Tuesday, November 13, 2012

In Two Worlds, Love & Life Turn It Into One

What we assumed to be a routine doctor’s appointment for my husband and I, turned out to be a life changing point in our lives on May 9th, 2012 – we were pregnant! Both excited with the news, we knew our lives would forever change.   

After notifying both sides of the family, our cultural differences would evidently be present in the next chapter of our lives. And while it all has been positive, my husband, our families and I would have to again, re-acquaint ourselves with our cultural differences.

Living and interacting with women in my suburban community has led me to observe a difference in which Michelle Fine and Lois Weis stated on their book, The Unknown City: The Lives of Poor and working-class young adults.  A perception that good mothering was mostly present in a circumstance of money, time and excess; what I have recognized suburbia to be, to a certain extent. Despite this broad perspective of positive mothering, Latina mothering would challenge this concept through its cultural values of familismo.

While a mother/father’s economic capabilities are essential within any cultural realm, family is equally as important. Coming from a predominantly Latino neighborhood in Queens and growing up with a vast amount of Latino peers, family was recognized as a core foundation to growing up. Most of us might have been part of large families, with a low economic background nevertheless, there was always mamita, papito, ñañito, tio/a, abuelito/a; among many other family members to raise us, instilling values education, morality, spirituality augmenting our cultural traits.

Our parents represent these two separate but equally important perceptions of what good parenting would be. And while many new parents might have a huge checklist to cover on preparing themselves to be a parent, our parents seem to be providing much of it.

My in-laws have been very much present in this journey they have been so helpful in making sure our home is ready to welcome a baby. Home repairs have been the order of the day from my father in law and an essential commodity check-list from my mother in-law has been and I know will be useful in months to come.

On the other hand, my parents are equally as amazing. As a first time mom-to-be, there are vast amount of changes that I have been going through – psychologically, physically & spiritually. My mom has been a great mentor and adviser. Her love, example and words have been encouraging and essential from day one to both my husband and I. My fears and concerns are comforted by her maternal experience and love. She brings my Ecuadorian roots to life with home remedies, embodiment of maternity and motherhood and self-empowerment.  My dad’s words of experience and sense of openness as a parent provides a foundation for us, as parents to be.

According to an African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child” and in our case, it seems as such. Our parents bring two important aspects essential to soon to become parents such as my husband and I. And we are both confident and ecstatic there are grandparents, parents and even a loving uncle that await to bring two worlds together into one unique and exciting adventure!

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