had a reputation of sticking together.
Although Mom and Dad wanted to kill each other, there was something engraved in their brain telling them that they just had to stick it out and settle their differences for the benefit of the children. So the pattern was then laid out for the following generation.
Along with having tons of kids.
We now had a template or this pattern to follow, so get married, have a lot of kids and stick by them at all cost, right?
Fathers were the providers while mothers stayed at home to raise the 10-20 children. Fathers would be in charge of teaching their young ones how to become a responsible man and most importantly a provider.
So the having a lot of kids pattern is present till this day. In 2000 the birth rate for Hispanics was 96 per 1000, compared with 69 for Blacks and 57 for Whites.
Though there are now fewer marriages, and in the case that you do get married the divorce rates are through the roof. That´s not to say that most children are now being raised in single-parent homes (don´t believe me check out the chart above).
Sadly fathers have ruined most of their reputation and are no longer seen as the provider and god-like figure that was present during a few decades back. ( in some cases)
Buy why señor?!
Education plays an important role not only when it comes to becoming financially successful but also in your personal development.
Statistics show that Hispanics or the Latino Community is known to either not attend or just enroll for a 2-year degree when attending a postsecondary school. So what does this say about us?
It may say things such as we´re in a hurry to just stop learning and get on with our lives, that may be working or starting a family. Perhaps we really don´t care about school and just want to start enjoying our life in the ¨real world¨, outside of books.
Overall this does affect the way we perceive ourselves believe or not.
Education in school or books is not necessarily a bad thing, it teaches you responsibility, commitment and most of all completion.
Covert that to real life, we have a responsibility in caring for a wife and a child, commitment to them whether that is financial or moral, and completion in the job at hand (fatherhood).
Why is school important?
In my 26 years of existence, I´ve come to learn that we´re not very committed and/or we tend to put a lot of thins off for mañana. This may not be just the Latino Community but society in general.
I said in MY existence, surely there are exceptions.
How many of us have started something but either got distracted along the way and failed to complete it, now you just simply forgot about it?
School is hard, especially college which is when you have SO MANY things going on. You have a job, girlfriend/ boyfriend, children, friends and family and don´t forget money problems all in one.
On top of that throw in school, homework, projects, and meetups.
All of this may become frustrating, and ultimately will wear you down until you break.
Sadly there are too many Latinos that fall victim to the statistics.
F*** school, get MONEY
Money is very tricky, especially if we don´t have it, and many of us don´t have it so we tend to fall victims to the infamous rat race and/or wrong means of getting it.
This statistic by the U.S. Census Bureau demonstrates that the Latino Community holds the second to last place of college enrollments.
But why is that?
We tend to have fast money problems or our ancestors have created a pattern that does not involve schooling. Again, this goes back to a previous blog post that I wrote, do Latinos work hard or smart.
I have a never-ending list of uncles that dropped out of college, not to say the uncles and aunts that did not even enroll (this includes my parents as well).
School in my household has always been seen as the impossible, for some odd reason.
In the U.S. plenty of us see college as debt and simply unnecessary, I mean why do I have to go in debt for a useless paper when I can start hustling right now and start making money right?
But we have to understand that school teaches us more than math and grammar. It prepares us for real-life, being independent and most of all its a great networking environment.
Things that we´ll never learn by working at McDonald’s or in construction.
Ultimately we have only to blame our selves for our actions. But could there be a possibility that we unconsciously follow in the steps of our prior generation, either in a completely opposite or the same pattern?
To be put into perspective, who here has a friend, relative or even yourself, that was raised by a single mother. Fast forward, and you that you´re grown maybe you are either a parent and have a made it your primary mission that your son/daughter will never grow up without a father.
On the flip side, who here has a friend or relative that was raised by a single mother and is now a parent that is no involved in their children´s lives.
Our unconscious mind works in very mysterious ways, but ultimately we are the decision makers of our paths.
We cannot solely rely on our upbringings because sometimes they may not be the most optimal for our success.
Effects on Latino children
When I was a child there were a few commercials that stuck with me.
One was of a father and son playing catch, can ´t remember the brand. The other was a continuous shaving scene on TV, either from commercials or novelas where the father is teaching his son how to shave.
Cliche I know, but even though I was 5 or 6 years old it hit me right where it hurts.
Did I have anger, you bet your behind I did. But through ups and downs and with the help of my hustler of a mother and her unconscious teaching we overcame these obstacles.
This is the story of a number of Latino individuals in America, but not all are wise enough to make the right decisions.
Out of spite, we may take the path of destruction, ultimately leading us to worse things. The mind is powerful, so powerful that it may spin things it into positive or will simply crash and take us down the wrong course.
With no father support, they may feel in a sense weak, depressed and may fall into the hands of a bad role model that becomes that substitute father figure.
Roles of Latino Mothers
Now although I am not perfect, I thank my mom every step of the way.
Strangely enough, she was never there, always had two jobs to provide for her three children at the time.
So what did I learn from my mother if she was never present?
Well, it was her actions rather than her words which till this day impact me. Her actions are what have shaped me to finish college, start a business and pursue my dreams.
She would go to go to work from 6 pm to 3 am, then wake up at 7 am, drop us off at school. Then heading to her second job until 3 pm.
I still don´t know how she managed to do it.
Single mothers have a very tough job if now the toughest. They have two pairs of shoes to fill, and worst of all there is no manual for them to follow.
The role of single mothers is to guide you, teach you how to be a man or woman. Teach you to maneuver through the real world and the problems it may bring.
Which is why I respect these human beings so much, they give everything and expect nothing in return. Only to see their children succeed will be their greatest accomplishment.
Advice to all my struggling Latinos
I say use this as fuel to help you reach that place where you want to be, don´t fall into depression and start playing the blame game. This will get you nowhere and will hurt not only you but the person that has sacrificed everything to give you this opportunity.
Find a mentor or a role model that can provide that father-like mentorship. I have a few mentors that are in books, such as Steve Jobs, Gary Vaynerchuck among others.
They may not be present but their words of wisdom are what help me get through my daily obstacles.
So give thanks and appreciate all that your mother has and is doing for you, remember that your the reason why she does what she does.
To all my fathers that are moving mountains to be with your little ones. The ones who are providing a great environment for them, I say Happy Father´s Day, keep up the superb job. Fortunately, this does not apply to you, I personally want to thank you for making a great decision of sticking around.
To all my Step-Fathers out there that have made a choice to come in and fill the shoes of an absent father I also salute you. Thank you for being that mentor to these children that are in much need of that father figure.
To all my peers and younger peers I say, don´t blame your fathers. They did wrong by you but they have their reasons.
Ultimately they created us, let´s be thankful, appreciate the life that they gave us. It may not be the ideal life we wanted, this is all up to us. We can choose to hate the world and all of its existence or choose to love. I say, love, love everyone that comes in your life, love our brothers. Especially our mother because she is that superhero we think we´re missing. She is that guide that will lead us to the better things in life.
To all my single mothers out there, (sigh), there aren´t enough words to describe your strengths, actions, teachings. Thank you, Thank you for not throwing in the towel. I know you were scared at the thought of having to provide for your children all on your own.
But you took on that challenge and you´re doing a hell of a job!
You are our superhero, role-model, mentor, first love, authority and although we fight about dumb things. But you´re that person that will always be in that ring with us fighting our battles.
So Happy Father´s Day Mom…
Please comment below if you can relate, and also how did you overcome any difficulties?
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