Porque Soy Tu Madre y Punto: Latina Moms and Mother’s Day

This year, we’re taking a different approach to our Mother’s Day recap.  We’re bringing together attitudes toward parenting and motherhood and Mother’s Day is celebrated. After all, Latina moms play a uniquely vital role in family-centric Hispanic culture. 

Family is a Building Block of Hispanic Culture

Hispanics place great weight on caring for family and spending time together. This focus often impacts family structure and dynamics. It also influences views on childrearing that can lean more “traditional.”

The Pew Research Center conducted a study exploring attitudes toward the impact of parents staying at home with children. Overall, 60% indicated children are better off with a parent at home, while 35% said children are just as well off when parents work.

However, attitudes differ across race and ethnicity: 73% of Hispanics perceive additional value from stay-at-home parents, while only 57% of non-Hispanic Whites and African Americans agree.

Latina Moms are at the Center

Latina moms play a dominant role in nurturing and supporting kids. Family is a key aspect of their culture, which could explain their higher rate of stay-at-home moms.

According to the American Community Survey, 41% of Hispanic mothers stay at home with children, while only 31% of non-Hispanic Whites and 31% of African-Americans do.

In addition, most of these Latina moms are married. The same can’t be said for African-American stay-at-home moms, a majority of whom are single. In fact, the number of Hispanic, married, stay-at-home moms (28%) approaches the total share of non-Hispanic White and African-American mothers combined (31%).

A Culture of Closeness

Motherhood can take on a slightly different meaning for Hispanics because of the emphasis on time spent raising children. The priority of children are clear in communication patterns.

We found that Hispanics are significantly more likely to talk to their moms frequently: 48% typically communicate with them almost every day or more, while only 38% of non-Hispanics speak as often.

More traditional family values often lead to this closeness. Latina moms interact more with their children, and vice versa, because of cultural norms. Due to the self-sacrificing nature of moms and close ties with their children, Mother’s Day is a uniquely important event.

The Importance of Mother’s Day for Hispanics

Hispanic mothers are honored for dedication to their families. Though it’s meaningful for most in the U.S., it stands out for Hispanics.

In our study on holidays, we found that Mother’s Day is especially symbolic among less acculturated Hispanics: 13% of biculturals and 17% of unacculturated respondents ranked it as the top holiday, even over Christmas or Thanksgiving, compared to just 3% of acculturated.

We asked respondents to share stories about their moms in our community forum.  They touched the supportive nature of Hispanic mothers:

“[Mother’s Day] is a day full of love and happiness for mothers, they spend it together with their children and the children are full of love for their mother who is the greatest thing we have in this world.”

“The one who bore me after nine long months. She was the best mother a child could ask for, always there and did whatever it took to make us happy. She was not only there for us, but for many others as well. My mother taught what it was to respect others, to be appreciative of what we had, and to give back. She was and is amazing.”

“There isn’t one day for mothers, every second of our existence is a rejoicing of love for our mothers.”

They incorporate more family and friends into the holiday as a way to honor all the moms they know.  It’s a chance to celebrate them and acknowledge their sacrifices.

Celebrating Mother’s Day

We found that although both Hispanics and non-Hispanics overwhelmingly agree, Hispanics are more likely to think the ideal day is “a mother spending time with family and friends” (90% to 85%, respectively). Just 10% think the ideal holiday would be “a mother having relaxing time alone.”

Hispanics are more likely than non-Hispanics to celebrate mothers/mothers-in-law (75% vs. 62%), close family friends (38% vs. 20%), aunts (25% vs. 11%), grandmothers (23% vs. 17%), and friends (20% vs. 13%).

They’re also more likely to have their children, extended family, and friends present during celebrations.

Why does this matter for Hispanic marketers?

Family is a priority for Hispanics, especially for Latina moms. The importance placed on family has implications for marketers when making decisions about how to appeal to the Hispanic consumer. Latina moms who run the household make purchases with their families in mind. Brands can strive to be relevant by appealing to their caring nature and emphasizing family in messaging.

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