Blogging Moms: Sheba Siddiqui

familysheba

South Asian mombloggers are part of  select few but those that do blog are looking to inspire and be inspired through an online voice. Being a parent can be an isolating experience but connecting to other moms in the online universe can be a blessing. We at masalamommas.com will profile a new South Asian momblogger each month to showcase the diverse voices that are making an impact online.

This month, we speak to Muslim mom and blogger Sheba Siddiqui about what inspires her to blog.

Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging because I was looking for an outlet for my feelings and I discovered that writing was therapeutic for me. I felt like I have a lot to say and have been through much in my life and wanted to share that with other women in hopes that my experiences might help them with their own.

What inspires you to write?
My everyday experiences will trigger something in me that will get me typing away. I have two toddlers at home so life can get very hectic. Sitting down at my keyboard and taking a break to get in touch with my thoughts really keeps me centered. I am inspired by the challenges of raising two toddler boys while working, maintaining a relationship with my husband and trying to keep myself sane all at once!
Do you feel connected to the momblogger community or do you feel disconnected and why?
I notice that I have a large South Asian female following, which is great. I feel that by reading my blog, they connect with me, understand my pressures and stresses and know what it’s like to grow up as a first generation Indian-Canadian woman who is now handling the demands of being a wife and/or mother. On the other hand, I don’t personally know any other South Asian mommy bloggers. I know they’re out there but I haven’t met any in my own community. Based on my observations, there seems to be a stigma in the South Asian community about speaking your mind and letting the world into the ups and downs of your life. It’s like we should all pretend to be the roti making, chai drinking versions of June Cleaver. So when I come across a South Asian mommyblogger who is telling it like it is in her world – the good, the bad and the ugly – I admire her for her courage.


South Asian moms sometimes have different cultural challenges and expectations coming from a culture so heavily entrenched in family, have you ever blogged about cultural issues and what kind of response did you receive?
I think as South Asian mothers, there is an expectation that we must be able to do everything. We are expected to be successful in our careers while maintaining a spotless home, effortlessly making fresh roti everyday to go with the wonderful meal we’ve prepared, staying in shape, being superstar mothers to our children and finally ending our days with a nice cup of hot chai to reconnect with our husbands. Whether we put the expectation on ourselves or allow others to expect that of us – who knows. I have noticed a pattern in my blogging. When I blog about something lighthearted and funny, people from all over the world will comment on my post. When I blog about a more serious subject such as domestic violence in my community, no one responds to it. I know that the posts are being read because of my stats but no one wants to comment. I find that in my community (South Asian and Muslim), there is a huge stigma attached to speaking your mind about what is really going on. Many people think it’s best to look the other way or simply ignore things. I like blogging because I try to promote dialogue and awareness and bring some serious issues in my community to light. I recently blogged about miscarriage and was surprised at the overwhelming amount of private messages, emails and anonymous comments that were posted on my blog from women who’ve endured such an experience. Now if we could only get to the point of bringing it out into the open and realize there is no shame in it. Even if no one responds to my blog postings, the fact that they are logging in or searching the internet to read my blog makes me hope that it is having an impact.


What role has social media played in your life?
I am a facebook addict! I logged off of facebook a few years ago and after a two year hiatus, came back into the social networking world. I even blogged about that! After I write a blog, I post it on my facebook and twitter profiles and immediately notice my readership jump. Both twitter and facebook bring in lots of readers. Twitter is a great way to get that one liner inside your head out about whatever it is that you’re doing or thinking. Social networking is definitely changing the way we communicate and establish relationships. I think its bridging gaps and allowing us to be braver about what we say or feel and even in meeting new people and developing new relationships. Not to mention the time you save in connecting with friends while trying to feed your one year old his dinner!

What misconceptions do you think are out there about Sasian moms?
As South Asian-Canadian mothers, we are all trying to balance the new with the old, the traditions from our parents with assimilating into this beautiful country – all while maintaining our cultural and religious identities. If you can find the gem in what your parents are trying to tell you about how they did things and somehow incorporate that gem into your current life, then that’s gold. I think we are stronger, better and more educated than we’ve ever been and I hope that we can pass these characteristics onto our children as we make room for the next generation.
You can read more about Sheba and her writings at Sheba’s World.


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There are 3 comments

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    • Anjum

      Thanks so much Saima for your comments! We’re so glad you liked Sheba’s story. We are thrilled to be able to share the voices that make up the South Asian momblogger community!
      Anjum, Editoria Director, masalamommas.com

  1. Reshma

    Nice interview about Sheba! I am pretty new to the blogging world and can totally relate about juggling and being the perfect wife and mom!

    Love the platform you have chosen Masala Momma. Its great!


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