14 phrases you grew up hearing if your mom is Mexican

1. “Por favor señor, llevese a este niño porque ya no lo soporto” (Please, mister, take this kid with you because I can’t stand him anymore).

Yes. You were actually offered up for adoption anytime you misbehaved in public.

2. “Te vuelves a dejar y cuando llegues a casa, yo te voy a pegar mas fuerte” (If you let someone bother you again, as soon as you get home I will hit you harder).

Some moms offer bullied kids hugs and a shoulder to cry on. Your mom schooled you on how it was going to be.

3. “Mi casa no es hotel” (My house is not a hotel).

If you went out on Friday and Saturday, on Sunday morning you were guaranteed to hear this one.

4. “El muerto y el arrimado a los 3 dias apestan” (A guest house like a corpse smells on the third day”)

This image stuck in your head taught you to never overstay your welcome.

5. “Sana, sana, colita de rana, si no sana hoy, sanara mañana.” (Heal, heal, froggy tail, if you don’t heal today, tomorrow will be the day).

It didn’t matter if it made sense or not. She enchanted you enough with this phrase that any injury instantly felt better with these words.

6. “Pues limpia tu cuarto” (Go clean your room).

A Mexican mom’s go-to response to you saying you are bored. Because apparently cleaning is a great source of entertainment.

7. “Ahorita no, ya va a empezar mi telenovela” (Not now, my soap opera is beginning).

It seemed like any time you needed help with Algebra homework, mom was plopped down in front of the TV.

8. “Ven aca, te voy a dar algo para que llores de a de veras” (Come here, I’m gonna give you something to cry about for real.)

You could never get away with crying just to get your way. Stone cold, she was.

9. “Da gracias que tienes que comer cuando hay tantos niños en el mundo con hambre” (Be thankful to have a plate of food when other children in the world are starving)

There is no tolerance for complaining about the food in a Mexican household.

10. “Llevate el sueter” (Take a sweater with you).

No matter if it’s 100 degrees out, mom has a sweater in her bag just in case there’s a freak snowstorm. One can never be too careful when it comes to staying warm.

11. “Tu puedes papi, te van a amar” (You can do it, daddy, they will love you).

Mom always had your back and would be your biggest cheerleader in your new ventures.

12. “Untate vapor rub y acuestate” (Put on some Vick’s Vapor rub and go to your bed).

It didn’t ever seem to matter if you had a cold, pneumonia, or a hangnail. Somehow Vick’s was going to fix everything.

13. “Ya casate y dame nietos, o que ¿voy a ser la unica de mis amigas que no tiene nietos?” (Get married and give me grandchildren already! Am I going to be the only one of my friends with no grandkids?)

It really didn’t matter if you made it clear you didn’t want kids. That was not even an option in her head.

14. “Siguete haciendo el chistosito y vas a ver cuando lleguemos a la casa” (Keep playing funny and you’ll see when we get home).

And you knew the threats were not idle.

14 phrases you grew up hearing if your mom is Mexican - travels

There are many variations in different languages of "mother" and "father". These are formal words that people use when referring to their parents. But most words used to address our parents directly are less formal.

In the US, most people don’t say "mother’ and "father" when talking to their parents. Even when I was a kid and people spoke more formally to adults, not many kids would address their parents that way. Although you do hear people speak this way in very old movies. It seems old-fashioned. Nowadays, we say "ma", "mom" or "mommy" when addressing our mothers, and "da", "dad" or "daddy" to our fathers.

I asked Frances Turnbull who grew up in South Africa, and now lives in England, what they call their parents in those countries. Here’s what she wrote:

South Africans adopted a lot of Americanization, so I grew up with "mom" and "dad", although more Afrikaans people go with "ma" and "pa". The UK generally goes with "mum" and "dad", the Irish with "mam" (mammie). Down south (towards London) it’s pronounced "m-uh-m", whereas up north (towards Scotland, Manchester) they pronounce it "m-ooh-m". Personally, I call my own mother "mom" (all UK Mother’s Day cards are to "mum"), while my daughter calls me "mum", pronounced "m-ooh-m".

Bolton, near Manchester, has a gorgeous dialect, but they are very particular. When my daughter started school doing the alphabet, they specially asked me to learn to say "u" as "ooh" because my daughter was getting confused (they think "uh" sounds too close to "ah"). So bus is "b-ooh-s", and look/cook/book sound like the "oo" from "boot"… as well as other peculiarities (hair as her, so, u comb ur her …). As for "mother" and "father", I have never met anyone who uses them in that sense, and as I understand it is used when kids are raised by nannies.

I asked Monique Palomares about what they call their parents in France. Here’s what she wrote:

We typically say "father" and "mother" as "papa" and "maman". We don’t use "père" or "mère " on their own nowadays, you can only find that in literature. Maybe in some high class circles they do, but the man in the street says "mon père" and "ma mère" when talking about his parents, but address them as "papa" and "maman" or however they say it in their family. I address mine as "pa" and "ma" and say "papa" and "maman" about them to my siblings and other relatives. I refer to them as "mon père" and "ma mère" to everybody else.

Please let us know how you refer to your "mother" and "father" in your language and what you call them when talking to them.

Monique Palomares works with me on the French version of Mama Lisa’s World. Frances Turnbull is the owner of Musicaliti, children’s music and movement sessions and shows in Bolton, UK, using percussion instruments and fun games.

This article was posted on Monday, February 25th, 2013 at 12:01 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, England, English, France, Ireland, Languages, Scotland, South Africa, United Kingdom, USA, Words & Phrases, Words for Mother & Father, World Culture. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

23 Responses to “How Do You Say "Mother" and "Father" Where You Live?”

Words for parents in languages all over the world tend to be variations on mama/amma, baba/abba, papa, dada, or nana. This, of course, is because those sounds are the easiest for babies to make, so when the little kid starts babbling mamamamama the proud mother goes “aw, he knows who I am!”

As explained by dinosaur comics, and then further argued in the comments here.

I’m the South in America and it’s common for girls to call their father’s Daddy even into adulthood (boys usually go with Dad). Boys and girls often use Mama for their mother even in adulthood.
Obviously this isn’t universal, but it’s very common. Otherwise people typically use Mom and Dad.

I’m in Australia and I call my parents “mum” and “dad”. When I was little, I called them “mummy” and “daddy”, but I haven’t really done that since I was perhaps six or seven at the latest. Sometimes, if I’m whining or complaining, I will call my mother “mother”, but that’s rare. My sister still says “daddy” when she wants something.

When speaking ABOUT them to people who aren’t members of my family, I would say “my mother” or “my father”. But I know that other teenagers will refer to their parents as “mum” and “dad” even when talking to someone else.

However, I know that my father, who grew up in somewhat upper-class English society, referred to and called his parents “mummy” and “daddy” right up until they died. I will refer to himself or my mother as “daddy” and “mummy” when talking to my sister and I, and seem to want us to call them that, but… We won’t.

Also, my sister and I have been known to call out parents other things, mostly based on which language we’re learning at that time. We called them “omma” and “abba” (Korean) for a bit, and it’s also quite common to hear us say “mutti” or “vati” (German). As I’m learning Gaelic, I also use “a mhàthair” (uh-VAW-huh) and “athair” (UH-huh) sometimes. We also use “ma” a lot for our mother. But I don’t think that sort of thing is common in Australia.

I agree with Uly – in most of the world, the words for “mummy” and “daddy” tend to be variations on “m” “b/p” “d” and “n”, just because those are the first sounds a baby can pronounce.

I live in South Africa and call my mom “ma” and my dad “baba”. Depending on which language I am speaking. I used to call her “ma-ke” when I was a kid.

I am from Pennsylvania, and we call our mom, “mum” and it’s pretty normal around here. I noticed in the West of USA we hear it said as mom or mother.

My Mom is silly. She’s “Mom” and has been her whole life, but after visiting Scotland because of her Scottish heritage, she signs all emails and cards “Mum.” She has pushed this on us for years, and I’m not sure I understand it. It’s kind of like the way she insisted the grandchildren called her what her mothers name was “Grammy” until it became natural for them to do so.

This, though, really touched my heart. I called my Dad “Dad” my whole life. However, when he began wasting with Stage IV cancer, a child quality of emotions came out in me, and I began calling him “Daddy.” I’ll never forget the first time he heard me say it. We were talking on the phone, and he was going to pass the phone to Mom. I said “I love you, Daddy.” And replied “I love you too, Meggie.” Yet when he passed the phone to my Mom, I heard his voice, constricted and choking, sobbing, barely getting out the words “She called me Daddy!” It’s remarkable how the word you use to refer to your parent is so very powerful.

That’s a very moving story Meg.

Meg your story made me tear up a little. Your dad sounds like a really nice and loving father

As far as I am aware, there are only three places in North America that say “mum” AND “pup”–Canada, eastern Massachusetts (William F. Buckley, for instance, wrote a book about his parents called “Losing Mum and Pup”) and western Pennsylvania (with the main exception of the far northern areas of Meadville and Erie.
In the case of western Pa., it would seem that may be part of our somewhat isolated archaic Scottish/Northern England dialect usages, which is why we also say “nebby” (for “nosey”), and “redd” (for “rid” or “clean”)–this last used in Jane Eyre–along with a tendency to drop the infinitive in clauses, for example, “My car needs fixed” (rather than “My car needs TO BE fixed.”) There is also the medieval English word “Jag” for something sharp or prickly, hence the term “jagerbush” for a “thorn bush.” If any linguistic or dialect professionals could weigh in on the US mum/mom issue, I think it would be very helpful to us. Thanks.

It is a family thing – I am from New Zealand and now live in England. My maternal grandmother who was English would not be called Grand mother or its variations, insisted on being called Big Mum. Her husband was called Big Dad. I was asked by a great nephew who never got to meet her ‘was she big?’ no was the reply, Big Mum was very petite – about 5’2” and tiny.
My sister Ngaire was married to Bob, their children called their paternal grand parents Nana and Poppet. My second sister’s son eldest son called his paternal grand parents Nanny Ma and Nanny Pa. Sadly his father passed away young. His siblings from his mother’s second husband called their paternal grand parents Nana and Pop. This is in New Zealand so there seems to be a Nana and Pop common theme. In NZ parents are usually called Mum and Dad, as in England, though in England with its class system – not so obvious these days, ‘upper and middle class’ people tend to refer to their parents as Mummy and Daddy – even when their child is grown up or middle aged.

We say mama or iya when talking about the mother.and Baba or papa for the father.i however call my parents mummy and daddy

Also when talking to other people about them I say ‘my mum’ and ‘my dad’.saying father and mother is formal and I feel that being formal about your parents is really rude

Well, I’m from South of Sweden. The standardized way of saying “mom” and “dad” in Swedish is, “Mamma” and “Pappa”. There are older versions: “Mor” and “Far”.
Here in south Sweden we can sometimes call them (the parents) collectively “päron” (english: pears, as in the green fruit: pear). Like for example:
“Jag ska fråga mina päron.”
“I’m gonna ask my parents “

Hi, I want to tell you about the German way to say “mom” and “dad”. The correct words are “Mutter” and “Vater”. The old way for children to say is “Mutti” and “Vati”, the modern way, surely trough British/American influence is “Mama” and “Papa” (or “Mami” and “Papi”). After the last war Germany was separated in west and east. East Germany was kept very close, the people use until now “Mutti” and “Vati”. In the west and north it is very unusual, if someone calls their parents like this, you know, their origin is the east.

In our family we have a good convention about our grandparents. The grandma in east is “Großmutti” (“groß” means grand or great), in west is “Oma”, the grandpa in east is “Großvati”, in west is “Opa”. The origin of my mothers family is Berlin, so my children call her “Großmutti” as we called her mother “Großmutti”. The origin of my fathers family is the north-west, so we called the grandparents “Oma” and “Opa”. My children call the parents of my husband also “Oma” and “Opa”, for they came from Westfalen”. Everybody knows exact who you mean.

I’m Punjabi, and I call my mom “mama” (pronounced as muh-ma), and my dad as “papa” (usually pronounced as pah-pah). Formally it would be “mathaji” and “pithaji”, but I don’t think anyone really uses it anymore. However, I have friends that call their parents differently.

I say mommy and daddy. I’m 28 years old. In North Carolina USA.

In the Welsh language, mother is mamgu father is Tadgu – at least that’s what we got told at school – but I’m not a Welsh speaker. In my part of Wales I called my parents Mammy and Daddy – later I used the words my mother or my father when referring to them.

I’m from the Rhondda Valley in South Wales and here we say Mam, Mammy, Dad, Daddy. I’d say that 1 out of 10 people would call their mother “Mum”
I used to struggle on finding celebration cards etc for my Mam as the cards would say Mum which is somewhat a pain the arse. Nowadays though, Mam cards are widely available which I am relieved about.
Even though in the Rhondda we call our parents mams and dads, the further south like Cardiff, Vale of Glamorgan, Bridgend etc are more common to refer to their Mam as Mum.

So, I am gonna speak for the rest of Wales now. I can only speak as I find and I might be wrong.
North & West Wales is where many of the people speak Welsh as their first language. I’m a Welsh speaker and where I’m from, English is first language across many homes here. South East Wales I find their accents to sound less Welsh than the rest of Wales so I’m going by pure guess that SE Wales are speaking English as first language too and refer a Mam to Mum.
So, back to north and west, speak as I find, the Mam and Dad or Tad is common.
North Wales has differences with their Welsh language compared to us southerners. The Welsh word for a grandmother is Nain and for a grandfather it is Taid.
Here in the South if Welsh is a preference for what they call a grandmother is Mamgu and grandfather is tadcu… I’m gonna be honest, I only know less than a handful to call their grandparents the Welsh way.
I call my grandmother Nanny Ann. I called my late grandfather from Scotland Grandad Archie (who I hardly saw and didn’t get to know)
My paternal grandmother was Nan Elaine, and my paternal grandfather was Dodo. I do know many people who call their Grandparents Mam and Dad too but with their surname after. For example Mam Davies and Dad Davies.

My husband is from Yorkshire England. Him and his brothers call their mother, Mother. Apparently it isn’t posh but the common moniker in Yorkshire. They called their father Dad. All the grandchildren call them, Grandpa and Grandma. On the other hand, because I’m French, our children decide to call us Maman, Papa and not the British equivalents.

I called my birth mother ‘Mom’ or ‘Mommy’ 95% of the time. When talking to others about her, it was (and still is) ‘my mom.’ If I was yelling for her, it was ALWAYS, without fail, ‘Hey Ma!’
Before she died, Mom asked my best friend, Melissa, to take care of me and not let people take financial advantage of me. I now call her ‘Mama’ when talking to her, ‘Mama Melissa’ when talking to others about her.

My father was ‘Daddy’ my entire life. He died when I was 6.

I lived in Washington State and now in Oregon state most people in these two states say Mom and Dad.

I am an Indonesian living in the United States. My parents taught me to call them ‘Mami’ and ‘Papi’ due to the Dutch influences in the Indonesian culture. I called both my grandmothers ‘Oma’ and both my grandfathers ‘Opa’. I call my mother-in-law ‘Mama’ or ‘Ma’ for short, and my grandmother-in-law ‘Grandma’.

When talking to people close to me or those who personally know my parents, I use ‘mamiku’ and ‘papiku’ (my mami and my papi). When talking about my parents in more formal and/or formal conversations in Indonesian, I use ‘ibu saya’ and ‘ayah saya’ (my mother and my father). When talking about my parents and grandparents to non-family members in English, I always say ‘my mother’, ‘my father’, ‘my grandmother, and ‘my grandfather’.

The Indonesian words for mother are ‘Ibu’, ‘Bunda’, and ‘Ibunda’. The Indonesian words for father are ‘Bapak’, ‘Ayah’, and ‘Ayahanda’. Grandparents are ‘Nenek’ (grandmother) and ‘Kakek’ (grandfather). Ibu and Bapak are more common, while Bunda and Ayah are more intimate and poetic. Ibunda dan Ayahanda are very poetic and commonly used in writings or literature. The most respectful way to address the passing of one’s/someone’s parent is by using ibunda or ayahanda. Nevertheless, there are more and more Indonesian parents choosing to teach their children to simply call them ‘Mama’ and ‘Papa’ nowadays.

An Emerging Entry In America's Multiracial Vocabulary: 'Blaxican'

A selection of participants who identify as black and Mexican in Walter Thompson-Hernandez's Instagram project, Blaxicans of L.A. Courtesy of Walter Thompson-Hernandez hide caption

A selection of participants who identify as black and Mexican in Walter Thompson-Hernandez's Instagram project, Blaxicans of L.A.

Courtesy of Walter Thompson-Hernandez

When Melissa Adams and her sister were growing up in Lynwood, near Compton, Calif., their black father and Mexican mother taught them to be proud of all aspects of their identity: They were black, and they were Mexican.

At home, that came easy. Publicly, it was harder. Consider the time Melissa was named valedictorian of her middle school when she was 13. It was the first time anyone could remember a black student winning that honor at her school.

"Everyone was excited," she said over breakfast at her family's house recently. "It was the first black valedictorian!" School administrators planned a special ceremony for her, and the dean called Adams into her office to congratulate her.

Melissa Adams (left) was a winner at a Pentathlon competition in middle school. Courtesy of Melissa Adams hide caption

Melissa Adams (left) was a winner at a Pentathlon competition in middle school.

Courtesy of Melissa Adams

But when Adams walked in, the dean's smile melted away.

"She was notably disappointed by what she saw," Adams said, her voice trembling at the memory. "She didn't believe I was black." Adams, who has light skin, long, straight brown hair, and speaks Spanish, is used to people assuming that she's entirely Mexican or even white. She explained to the dean that her father was black, which was why she'd checked the box for that racial category on a school enrollment form. "She told me not to do that again," Adams recalled.

The problem is, Adams feels just as black as she feels Mexican. She grew up eating grits and biscuits and carne asada and pozole, hearing dad talk about the civil rights era and visiting mom's family in Nayarit, Mexico. Yet while she feels secure in her Mexicanness, she often feels like she's "grasping" for her blackness because of the way people interpret her appearance. "I know that I am black, but how do I present it to other people?" she said.

Twenty-year-old Alex Tillman, a student at UCLA, is also black and Mexican, and growing up she also struggled with how to identify. But in a way, her problem was the inverse of the one Melissa Adams has faced.

"I once had a Mexican person tell me I wasn't Mexican, because I looked black," Tillman said. "I had to choose between one or the other, and because I looked black, I had to be black."

In terms of physical appearance, you could place Adams and Tillman on opposite ends of a spectrum represented by people who are both black and Mexican. In Los Angeles, there are thousands of people in between. The number of people who have both a black and Mexican parent in that city started ballooning in the 1980s and '90s, when Mexican immigrants began moving into South LA's black neighborhoods in large numbers, and people started getting together and creating families.

Like Adams and Tillman, many have struggled to explain their racial identity to the outside world, and sometimes even to understand it themselves.

Much of this has to do with the fact that biracial identity in the United States has often been understood in terms of black and white. And to the extent that labels are helpful for quickly self-identifying, they don't always exist for the diversity of racial possibilities that mixed Americans increasingly want to see recognized. When it comes to mixed-race in America, Mexican-American author Richard Rodriguez has written, we rely on an "old vocabulary — black, white," but, "we are no longer a black-white nation."

This may be why in LA, many young people who are both black and Mexican are turning to a handy word to describe themselves: "Blaxican."

It's not a new term. Walter Thompson-Hernandez, a researcher at the University of Southern California who focuses on immigration and race, has traced references back to the 1980s. But it has gained new prominence in the past few years, since he launched a project called "Blaxicans of L.A." It's an Instagram account featuring photos of Blaxicans — with their varied hues, hair textures and facial profiles — accompanied by a quote from each person offering an insight on the Blaxican experience.

"How we're talking about Blaxicans is relatively new," Thompson-Hernandez said, "but it is a racial and ethnic experience that has existed for centuries at least." When it comes to LA, 26 of the 44 Mexicans who founded El Pueblo de Los Angeles in 1781 were Mexicans of African descent, an ethnicity described today as "Afro-Mexican." Today, the city that pueblo became is home to many children born to a Mexican parent and an African-American parent.

Their story often gets lost in the way Angelenos tend to talk about the history of South LA, and what happened when Mexicans started moving into its black neighborhoods in large numbers beginning in the 1980s. Residents of South LA will remember race riots, turf wars and tensions exploding on school campuses, like the time Mexican students at Inglewood High school walked out of a Black History Month assembly in 1990, prompting black students to boycott a Cinco de Mayo celebration:

Families like Melissa Adams' represent instances when, as Thompson-Hernandez puts it, "black people and Mexican people came together and figured it out." But as his interviews make clear, it's not all gravy after that.

"Blacks and Mexicans are two of the most aggrieved groups in our nation's history," Thompson-Hernandez said, and packing both of those identities into one person can amplify the struggles associated with being either. Some people he interviewed for the Instagram project have spoken of dealing with a black family member being assaulted by police at the same time that a Mexican family member was struggling with the threat of deportation. Others spoke of being forced to choose sides on the school playground. Or of being rejected by both sides.

Often, family is the source of tension.

Melissa Adams' mother, Manuela, remembered the snark she got from a Mexican sister-in-law when she learned Manuela was marrying a black man.

"She said, 'Oh, you're going to have monkey babies,'" Manuela said.

Thompson-Hernandez said interactions like this offer an opportunity to explore another prominent source of tension within the Blaxican experience: anti-black racism among Mexicans. Though black people have always been a part of Mexican society, Mexicans haven't always embraced that heritage. They've often shunned it, even while priding themselves on being a racially mixed population. It's just that they've tended to focus on mestizaje, the European and indigenous parts of that mixture.

Curator Nathalie Sanchez and Walter Thompson-Hernandez set up an exhibit of his photos at a gallery in Los Angeles. Adrian Florido/NPR hide caption

Curator Nathalie Sanchez and Walter Thompson-Hernandez set up an exhibit of his photos at a gallery in Los Angeles.

LA County is one place where Mexicans and Mexican-Americans are beginning to re-examine that relationship with blackness, thanks in part to the many Blaxicans who live there. It's hard to say exactly how many, because the U.S. Census makes it notoriously difficult for Latinos to accurately report their ethnic and racial backgrounds. But the 2010 Census counted 42,000 people in LA County who identified as Latino and black, many of whom, presumably, are black and Mexican.

Thompson-Hernandez says it's important to note that "Blaxican" is taking off at the same time that the U.S. is becoming a more multiracial society and Afro-Mexicans are gaining greater recognition in Mexico. He said that more and more, mixed-race people "want to be considered full and complete human beings. And by reinventing language, it gives us the ability to represent all that we are."

Melissa Adams, the middle school valedictorian, has longed for a way to do just that. She grew up hearing and internalizing stories about her great-uncles who were lynched in the Jim Crow South — one was hanged from a tree, the other tarred, feathered and tossed into the Mississippi River. The legacy of racial violence in her family cuts to the core of how and why Adams conceives of herself as black.

Sisters Melissa (left) and Amber Adams grew up in Lynwood, Calif., where their black father and Mexican mother taught them that they were black, and that they were Mexican, and to have pride in being both. Courtesy of Amber and Melissa Adams hide caption

Sisters Melissa (left) and Amber Adams grew up in Lynwood, Calif., where their black father and Mexican mother taught them that they were black, and that they were Mexican, and to have pride in being both.

Courtesy of Amber and Melissa Adams

But because of that moment in her middle school dean's office, she treads carefully when broadcasting her blackness. It has caused her a lot of anxiety.

Last year, when Rachel Dolezal, who ran the Spokane office of the NAACP, was lambasted after it was discovered she was a white woman posing as black, Adams, whom most people wouldn't immediately think of as black based on her physical appearance, was filled with a sense of dread. She didn't want people to accuse her of what Dolezal seemed to be doing: claiming a blackness to which many said she had no right.

"I try to be very careful about how I express myself," Adams said. On the one hand, she wants to identify in a way that captures her life experiences and honors the history of racial injustice in her family. "On the other end, I totally understand that I will never be able to relate to some of the injustices that happened to my family and to other people who look a certain way."

She said the pictures and stories on the Blaxicans of L.A. Instagram account have given her a way to think about her identity in a way she never could before.

Recently a couple of hundred people, lots of Blaxicans among them , showed up to the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach to hear Thompson-Hernandez talk about his research. The next night, even more streamed in and out of a small gallery in LA's Highland Park neighborhood for the opening of an exhibit featuring his photos.

They were hip events, full of proud, ethnically and racially ambiguous-looking young people. And it's worth noting: Conversations about mixed race tend to focus on looks. Thompson-Hernandez said there's a tendency to talk about the "beauty" of mixed people. But that can be a problem, because it allows us to "confuse racial mixing and interracial marriages with being a panacea for racial intolerance."

Alex Tillman has struggled with how to identify herself over the years. She has often been told she's not Mexican because she looks black. Courtesy of Alex Tillman hide caption

Alex Tillman has struggled with how to identify herself over the years. She has often been told she's not Mexican because she looks black.

Instead, he says, the term "Blaxican" and events like these are creating spaces for Blaxicans to explore the diversity and similarities in their experiences. At both the museum lecture and the gallery opening, there was a palpable feeling of inclusion.

"I'm really excited," one audience member said. "As a Blaxican in L.A., it's just really refreshing to be in a space where this conversation is happening." That seemed to be the overwhelming sentiment among people who showed up.

This momentum is exciting for Alex Tillman, who has often been told she's not Mexican because she looks black. She said before a community of people started emerging around the term Blaxican, she had to figure herself out on her own.

"When you're little, you don't realize there's a problem with your identity. Like, you don't realize that you're black or Mexican or anything," she said. "And then when you grow up you learn about all the struggles you have just by being whatever you are. But then, you go through that struggle, and you get to a point where it's like, 'I'm just me.'"

Tillman said she got to that point only recently, around the time she learned about Thompson-Hernandez's project, and heard the word Blaxican for the first time. It gave her a neat if imperfect label for herself. She also saw that there were a lot of people having the same identity struggles that she did.

"Now, it's like a solidarity thing," she said, about the term and the people she's met through Thompson-Hernandez's work. "It's reinforcing what I feel about myself. I can identify with a lot of things that people have said, and that's just beautiful."

11 Surprising Signs Your Mom Is Toxic — And What To Do About It

By now you've probably heard that toxic people in your life can stress you out, and hold you back. Sometimes these toxic people can be friends, or even parents. In the case of parents, specifically moms, experts say issues like these are due to their own mother's shortcomings, or a mental health issue like borderline personality disorder or narcissistic personality disorder — both of which can create a toxic environment to grow up in. But sometimes, toxicity can be due to your mom's immaturity, more than anything else.

If your mom is immature, her childish tendencies have probably affected your relationship in a variety of ways. And, often it may seem like you're the more mature one. "Immature habits in a parent/child dynamic can lead to a toxic relationship . called 'parentification' of the child," licensed marriage and family therapist, Racine R. Henry, PhD, tells Bustle. "It’s when children are expected to perform the physical/emotional/mental duties normally expected of a parent . When the now adult child no longer wants to play the role of parent, conflict arises due to the parent’s unwillingness to change."

That's why, now that you're grown, you might notice that your mom continues to be immature in a way that's unhealthy for you, and for her. Here are a few toxic habits experts say may be a sign your mom is immature, as well as what you can do about it.

3. Dysfunctional families argue. All the time. About everything.

If you grow up in a family full of arguers, you think it’s normal. It isn’t. Plenty of parents argue, which is not inherently problematic. The problem comes when the parents do not have the presence of mind to argue away from their children.

In mentally ill families, this is always a major issue. If you are 8 years old, and your parents are always screaming at one another, how are you supposed to learn healthy communication? The kids end up arguing as much with the adults as they argue with themselves, and the adults end up arguing with the children, as if that is somehow an effective use of their time.

Have adult conversations in private. Period. If you don’t have the presence of mind to perform this one simple task, please refrain from procreating. Arguing in front of children is both mentally and verbally abusive and sends a terrible signal about how they should handle conflict.

Parents who argue with their children lose 100% of the time. What they fail to realize is that arguing serves two very different purposes, depending on your age. For adults, arguing is an (ineffective) way to express one’s rhetorical stance and tell the other person why they are wrong. For kids, the sole purpose of arguing is to elicit an emotional response from you. The moment you yell, you’ve lost.

“If mental abuse was a punishable crime, a lot of parents would be in jail serving a long term.” ― Maddy Malhotra

14 Things You Should Know Before Dating a Latina

She'll take forever to get ready for a date, but the end result will be worth it.

1. She'll probably run on LST. That's Latino Standard Time for all you gringos out there, so when you make dinner reservations for 8, you might want to tell her to meet you at 7 (just in case). On the plus side, if you're going to any Latin-specific events (her family's throwing a party, etc.), no one cares if you show up two hours after the specified time on the invitation. In other words, plans are flexible and always subject to change.

2. But she wants to be on time, she really does. Commit these words to memory: "I'm on my way."No, no she's not. When she texts or calls you and says this, what she really means is, "I haven't gotten out of bed or showered yet, but I'm thinking about it."

3. She'll take forever to get ready for a date. But when she's finished, she'll look

as hell. Trust, the wait will be totally worth it. (Fact: No one rocks red lipstick the way Latinas do.)

4. Don't call her 'spicy' or 'feisty.' Unless she uses those words to describe herself, in which case she may not mind if you do either. Also, don't compare her to food. An ex-boyfriend once asked me if he could call me his "little tamale." I know I like to eat, but (a) no, and (b) WRONG COUNTRY DUDE.

5. Don't expect her to speak Spanish in bed either. And don't ask, because that gets awkward really quickly.

6. Don't be alarmed if she introduces you to her family (parents, grandparents, cousins, and all) seemingly early on. The sooner she gets you cleared by mami, papi, and the rest of the crew, the sooner she'll know whether she wants to keep you around or not.

7. But don't introduce her to your family too soon. Yes, this is a bit contradictory to the above point, and it may even seem a little unfair, but that's just how it is. If you ask her to be a +1 at a wedding or big family affair too early on, she'll think you're getting serious, so if you're not, don't do this.

8. Don't try out your Spanish on her. It's kind of cute that you want to be able to speak to her in Spanish, but also kind of annoying at the same time when all she wants to do is enjoy dinner. A date's not the time to bust out the few phrases you remember from Spanish 101.

9. But that said, if her family asks if you want to speak in Spanish while you're together, go for it. If she has relatives, for example, who speak very little English who want to speak to you in Spanish, and you know some, it's OK to try and bridge that gap. No one will be offended, and her family will probably appreciate it.

10. There's no such thing as "casual." She'll be dressed to the nines no matter where you go, even if she's just picking you up from the airport.

11. Please don't expect a home-cooked meal every night. Some Latinas grew up cooking, and others have started fires just trying to boil water, so if she suggests takeout or pizza, go with that and don't complain.

12. Her family might be around a lot. Like, a lot a lot. As in, if something happens to you that you don't want anyone to know about, keep that shit locked down deep inside, because if you tell her, everyone else will know by the end of the day too. Sorry! But on the bright side: There's nothing like having the love of a big Latino family around, and if you guys work out, you'll get to call them yours too.

13. Don't expect her to call you papi. Well, she might. But only on very special occasions, so don't bank on it!

14. She loves being Latina, and it's important to her. And if she's important to you, making a little effort goes a long way: It IS OK to ask questions or share a general interest in her culture or background, it's NOT OK to fetishize her or ask her "why Latinas always do [insert thing]?" or attribute her behavior to just "being Latina."

Watch the video: When Parents Make You Lie About Your Age. MrChuy

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