6 Remarkable Truths about Chilean Moms
When reminiscing back on my 10 months living in Viña del Mar, Chile, there are certainly many memorable moments and travels I could share. I could talk about the university culture, my experience making friends, or the fascinating landscapes of the country. However, I’d be lying if I didn’t recognize that the most wonderful, and by far the most meaningful experience was living with my Chilean mama.
Chilean moms are some of the sweetest and most compassionate people you will ever meet, but as soon as their hijito or hijita is in trouble, there might not be anything that they aren’t capable of. Here are the six most important things you need to know before you become a part of a Chilean home with a fierce and beautiful mama running it.
6 Remarkable Truths about Chilean Moms
1. If she finds out about a problem, she’ll solve it–even if you didn’t ask her to.
By far, one of the most confusing experiences for me as an American on a student visa in Chile was figuring out the legalities of my stay. In addition to obtaining a visa before arrival, Chile also requires you register yourself at your local municipality to get a temporary Chilean ID. There are certain deadlines and guidelines to follow, and understanding these guidelines in a second language can be quite challenging. Although I had thought I had correctly processed my ID, a rather angrily written late notice proved otherwise.
One morning, I briefly told my Chilean mom that there was a problem at the municipality, and that I would resolve it the next day after class. Before I could finish my sentence, my host mom was well on her way out the door, with her head held high and her handbag under her arm. Although she never fully said what happened that day at the municipality, she came back with the problems resolved and a written note that said when I could pick up my ID. Never underestimate the power a Chilean mom has when helping her children. No problem is ever too big for her.
2. Nothing makes her happier than when her children are eating her food.
When living with a Chilean mom, be prepared to keep eating until you muster up the courage to have a conversation with her about your limits. Once you see the pure joy on your Chilean mom’s face when you rave about her squash soup or eat seconds of her famous lentil dish, you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s impossible to say no to a second plate because she’ll be so ecstatic that you enjoy her food (and because it’s SO good!).
3. She’ll want to know every detail of your day.
There wasn’t a single day that I didn’t come home to my host mom asking me how my day was. She wasn’t asking this just to be polite or to make small talk. Your mama genuinely wants to know every detail, so that she can share the ups and downs of it with you, and whoever happens to call her that day. Many evenings after our conversations, I would hear her repeating stories of my day to her friends or adult daughters on the phone, anything from what classes I had that day to who I went to the beach with. She truly cares about these daily happenings in her children’s lives, so much so that she wants everyone else to take part in them as well.
4. She’ll become friends with everyone in your life, even your new boyfriend’s mom.
Walk to the market with your Chilean mom, and she’ll stop to talk to at least five neighbor friends. Walk through the market with your Chilean mom, and she’ll stop to talk to five market vendors that are also her friends. Take a bus ride back home with your Chilean mom, and she’ll make friends with the stranger sitting next to her. Generally speaking, Chilean moms love to talk and make friends, and they’re good at it.
That being said, it should’ve come as no shock to me that only a week after I told her about a new guy I was dating, she became friends with his mom. In fact, they became such close friends that they would have hour-long phone conversations, and many times I first learned about my then-boyfriend’s family’s news via my host mom. While an outsider might view this as crossing boundaries, it’s just another way she shows how much she cares about you and who you’re spending time with. It’s all out of love.
5. She won’t let you leave the house with your hair wet.
Don’t even try. She’ll just give you a horrified look at the idea of leaving the house with wet hair, and then proceed to dry your hair for you with her own hair dryer. Chilean moms strongly believe in the idea of wet hair leading to illness, and many other parenting ideas that were passed down to her by their moms. She’ll worry about you endlessly, and be protective of you in every loving way, especially if you’re at risk of catching a cold.
6. She’ll love you unconditionally just as one of her own, and she’ll have a place in your heart forever.
Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my Chilean mom. During my 10 months living in Chile she was my best friend, support system, and mentor. I learned so much from her in a short amount of time about what it means to love unconditionally and put others before yourself. She is selfless, fierce, and can do anything she sets her mind to. If you have the pleasure of ever getting to know one of these special women, a Chilean mama, learn from her and listen to her advice. Love her as much as she loves you, if that’s possible. You’ll never know the impact she just might have on your life if you don’t let her in.
Photo credit for 6 Remarkable Truths about Chilean Moms by Unplash.com.