Deception of social media parenting

​What is the ‘perfect’ parent? There is no such thing. Parenting is a journey. One where you are constantly learning, often overwhelmed, tired and imperfect; but it is a beautiful one. It is easy to look at pictures of pristine homes, perfectly cooked healthy meals, so-called perfect couples who going by the picture or post look as though they never ever have a disagreement (yeah right!) and parents who seem to have this whole homeschooling thing all figured out. However we don’t have the faintest idea what really goes on behind these glamorous posts and pretty pictures. 

The reality is there are some days where the only things getting you through the day are copious amounts of coffee, social media (need a distraction right?) and silent du’aas slipped in between chores, homeschooling, work ,and the 10000 questions your child/ren wants to ask you.  Then there are the days where you feel you finally got the hang of this thing called parenting. Optimum energy levels *check*, to-do list all ticked off *check*, seeing the results of those neatly stacked parenting books and online articles you have read and re-read as your child plays beautifully *cheeeeeeck

I feel so fortunate to know and be surrounded by sisters who help boost and support one another when one is having a ‘mummy guilt’ day. A day where she feels she didn’t or more correctly couldn’t give her utmost best or didn’t do enough (even though she more than likely did!). You get those beautiful sisters who are all going through their own journey through motherhood, who reassure, encourage, uplift and are not afraid to be REAL. When I say real I mean they are not afraid to show the good, bad and ugly side of parenting. They are not afraid to admit that they are struggling with something or are trying to improve a certain aspect of themselves in order to be able to parent better.  They don’t fall into the social media trap of painting this picture perfect life where you’re always bursting with energy and your children are always without a doubt well behaved. 

I mean why should they? I honestly believe that there is so much beauty in the struggle, so many life lessons and even more opportunities to better yourself when you are trying to raise your children to be the best Muslims and citizens they can be. It takes far more energy to pretend that everything is always flawless (let’s face it we need all the energy we can get!) then it is to be honest, open and real. 

Parenting is not a competition. It is a journey. Let’s inspire each other, help one another and most importantly let us not be judgmental. If you see a mother having a mummy guilt day, support her. Offer any help you can to ease her load. This is our duty as Muslims first and foremost. Be the person you need when you are having a ‘bad’ parenting day. 

There is an African proverb that says ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ why don’t we be that village? 

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12 thoughts on “Deception of social media parenting

  1. Simply-Me says:

    Beautifully written with all all the highs and lows covered of a struggling mother or even father. You beautifully highlight and cover, that it’s okay to feel a little tired or the workload is mounting and even to add if you’re struggling. It’s all about how you look it at; and as you mentioned ‘perfect, glamourised couples’ who seem to have no troubles are probably suffering from many what many mothers endure daily. To make it worse, we often read later many glamour ‘persons’ had resorted to even drugs or alcohol to give them that kick which seems to be a rather rotting and dying characteristic.

    Salute to all the mothers out there who strive daily to educate their child on a daily basis.

    جزاك الله خيراً

    السلام عليكم ورحمةالله وبركاته. 🌹

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  2. emilie (Arabic Seeds) says:

    Jazaki llahu khayran for this truthful post . I love the proverb you mentioned. personaly I am a first-time mum and don’t have family around me to help and I don’t live in a village like in the past where neighbour mums was helping the others. So yes it is difficult sometimes. Online support between sisters via social medias may help psychologically.

    Liked by 1 person

    • raisingrayyaan says:

      Wa iyyaki khayr sis ♡ I’m a first time mum too. Our children are the same age Allaahumma baarik lahum. I totally understand where you’re coming from. Alhamdulilaah the support system we have online with sisters is wonderful. BaraakAllaahu feeki for commenting.

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  3. Mona Umm Musa says:

    Asalamua’laykum, your story above was very interesting to read and you really put emphasis on how we should help one another to achieve. As indeed we should want for others what we want for ourselves.

    I’d like to add (being a first time home-schooling mummy) that we need extra support and guidance from the more established home-schoolers insha’Allah. And they should know that every piece of advice they pass on, is such a great help alhamdulilah.

    We all try to show the world we know what we are doing by painting a smile on our face. But deep down only Allah knows our struggles, pain and sheer determination to preserve and protect our children.

    It is early days for me and my journey and I pray I am blessed with good company and guidance from all of my sisters out there inshaAllah.

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  4. Sweetie says:

    I agree that we should support one another through Mom Guilt. I think most parents know that parenting is a struggle, there’s just no other way to parent. I think most of us know that there’s always more behind the picture. There has to be bc FB posts are only a moment in time.

    As a revert, when I first became Muslim I tried really hard to do everything right and I really loved Islam at first but everyone kept telling me that I was too excited about praying, hijab and fasting. Seriously the smile never left my face. I was so happy to have found Islam. Everything was so fun for me and after awhile I became sad and disappointed with the opinions of sisters and their looks of disapproval that i got for having “too much energy”. My love for Islam started to fade. 😦 I figured out really quickly that not every one was as excited as I was about making wudu. Lol. 🙂

    I feel that if we are talking about support during Mom guilt, we should also talk about judgement when we look at perfect pics too. Maybe a future article? Muslim sisters could take pics for what they are, without reading too much into or judging her that “she has such a happy marriage” or “too much energy” or “too perfect” and instead we could say mashallah, this sister is working really hard on her marriage, her Islam or her home. Mashallah she’s doing well. Good for her. Mashallah. Supporting her. I think theres a bit of a bigger problem if sisters are reading into pics and think it is somehow misleading or deceptive bc they only post the good. In reality, we all know there’s the bad too. Maybe they are private ppl and don’t want to air dirty laundry? Maybe they even went to school for photography and enjoy taking quality photos? I don’t know. It’s normal to have disagreements with the husband, messy floors and unmade beds. But not everyone enjoys reading about problems on social media. Imo, a true village should support both mom guilt and sisters who appears to be doing really well in their life. I just want us to be careful that we don’t unintentionally take away someone’s energy, like it happened to me. Just my 2 cents. Thanks for listening.

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    • raisingrayyaan says:

      Asalaamualayki sis, JazakiAllaah khayran for your comment I really appreciate it. I agree with you 100% but I think perhaps you are missing the point of this particular blog post. This post isn’t to tell sisters not to support each other in good times at all, in fact I *strongly* believe that this should happen. This blog post is for many mothers who feel inadequate or incompetent when they see multiple supposedly perfect parenting posts all over social media. Social media isnt reality and many many sisters portray themselves one way on social media whilst their reality is different (I personally know some who do this unfortunately). This blog post is about supporting mothers who are struggling to let them know that they are not the only ones and its completely natural to feel overwhelmed. Its also about judgement as I mention at the end that parenting is not a competition at all and we should rather aid each other instead of judging when we see a mother share her honest raw parenting (good or bad).

      This isn’t about sisters sharing their married life or her home life at all, it goes way deeper than that. Some sisters are afraid of talking about their overwhelming or bad parenting days because they get judged by other mothers (A sister actually said this happened to her yesterday). Why can’t we be open and honest and share our difficulties if thats what we wish to do? Why should there be fear of judgment (like you experienced) or fear of being seen as a ‘bad’ mother. Sisters should be supportive of one another period. Whether that is in success or in difficult times. This is what this blog post about. Essentially being there for one another. Im really sorry you experienced a lack of support, thats something that needs to change too.

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  5. Sweetie says:

    Thank you for your reply! I appreciate it. No, I don’t think I missed the point of your article. 🙂 I think a lot of Muslim sisters are just judged all the time for the good and the bad. We are not as supportive as we think we are for “everyone” in their good and in their bad. I hope it changes too.

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    • raisingrayyaan says:

      This is exactly the point im trying to make. How do you think sisters could change this? Although of course we cannot delve into peoples intentions or hidden feelings so I can only speak about what is apparent and what I have been told by numerous sisters, which is what I have done. 🙂

      This is a good topic that really needs to be discussed. You’re are 100% right in saying there is a lack of support in both success and bad times.

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