If you’re a curious person when it comes to love, you’ve probably heard about Gary Chapman’s book, “The 5 Love Languages,” which shares the five core ways people show and receive love: quality time, acts of service, physical touch, gifts, and words of affirmation. 

While the book is targeted toward couples in relationships, the love languages are also translatable in relationships with friends and family members — with some differences.

In fact, I’ve realized that immigrant Latina mothers have their very own versions of the love languages that encompass different elements of the Latinx culture from food, phrases to live by, to celebrating life. 

Below are the specific Latina mom love languages that are reminiscent of the original five. 

1. Quality time starts with un cafecito. 

Getting coffee with someone is done so often that some people might not realize the significance of good cafecito time with a Latina mom. It’s not just grabbing coffee when cafecito is involved, it’s opening up to honest conversations. An experience that can be created in the morning, afternoon, or night, because there’s no daily deadline con café. 

Mexican beauty influencer Yasmin Maya, founder of BIRDYLASHES, told mitú that her mom “always makes time every day to have our cafecito time in the mornings.” Adding, “It’s something I do not take for granted and always feel so blessed and grateful about it.”

2. Acts of service means there’s always homemade food on the table.

Perhaps the most common way Latina moms show love is through their cooking. Influencer Maya said, “Whenever I’m sick or not feeling well my mom will cook one of my favorite meals or desserts para consentirme.” 

An immigrant mom’s care will even go as far as having daily meals made for you. Just ask Jessica Luna, a marketing analyst for Net Influencer with a Mexican background. She told mitú: “When I get home, she always prepares my meal without me asking, and before I go to work.” Luna’s mom even has a “lunchbox ready with some delicious snacks” for her. And when Luna feels bad, her mom “makes a delicious hot soup.” 

In other words, no one competes with a Latina mom’s acts of selfless service. But Latinx kids and adult children know that it’s not always arco iris y mariposas when it comes to immigrant moms showing love. Sometimes, tough love is on the menu. 

3. Physical touch is very important — but facial gestures are where the magic happens.

There’s no lying in a Latinx household. Do not even try. Because when you do, rest assured your conscience won’t let you sleep at night.

Brazilian editor and creator of Her Bones, Thalita Ferraz, dissected this further, telling mitú: “I don’t know how universal this is, but in my family, if you’re caught lying or making excuses or just being dishonest in any way to our moms, they give us the eyebrow. It basically means ‘I love you, but that’s bull and we both know it — do better’ all in the raise of a single eyebrow. 

Ferraz feels like Latinas are queens of non-verbal communication, no matter how loud we can also be. Sometimes our gestures speak for us when we don’t know what to say. Well, when we want to hold back what we have to say.

4. Gifts are given at any celebration, big or small. 

It’s a good thing that actions speak louder than words, because Latinx celebrations are so loud that typically words can’t be heard anyway. And that goes for any big or small reason to celebrate. 

“No matter what [my mom] will always make time to be there for any event of our lives, birthdays, career or personal milestones, anything for my two daughters as well,” explains beauty influencer Yasmin Maya.

Whether the event is as big as graduating college or as small as a new hairdo, Latina moms will always find a way to celebrate any piece of life.

5. Word of affirmation are more like reality checks.

There’s nothing fluffy when it comes to speaking the truth in a Latinx household. You’ll get it straight as a tequila shot. Ferraz’s Brazilian mom is a prime example of passing out reality checks using the phrase “eso no es cosa de niñas” (that’s not a girl thing) that she repeats to Ferraz still to this day. 

“The number of times I heard this as a child, and continue to hear it even as a grown-up is immeasurable!“ she shares. 

That said, every Latina mom has her own unique set of Latina mom love languages. What are some that standout for you?