Columns

Six Things Latina Moms Say That Can Get You Through Anything

The writer's mom (left) and abuelita share personal mantras that can get you through anything.
The writer's mom (left) and abuelita share personal mantras that can get you through anything. Photos courtesy of Alexi Cardona
click to enlarge The writer's mom (left) and abuelita share personal mantras that can get you through anything. - PHOTOS COURTESY OF ALEXI CARDONA
The writer's mom (left) and abuelita share personal mantras that can get you through anything.
Photos courtesy of Alexi Cardona
By now, 2019 is almost behind us. Maybe you're thinking about all the things you wanted to accomplish this year but couldn't for whatever reason. Maybe you're stressed as hell juggling family life, work, and the ever-elusive concept of self-care. Maybe you’re stuck waiting for the Metrorail or rotting in Miami traffic wondering if this is some kind of metaphor for your life.

The end of the year (and a whole-ass decade) can be a time of positive reflection or a time of positively anxious hand-wringing. Wherever you fall on that spectrum, you likely have people in your life to help you through, snap you out of it, and tell you what you need to hear. That person for me is my mom and late abuelita, whose weird but true sayings have been passed along and ingrained as personal mantras.

Here's some of the shit my mom says to get me through whatever. Maybe you'll want to carry some of these with you in the new year.
click to enlarge Queef Latina - PHOTO KARLI EVANS
Queef Latina
Photo Karli Evans

Senos pa'lante, nalgas pa'tras.

My abuelita was a fan of people strutting their stuff and taking on the world with confidence. Hence, boobs forward; booty back. Check yourself and fix your posture. Fake it till you make it. All that good stuff.
click to enlarge Lizzo - PHOTO BY FUJIFILMGIRL
Lizzo
Photo by FujifilmGirl

El que canta su mal espanta.

Basically, sing to scare your troubles away. Tell Alexa to put on your favorite Spotify playlist, or blast one of the many Latin music stations in the car. Summon Lizzo. There's no bad day a Lizzo song can’t fix.

Ponte las pilas/ponte los patines.

All children of Latina moms have heard this one a few times. When she tells you to put on your batteries or your skates, you really need to get your life together. Some assembly required, but that's on you because you're grown. They say it because they love you.
click to enlarge PHOTO BY DANIELLE MARGHARETTE
Photo by Danielle Margharette

A mal tiempo buena cara.

In bad times, put on a brave face. Whether your "brave face" is of the resting bitch variety, or whether it includes winged liner and red lipstick, it's mom's way of telling you to fake it till you make it.

Todo lo que pasa conviene.

Everything happens for a reason. It's a cliché because moms say it's true.

Que se jodan.

My favorite. When all other inspirational tag lines fail, say, "Fuck 'em."
KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Alexi C. Cardona is a staff writer at Miami New Times. A Hialeah native, she's happy to be back home writing about Miami's craziness after four years working for Naples Daily News.
Contact: Alexi C. Cardona