Ramadan after becoming a mother is very different – a version of Ramadan 2.0 with its own unique situations and obligation. Some days go great with everything done on time, the set number of pages recited from the Holy Qurán while the kids eat their food with no tantrums and no untoward incidents. Well, some days nothing goes as per plan and you just want to hit the bed at the earliest possible time. Mothers are an expert in handling nights of broken sleep but during Ramadan you are a broken-sleep-Ninja who survives on 2 hours sleep!
I have already written about how Ramadan and motherhood can be balanced without feeling guilty or compromising on our Ibadah. So, I asked my fellow mom bloggers about their views on Ramadan and motherhood.
How has Ramadan changed after being a mom? Do mom-guilt engulf you if you are not able to fast during pregnancy/breastfeeding – though it is absolutely allowed?
What are the ways you want to improve this year’s Ramadan, as a mom?
1- Time management
I feel deeply saddened that I will not be observing this Ramadan but I don’t feel guilty as it is a blessing from Allah. I am still nursing our little girl and she needs me. I do feel like I won’t have time for a lot more Ibadat but I truly hope I am able to squeeze in more time by sacrificing other things I do during the day now. May Allah correct our intentions and accept our efforts.
– Fazeelah George from DhillonDeeds
Allocating specific time for Ibadah, household work, baby’s food, bath, sleep etc and planning everything beforehand will help us to maximise our productivity. It not only reduces stress but also gives us pockets of time to relax so we do not crash out.
2 -Being content and grateful
Being a mom of two kids, Ramadan is a really stressful month for me as I observe every person around me indulged in maximising their rewards, while, I find it difficult to maintain Khushu in Ibadah or conduct the desirable acts. I feel guilty at my state and sometimes anger on kids.
However, this time I have decided to count my blessings and stay content with whatever Ibadah I can squeeze into my days.
– Anoshia Riaz from Zombie Mommy Express
Being grateful for reaching yet another Ramadan in good health, inshaAllah. Being content with all the blessings showered by the Almighty especially the blessing of motherhood. Alhamdulilah
3- Understanding Ibadah is not restricted to Dhikr and Salaah
Having missed most fasts in 2015 due to pregnancy and all in 2016 while I was nursing, in shaa Allah I am looking forward to this year’s as I’d be able to fast. What I really miss is going for Taraweeh. The ambience of Ramadan in the mosque is so welcoming, fresh, exciting! Most mosques around my place do not allow kids so I have to pray at home. I find solace in the fact that as long as we do every act with the right intentions and to please Allah, we will be rewarded. Ibadah isn’t restricted to dhikr and salah. It is also in cooking for your family, feeding people around you, controlling anger when Shaitan tries to bring out your worst, teaching your kids about Islam etc. I will try my best not to COMPARE my current progress in Ramadan to my old self’s and drown in self-pity. May Allah purify our intentions and accept and reward us for our deeds.
– Haifa Thajudeen from Paper Batter Banter
Ibadah encompasses everything including taking care of children, the food we prepare for the family, the household work, the sacrifices etc. May we be rewarded for it all.
4 – Controlling anger and frustrations over children’s little annoyances
5 years back was my last Ramadan before becoming a mother and since then I am either pregnant or nursing through each. Initially I left fasting but till now I didn’t get a chance to make those up. So I believe you should sincerely try to fast even if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. And then if it is difficult, do not think twice before availing of the blessing to forgo the fasts without guilt tripping yourself. If you find that you can successfully do so, then take it easy and rest whenever possible.
As for other Ibadaat, the ultimate beauty of Islam is the definition of Ibadah itself – anything that Allah loves and is pleased with. So you may not have the energy to speed read the Quran (which isn’t good anyways) or have the perfect Khushoo during Salah but as you go about doing your usual routine of keeping the kids clean, fed and kept safe, as you teach them about Islam, and control your anger and frustration over their little annoyances you are earning the rewards – that’s Ibadah too, who knows maybe Allah loves that more than your five-juz-a-day and 20-Rakaat-Taraweeh Ramadan plan.
– Ayesha Yakoob Al Yusuf from Sojourning in Life
One of the greatest trials in child-rearing is trying to control anger and frustrations over their little antics. Ramadan can be a perfect time to inculcate more Sabr in our parenting journey.
5 – Keeping children busy with activities during fasting hours
When I first started my Tajweed lessons, I learnt from a pregnant lady. The month of Ramadan came, and I found her fast with ease! Then, I was undergoing infertility treatment. I was really taken by awe by my teacher’s steadfastness. I hoped I would also be able to fast during pregnancy. Alhamdhulillah. I found it very easy to fast through out my pregnancy and nursing. When it comes to fasting, I had the same journey during my second pregnancy.
But, now I face new challenges. Making my son fast really keeps me busy. 2 years back, my son FASTED for a day!! Last year he broke several fasts midway. Then he successfully fasted for 7 days. There is just one way to help a child fast. Keep the child busy with activities that don’t drain his energy. We tried new painting methods and read several stories. All this kept me away from Quran during the day. I dedicated the time after breaking fast for Quran. We also encouraged the little one to have a long nap. Even Suhoor is a race against time to make the child eat. Ifthaar meal was kept hidden till the last-minute.
This stage has been the most challenging for me so far. I hope this year it would be easier for my 7 year old to fast. This year I would like to see my younger son try Suhoor meal with us. I would like to see, how long he can keep away from food.
– New leaf from 1 New Leaf
As the sister said, making children fast and keeping them busy is more challenging that fasting during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Keeping them busy with activities, crafts, story telling etc will help them to enjoy the moments while fasting and at the same time creates beautiful ramadan memories for them to cherish.
6 – Modelling good behaviour and instilling Ramadan memories in children by positive actions
The last Ramadan I had at my parents was awesome, full of Ibadah, prayer and memorization of Quran, that I had decided to fast another 30 days in case I get married soon. And then I got married 4/5 days after Eid. I soon had my daughter and I was pumping like crazy for her by the time next Ramadan arrived. She was barely 2 months old. And pumping meant, I was drinking water like a fish and it was so scary I just couldn’t fast. I only fasted for a day because I had some breastmilk frozen but it was still very tough. Soon I was expecting again and 2 days before the next Ramadan, I gave birth to my second baby which meant the whole Ramadan passed in my postpartum.
So almost 100 Rozas (fast) pending. I fasted last year Alhamdulilah, in Ramadan but just could not muster up the courage to start completing my missed fast because I was tandem feeding both my babies. But now, as of today, I am done with breastfeeding and with 20 days remaining for Ramadan I am hoping to at least do 10 fasts before Ramadan starts.
Ramadan before and after becoming a mom is like poles apart – from being totally immersed in Ibadah to hardly even opening Quran and the only Ibadah I did was reciting Duas. I felt spiritually low not only during the blessed month but also in the months that followed. I had been so guilty because I felt I could do it, I could fast when I was breastfeeding my first!
This Ramadan, I want to involve my kids in as many things about Ramadan as possible
Do a lot of Ibadah, and let my kids see me that we speak about
I have a memory of us waking up to my mom reciting Quran loudly by our bedside, Insha Allah I plan to do the same with them from now onwards.
And let them help us in Iftaar preparation and take it to the masjid to share with others (we have all Iftaars at our masjid).
And do a lot of crafts with them, tell a lot of Ramadan related stories to them so they may love it.
– Ume Ibrahim from A Muslim Mama
A Ramadan memory for me too is going to the masjid with my mom. As my daughter grows it is something I too would like to practise – Make our own Ramadan family traditions.
7 – Increase in giving Sadaqah (charity) to compensate reduction in other Ibadah
Ramadan before being a mum was almost perfect, read ample amount of Quran and Taraweeh and hated to miss a few fasts due to menstruation.
And as a mum, it’s been perfect in an imperfect way. It has either been spent during pregnancy or nursing, being able to fast or repaying later. Such as spending the whole Ramadan in postpartum break and having to repay thereafter, all alone.
It has meant being more conscious of my nutrition and time usage, else, there would be almost no time/energy for Ibaadah.
So, like the last Ramadan I’ll just focus on the basics – fasting, as well as take up as little as possible of Quran and Taraweeh, in shaa Allaah, because I understand Ibaadah while being a mum is unlike the typical monastic Ramadan picture we’ve had in mind.
And I wish to take advantage of the goldmine of rewards- Sadaqah, to make up for my inevitably reduced participation in other areas of Ibaadah, just as the Prophet (peace be upon him) has advised that women increase in giving Sadaqah.
I ask Allaah for peace and security and ease in our affairs. And may we reach Ramadan in good health and provision. Aameen.
– Umm Anas from Muslimah Mom
Sadaqah helps to erase our shortcomings in Ibadah. It increases us in blessings of every sort. It also acts an expiation of our sins. May Allah accept from us.
Do you have any more tips to add?
PS : Excited to try out a FREE Ramadan Planner for Moms? Head over to Muslimah Bloggers in their giveaway round up! So many freebies – Parenting Challenge, Ramadan printable and decor and even some very beautiful Eid Cards!