Should I feel guilty?

Generational guilt is something hard to explain to someone who doesn’t come from a first gen background. There is this guilt that we feel whenever we get the chance to experience new things our parents never did.
Mother is comforting daughter on a couch in their house.
Mother is comforting daughter on a couch in their house.

Growing up Mexican American, I was taught to be strong and proud of who I am. Being raised by a Mexican single mother I was constantly reminded that she moved to the United States for a better brighter future for her and her kids.

At a young age, my mom would always tell me that I would have an advantage in making it in this world by being bilingual. She engraved it into my brain.

My hard-working mom came to the States at the age of 18. She is a proud mother of five daughters who has done everything she can to put her daughters first.

Since I was younger any chance she got she would praise our English skills. Until it was time for me to translate documents with big words I didn’t know from English to Spanish, suddenly my English was useless.

At a young age, I realized me and my mom didn’t come from the same background and I felt guilty.

I have a specific memory from when I was younger learning about dinosaurs and coming home from school excited to tell my mom. She didn’t know much about dinosaurs to my confusion because I thought she learned when she was in school.

Later my 2 older sisters talked with me that she didn’t get to learn that in school because of hardships she had in Mexico. Guilt took over.

As an adult, first-generational guilt shows up from time to time. First generational guilt is putting yourself in your parents’ shoes. It’s feeling guilty for having everything easily accessible to you.

Things that seem simple to us like getting the chance to go to school or even trying a new restaurant or even going out back to back.

First-generation guilt also comes from now being a grown-up and learning new things about ourselves that our parents never did.

Now being older we learn to appreciate how strong our parents are. Learning about my mother’s traumas due to those hardships sends me subconscious guilt.

Nobody wants to think about their parents struggling. We wish we were there to have a friend to help them out through everything.

There is guilt for having my own money and doing my own experience.

My mom was right. I do have the advantage of being bilingual.

My mom still praises me and is very proud of me. She never makes me feel guilty.

She is the reason why it is so easy for me. It is exactly what she wanted.

We shouldn’t feel so guilty for doing what our parents wanted us to do.

Don’t ever limit yourself.

Instead of feeling guilty we should feel proud and show gratitude to our parents. We should praise them for setting up the pathway for us.

They remind us that we’re dumb for not fully taking advantage of opportunities they opened for us and they’re right.

Now it’s our turn to teach them and share new experiences with them.

There is no going back in time so now I try my best to share any new experience I can with my mom. I still want her to explore new places and I’m happy we get to do it together now that I’m older.

Our parents now have us to help them and guide them to make things easier for them.

Hispanic parents are courageous coming to a new country not knowing the language but being able to figure out how to find a job and a house to live in.

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About the Contributor
Diana Morales, Opinion/Social Media Editor
Diana Morales is the Social Media and Opinion editor for Talon Marks ready to keep subscribers up to date. Morales plans on advancing in her career as a multimedia journalist by taking pictures, writing , and doing podcasts.  Her goal is to someday own her own magazine and to write two books.
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