So that afternoon, I had to stop pretending I was raising bilingual children. Desperate for advice, I interviewed a handful of Spanish-speaking mothers who —despite being married to white, American-born non-Spanish-speaking husbands (as I am)—were raising truly bilingual children. I knew their children could switch languages on a whim. How were they doing it? COMMITMENT Experts don’t stress enough how raising bilingual children is demanding work. These mothers speak Spanish constantly—and if they don’t hear it back, they lovingly force it. For Shaku, a Brooklyn-based madrileña, keeping her mother tongue alive among her two daughters, Ainoa, 7, and Lorea, 4, is as important as teaching them good manners. “It’s very important that we don’t loose the wealth of our language because it has its very own way of looking at the world,” she says.