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?