Content Creator Murugi Munyi

Content Creator Murugi Munyi formerly known as Yummy Mummy says she respects her children's boundaries and privacy.

| Pool

Bringing up children in the public eye: Celeb moms speak

What you need to know:

  • To truly understand the intricacies of raising children in the public eye, Lifestyle interviewed well-known social media influencers, who are parents, and have amassed fans in the digital space
  • From power couples who navigate the dual roles of superstar and parent, to single parents who shoulder the responsibilities alone, they talk about the triumphs and challenges they face and the impact this unconventional parenting has affected their children’s lives

Celebrity parents face a unique set of challenges. From the moment their children are born, they enter a world where their every milestone, every choice and every misstep becomes subject to public opinion.

In addition to juggling their careers, personal lives and raising children, paparazzi cameras flash relentlessly, invasive headlines dominate tabloids and social media magnifies every parenting decision, amplifying both praise and criticism.
Yet, amidst this scrutiny, some celebrities manage to forge their path, successfully shielding their little ones from the intrusive lens, while maintaining a connection with their fans.

Others, however, grapple with the relentless intrusion, finding it challenging to strike a balance between maintaining a semblance of normalcy for their children and living up to the expectations of their public persona.

Is raising children in the public eye harder?

To truly understand the intricacies of raising children in the public eye, Lifestyle interviewed well-known social media influencers, who are parents, and have amassed fans in the digital space.

From power couples who navigate the dual roles of superstar and parent, to single parents who shoulder the responsibilities alone, they talk about the triumphs and challenges they face and the impact this unconventional parenting has affected their children’s lives.

Michelle Wanjiku, known as Miss Tiramisu or Shikie

Michelle Wanjiku, known as Miss Tiramisu or Shikie is a mother of two girls; Tshazi Simani and Baby S. She is also married to gym instructor Shiv Simani, who is also in the limelight.


Michelle Wanjiku, known as Miss Tiramisu or Shikie avoids controversial topics while posting about her two children.

Photo credit: Pool

She says when she started content creation, it was not a calculated move to showcase her family life. The inclusion of her children evolved naturally as she transitioned from sharing fashion content to including snippets of motherhood.
“I like to document my motherhood journey,” she says.

“When I started sharing, a lot of them were like, ‘oh my God, what is this? Are other people going through this?”
Her motherhood experiences helped her connect with other mothers, creating a sense of camaraderie.
“I don’t think there was a certain point I decided I wanted to post my children. It kind of just happened,” she says.
As her family grew and her daughters became integral parts of her professional life, they naturally became the centre of her documenting of fashion and motherhood.

Significant challenges

One of the most significant challenges celebrity parents face is the balance between sharing their lives with the public and protecting their children’s privacy. Miss Tiramisu acknowledged that the fear of negative comments and potential risks is ever-present.
“It’s not just around sharing the content; it’s just part of being a parent. That fear stays with you always,” she says.
However, to avoid placing her children in the eye of a storm, she avoids controversial topics.

“I’m cognisant of the fact that there are bad people out there, there are people who choose to just be mean. Luckily, I haven’t experienced much of that, but yes, it is a fear that lingers at the back of my mind.

So I try to be calculated in what I share. I try not to share very controversial things, and when I do share something that could be perceived in maybe not the best way by certain people, I just go in knowing that there might be, you know, a bit of backlash,” she says.
She lets her children decide whether they want to participate in photography or videos. Even though they are still young, she says, this approach empowers them to voice their preferences and encourages open communication.
Unlike many celebrities who have opened social media accounts for their children, Miss Tiramisu has not.
“I have a seven-year-old and a two-year-old. Neither of them has access to social media. My older daughter sometimes is on my Instagram with me. But never alone on Instagram or TikTok, so she doesn’t get to see anything that I don’t want her to see. When we are out and about, I never force them to say ‘hi’ to people.

If they don’t want to say ‘hi’ to somebody, they don’t have to. If you want to take pictures, let’s take pictures, but not with the children,” she says.
Despite their exposure to the public eye, Miss Tiramisu ensures her children experience normalcy and a grounded upbringing. Her children, she says, now see cameras as tools for work rather than markers of fame.

By involving them in chores and financial decisions, she teaches them the value of hard work and responsibility.
“My children don’t quite know that they were born in the public eye. My older daughter will sometimes ask when somebody walks past us and says, ‘hi Tshazi’. She’ll ask, ‘why do they know my name?’ So these days she kind of knows that they’ve probably seen her on my Instagram. We used to have an Instagram page for her, but we no longer have it,” she says.

Miss Tiramisu is mindful of the transitions her children will experience as they grow older, especially when entering their teenage years.
As her daughters become teenagers, she aims to maintain open communication and encourage a sense of individuality while guiding them through the challenges of adolescence.

Murugi Munyi, formerly known as Yummy Mummy

For Murugi Munyi, formerly known as Yummy Mummy, her path as a Kenyan content creator has seen her raising her three children – Mutana, Mukeni, and Ethan – in the public eye. She opens up about her journey, the challenges she has faced, and the wisdom she has gained along the way.

Content Creator Murugi Munyi

Content Creator Murugi Munyi formerly known as Yummy Mummy says she respects her children's boundaries and privacy.

Photo credit: Pool

Murugi’s foray into the world of content creation was driven by a desire to connect with fellow parents.
“I started posting as a means of building a community where other mums could come and share their relatable experiences and tips,” she says.
At the time, she was navigating the challenges of motherhood herself – from breastfeeding to postpartum weight loss.

The purpose was less about fame or being an influencer and more about seeking assistance and forming a supportive network. Her platform was an online diary – a snapshot of her life and naturally, her children were a significant part of it.

Vulnerable space

“My social media is like a diary for me and my children are a part of that. So I didn’t even think twice about should I share, should I not share,” she says.
But with fame comes the need for balance. Murugi acknowledges the moments when she hesitates to share certain aspects of her children’s lives, respecting their boundaries and privacy.

Read: Social media families: As society evolves, so has the family
“Sometimes I just want to post something and then I feel like no, I don’t want to share that. I just trust my instincts. I am also careful not to portray them in a vulnerable space. For instance, I cannot film my child when she’s crying or having a tantrum and post that. I post things that are commonly acceptable.

Something normal that children do. I try to portray them in the best light,” she says.
While her younger children, Mutana and Mukeni, still find excitement in being featured on her platforms, her eldest, Ethan, at 13, prefers to maintain his privacy. Murugi respects his wishes.
“Sometimes people ask me why I don’t post my son as much as my daughters, claiming that I don’t love him as much. He just chooses not to be on my page and it’s okay,” she says.
On challenges that come with raising children in the public eye, Murugi recalls one particularly uncomfortable situation.
“Sometimes just because people see me a lot online, when we meet out in public they act like we are friends, but we are not friends. There was this instance when at a cafe, this lady came up to me and I was holding Mutana’s hand and she just picked Mutana up and hugged her.

It made me so uncomfortable because in such situations there are issues to do with boundaries. Some people are respectful but others get too familiar,” she says, highlighting the need for boundaries in the social media world.

Read: Let us consider social media in parenting
However, the most poignant challenge revolves around unsolicited advice and judgment.
“When you post your children, people on the internet are very quick to judge them and judge the way you are parenting them. People always have an opinion, and they want to enforce their kind of parenting on me. We all raise our children with the mindset of what’s best for my child.

My context and yours are different. When I first started posting my children, I used to get annoyed because I wondered why one would be focusing on my children and not theirs, but now I see it from a place of concern,” she says.
This scrutiny can be overwhelming, as each parent’s context is unique, yet online fans often impose their beliefs. She admits that she once took such judgments personally, but experience has taught her to brush them off.
“Most negative comments and opinions I ignore. I used to take everything very personally when people would harshly criticise me and my methods. But the longer I have been in the game, I just don’t think twice about it. I have gotten to the realisation that a lot of people are just projecting from their own limitations as a parent based on their beliefs on what parenting should look like and expect every parent to adhere to, which is unrealistic. I freed myself and I am the parent that I want to be,” says Murugi.
For parents struggling to strike a balance between fan and family, Murugi has something to say.
“Be prepared for judgment. Take it as it comes, and if at any one point you feel as if you’re uncomfortable or unsafe, then stop,” she says.

Expert advice

Sharing her professional advice to celebrity parents who are navigating the challenges of raising their children in the public eye, counselling psychologist, Maryann Somba says: “My advice would be to prioritise your children’s well-being above all else. Listen to their concerns, respect their boundaries and involve them in decisions regarding their exposure to the public. Foster open communication, encourage them to express their feelings, and address any negative experiences promptly. Remember that your role as a parent is to provide guidance, love, and support as they navigate their unique circumstances.”
Ms Somba says raising children in the limelight comes with its fair share of risks, but also has its positives for society.
“One of the main benefits of celebrity parents sharing their experiences is the sense of relatability they provide. Many fans find comfort in knowing that even public figures face similar parenting challenges.

This can create a strong sense of community among parents. On the flip side, there’s a risk of judgment and criticism. People often have different parenting styles, and when celebrities open up, they might inadvertently invite unsolicited opinions or backlash,” she says.
On the importance of involving children in the decision-making process, Mrs Somba said; “Giving children agency over their image and privacy is crucial. It teaches them that their feelings and preferences are respected, which fosters healthy self-esteem.

Children who feel included are less likely to feel violated when their parents share aspects of their lives online. However, parents must strike a balance, ensuring their children’s decisions align with their safety and emotional well-being.”
To keep children grounded while in the public eye requires reinforcing the value of humility, empathy, and hard work.
“Parents should encourage their children to engage in activities outside of the spotlight, such as chores or hobbies, that promote a sense of responsibility and self-reliance,” she says.