Being a Mother is difficult.

Yet, being a single mother, especially if you are Latina, is to put on the superpower costume of the ultimate Chingona. 

The operative word that describes what a single Latina mother is — poderosa. It means being more than strong: guts, tenacity, and persistence.  

According to the Statista Research Department, nearly 3.47 million Hispanic family units in the United States are headed by single mothers, up from 1.19 million in 1990. Of these, 28% live below the poverty line. 

A survey done by Parents LATINA, a family website, of about 400 Latina single mothers found that striking a balance between work and home, carving out “me-time,” and balancing the family budget are the most challenging hurdles of being a single parent.  

The survey also found that the best part of being a single parent is the freedom to do as you choose, a closer relationship with your child, and the strength derived from doing it all. 

It also found that Latina single moms dedicate over 50% of their time to their children and about 10% to themselves. 

And what keeps a single Latina mother up at night? She worries about the safety and mental health of her children. 

Undoubtedly, it takes a strong woman to raise a child alone 

It’s lonely and thankless at times. You have to be all things to all people at any given moment. 

It means you must bring home the bacon, cook it, and serve it. But first, ensure you paid the gas so you can turn on the stove. 

But, for Latinas single mothers, there is also judgment and shaming — the “mija you must have done something wrong” kind — a “Scarlet Letter” stigma that our culture brands on a single mother and never lets her forget.  

Yet, she must be a mother and a father, juntando el lavado con el planchado for life. A single Latina mother is a healer, a provider, a fixer of damaged toys, a kisser of scrapes, and a teacher of life. 

Your child might be turning 50, but they are still “tu bebe.” So you fold their clothes, make their favorite arroz con pollo y tostones, and worry about what will become of them when you are gone. 

It’s a text message several times daily that reads, “Where are you? Who are you with? When are you coming home?”

We care for our children to the point of asphyxiation; they love and hate us in return. 

Still, at the day’s end, any single parent will tell you (including this Latina single mother) that it is worth the hardships and every sleepless night. 

So this Mother’s Day — if a single mother brought you up — be incredibly grateful and kind. Write her a love letter and tell her you realize what she’s done and know she is tired.  

Let her pamper herself or go out on that date she keeps postponing. She deserves it.