Ramadan can often be an overwhelming and stressful time for parents. In sha Allah the tips below will assist parents to better equip themselves to achieve a spiritually fulfilling and beneficial Ramadan.
Put yourself first
As parents we do not prioritise and value our own needs. However, Ramadan is the perfect opportunity to start doing so. Putting you first is not selfish. To be your best you need to be intentional about allocating time for yourself. Roster it in and stick to it. No matter what.
Plan your worship
Write a list of what it is you are hoping to achieve this Ramadan. Reading extra Qur’an, giving more in charity, volunteering with a charity organisation, increasing in dhikr, dua’s, write it all down. This will not only assist in keeping you on track but also, you will feel a sense of accomplishment as you tick off each task.
Involve the children
Ramadan is the most celebrated month in the Muslim calendar. Therefore, it is important to make Ramadan a happy and special time for everyone, especially our children.
One way that really excites children is to decorate your home to celebrate Ramadan. Depending on your level
of skill (or mood) you can go as simple as putting up a ‘welcome Ramadan’ banner or as extravagant as having a table setting with lanterns, roses, a board with ‘tonight’s iftar menu’ etc.
Another way is to involve children in as many Ramadan rituals and acts of worship as possible. Depending on their age you can wake them up for suhoor, let them fast until Dhuhr or even a whole day, go to taraweeh prayer or stay up with you for qiyam for an hour or more.
Complete Eid shopping prior to Ramadan
Many of us make the mistake of leaving Eid shopping until the last minute. This usually means we spend the last ten days going from store to store whilst we should be utilising that time to prepare for qiyam as well as increased and more focused worship.
Avoid making this mistake. You can make a list of items you need to purchase including kids Eid clothes, gifts for friends, family etc. Also aim to complete shopping of non perishable groceries and stocking up on these items so as to limit time spent having to restock.
Plan your meals
We should remember that this is the month of fasting
(not food). However as parents many of us still have the responsibility to provide meals for our children, fasting household and guests. Thus, to make meal preparation
a little easier and more efficient it is a good idea to be prepared. Have a weekly plan of the menu you want to prepare. A suggestion is to plan cooking for five nights and have two days off per week as you may be invited out. Wherever possible prepare and freeze meals or side dishes before Ramadan.
Utilise the time after Fajr
As parents we are often so fatigued from sleeping late
and waking up for suhoor that it becomes harder to stay awake after Fajr. However, it is known to be the sunnah
of the Prophet PBUH to stay up after Fajr. So be sure to utilise this opportune time to be as productive as possible. You will reap the rewards as this time of day is filled with barakah. After completing morning worship, and any other responsibilities (and you are not required to be at work) aim towards taking a short nap after Dhuhr prayer to rest and re-energize in preparation for the rest of the day, evening prayers and worship.
Social media is a huge time waster. Ramadan is an ideal time to break any bad habits. You don’t have to cut out social media completely but try to limit time spent on
it and focus on utilising it strictly for sharing beneficial Islamic content, reminders, events as well as maintaining ties of kinship by checking on family members as well as friends.
Find alternative (halal) entertainment
Alhamdulilah we now have access to many excellent resources for kids entertainment. Be organized, download fun Islamic cartoons and TV shows onto devices so as to have them on hand during those moments when you need time to yourself to complete worship and chores. You can also purchase fantastic Ramadan themed DVDs such as Zaky’s Ramadan which the kids will not only enjoy watching but also benefit from the excellent content. Other great islamic kids shows include the Baba Ali series, Iqra cartoon, Prophets stories and Misri Bunch which can be found on Youtube.
Become socially involved
Ramadan is a time to connect with family, friends and the Muslim community. Some tend to completely withdraw from socialiasing in order to focus on ibadah. However, Ramadan is a time to reconnect with loved ones as well as reaching out to the disadvantaged, lonely or isolated. Make the point of inviting over family and friends and community members who may not have a strong support network and can often feel this more so during Ramadan when others are enjoying big iftars surrounded by family and loved ones.
Another opportunity to earn rewards is to contact local charity organisations, get together with other sisters and organise a food drive or prepare packaged meals to donate to the poor.
Lastly and most importantly remember we should remember Ar-Rahman, Ar-Raheem is All Knowing and aware of our situation. We will not be judged on the results but rather our intentions and efforts. Allah SWT has made this religion easy and the opportunities to reap benefit and reward attainable with a little organising and pre-planning.
May Allah SWT accept our Ramadan and make it a means of great reward for us and our families.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A group of mothers who meet up on a weekly basis to remember Allah SWT and help each other to navigate through the struggles of being a young Muslim mother in this society.