Chat Room: Super Mamas is Bridging the Culture Gap for Latina Moms

By Elena Epstein

parenting

Paulina Lopez, at left with older daughter Krista Xanii and younger daughter Sabina Zabeth, and Bricia Lopez, at right with son Eduardo Santiago, co-own Guelaguetza restaurant and co-anchor the Super Mamás parenting podcast. PHOTO BY LILY RO PHOTOGRAPHY

Family is an all-encompassing part of Bricia and Paulina Lopez’s world. The sisters grew up working alongside their two other siblings in their parents’ Oaxacan restaurant on Olympic Boulevard in Koreatown, and are now not only co-owners of the family business, but co-anchors of their own parenting podcast, Super Mamás, geared toward young, hip, Latina moms.

Bricia and Paulina were born in Oaxaca, Mexico and immigrated to Los Angeles with their family when Paulina was 13 and Bricia was 10. Their parents, in 1994, founded Guelaguetza – an acclaimed restaurant famous for its traditional mole, tamales and chapulines and honored with a 2015 James Beard Classics Award for culinary excellence.

The sisters’ personalities are “totally different,” they’re quick to admit. But they do share a love of all things Oaxaca and a bonus sisterly bond based on motherhood. Their on-air conversations about life, motherhood, everyday annoyances and joyful moments are authentic. No topic is off-limits. Too tired for sex with your husband? In a fight with your mom? Financial worries? Feeling depressed? It’s all part of the chat.

How does your cultural background influence your parenting?

Paulina: Our culture is who we are. Our food, music and community is everything to us. I want my children to know where they come from. We speak Spanish at home, I take my daughters to the restaurant with me, we listen to Spanish music and read Spanish books.

Bricia: Growing up, I wanted to be the “American girl” and completely assimilate. It wasn’t until I was in college that I realized the value of my culture and that it was at the core of who I was. As a mom, I don’t want to force the culture. I don’t always speak Spanish at home, but I know my son will know it and feel it in his heart because of how we live and my family.

How did the idea for the Super Mamás podcast develop?

Paulina: Bricia and I have always been different. It wasn’t until we both became moms that we really understood each other. We talk openly about our frustrations and feelings and we thought, why not do a podcast together?

Bricia: I didn’t really get my sister and her life as a mom until I became a mom. I became a lot more sensitive to her and to all moms. We want to create a community where moms like us can talk about everything, be totally authentic and real.

What do you hope listeners gain from the podcast?

Paulina: We talk about subjects that are traditionally taboo in our culture: sex, abortion, adoption, sexual abuse — topics that were shameful in our parents’ generation. We also hope to empower more women. There is a cultural shift for this generation of women moving away from the machismo culture and realizing their identity can be more than wife and mother.

Bricia: In our culture, family is a huge influence on you. Your mom, sisters, cousins, everybody has an opinion on how to raise your kids. We want to help new moms find their own voice, find a community of moms who also come from large families and who are also trying to figure out their own parenting style.

What have you personally learned from doing this podcast?

Paulina: That self-care is so important for moms. We are always thinking about everyone else, but we need to take time for ourselves.

Bricia: Not to judge other moms. We’re all different. Parenting is like a color. There are so many different shades, each one unique and beautiful.

To listen and subscribe to the Super Mamás podcast, go to: www.supermamaspodcast.com.

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