With Ramadan sneaking up on us slowly as much as I am excited for it I am also very nervous! I don’t know about you all but I can’t function properly without sleep, and as a young mother sleep is kind of hard to get with late night prayer schedule, not enough time between sahoor and iftar, Quran recitation, kitchen chores and starting this year again with full time school schedules and activities.
I love the feel of Ramadan, there’s something serene about the air in Ramadan. The calm feeling during Ramadan is so hard to get any other month of the year, however, without proper sleep I am like a Tom from Tom and Jerry who’s constantly trying to keep my eyes open with toothpicks and it just doesn’t work!! Which in return affects my productivity during the day towards everything! I am snapping at my children, do household chores with despise, pray half heartedly and don’t feel the true spirit of Ramadan.
Honestly my number 1 priority in Ramadan is to get proper rest, so I can do everything else to the best of my ability and do justice to the true essence of this Month. So, how can we take advantage of the blessings of this month to the max? Are there tips and tricks up your sleeves? This article is written with the help of data collected on various social media platforms, credit is given to all the sisters who participated whole heartedly for the sake of Allah and may this be a source of sadqa-e-Jariyah for everyone who participated. JazakAllah Khair!!
Here are a few pointers I learnt from fellow sisters in deen that we can apply to ourselves in Ramadan to maximize our rewards:
1. Do Not Feel Guilty:
A lot of sisters beautifully portrayed the virtues of motherhood. Ramadan is a month in which we get rewarded for every big or small deed and intention makes all the difference. Do not compare yourself to the next person. If you cant pray extra, or finish the Quran, or cook elaborate meals, or stand in taraweeh for 20 rakats like somebody you know just because you are busy with your toddler, work or life in general do not feel guilty. Make intention that you get rewarded for taking care of your family and Allah knows that Jannah lies under the feet of a mother.
Some women are naturally talented at taking care of all responsibilities beautifully while others struggle to make it thru the morning alive, I know I have my own struggles! However, we must remember that everyone has weaknesses and problems of their own, just because we see their perfect lives on the forefront does not mean there was no effort involved in what’s visible to the eyes.
Don’t feel guilty that your Ramadan is not as elaborate as the next person! Make intention that you be rewarded for every little deed and Inshallah you’ll find comfort in your heart.
2. Eat Foods to Nourish your Body:
A lot of sisters now a days are moving away from the fried food tradition put in place by the older generations especially in Pakistani, Indian culture. Fuel your bodies with nourishing foods that are release energy slow all thru out the day. Fried foods cause gas and bloating after iftar which in turn makes us lethargic for prayers and other Ibadat.
Eat dinner for iftar along with fruits, shakes, juices, milk, and maybe one appetizer and ditch a spread of fifty fried items. Before going/sending family to taraweeh eat some nuts and honey water for a boost of energy. Before going to bed have a glass of warm water and apple cider vinegar to prevent indigestion before and after suhoor. For suhoor have milkshakes Date Milkshake smoothies, over night oats, chia seed pudding, hard boiled eggs, fruits, avocado toast on whole grain bread, yogurt with granola, egg and cheese breakfast wraps, breakfast tacos or date & fig energy bites Date & Fig Energy Bites with milk to help with energy thru out the day. Last but not the least drink a lot of water (an advise I should take for myself) water is essential to human life!
3. Food/Meal Prep And Involve family members:
Meal preps is the up and coming trend in the western culture but the truth is we have been doing it for years back home especially for Ramadan. If you can find the time before Ramadan to prep a few semi cooked dishes and freeze them than this can take a load off your shoulders during fasting hours. Less time in the kitchen more time to pray and rest even.
Another thing you can do during Ramadan is to team up with a friend and trade food. Both of you can make 1 or 2 dishes each and share this way at the end of the day you’ll have 4 dishes that can last you 4 days and you’ll only have worked for 2.
Ask your spouses and children to help you out. I am the kind of a person who doesn’t have the patience to explain my 6 year old something five times so she gets it right, instead I do it myself to save myself the agony. However, I am learning to teach myself the art of domesticating my girls and we are growing together. Even if they don’t fold the laundry or make their beds the right way I let them do it anyway. This has calmed me down a lot because its two things less I have to do in the day and the kids learn responsibility. So, the point I am trying to make it is that if you ask your children to help you out with small chores around the house during the day, you’ll feel less burned out.
In addition its okay to ask your spouse to help you out as you see fit, I know as wives we feel guilty to ask them to help out because they fasted all day and went to work and will have to stand in taraweeh for a few hours but if the both of you clear the dinner table after dinner it’ll get done faster and you’ll both have a moment to spend together before he heads out for taraweeh.
3- Use windows of opportunity:
A lot of sister suggested to use windows of opportunity to do ibadat for instance listen to Quran while working in the kitchen or driving kids back and forth from school or activities.
Carry a book of duas which you can write duas in so you don’t forget or a small book with duas in it which you can read in your spare time between errands.
Ladies you should sneak in a nap any opportunity you get even if its for 15 minutes. As much as I felt guilty in the previous years about choosing between taking naps when I was super exhausted or using that spare time to read Quran, I would force myself to read the Quran and not even do it right. This year I plan on taking advantage of the spare time and nap so I could be fresher and read Quran and do ibadaat with more enthusiasm.
5- Realistic Expectations:
Ladies set realistic goals and expectations, I know its a month in which everyone wants to do their utmost but daily responsibilities do tend to take over our life more than we’d like especially for those who live abroad. If you have realistic goals you’ll feel accomplished and content, anything more will calls for a celebration!!
6- Attain Rewards:
Most importantly attain rewards by doing small deeds everyday!
Smile at a stranger
Fill up your sadqa box everyday, it doesn’t have to be a big amount.
Make dua for everyone you know, even if you don’t like them!
Give a small token of appreciation (ie: box of dates, food, jar of homemade spices) use your imagination!
Stop at the masjid and drop off a box on muffins once a week for the people who come for taraweeh, a lot of travelers really appreciate the gesture.
Print dua cards, and leave them in the masjid, its sadqa e jariyah.
Give your children hugs when you are tired, its uplifting.
If you believe in a Sunnah strongly, don’t just preach it, practice it!
Love thy Neighbour, drop off a plate of food for your Neighbour’s once in a week.
Share your idea of earning small rewards, I’d love to hear them!!
There are also some other helpful tips sisters have shared and I will share clips of my favorite ones. I hope this little effort of mine is helpful for all mothers including myself. We tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves and push ourselves a lot. Sometimes little reminders are helpful that we will be alright and its okay if not everything gets done today, it can be finished tomorrow!! What’s left undone today can be finished tomorrow, every sunrise brings with itself new opportunities. I hope all you ladies reading this have a blessed Ramadan, remember my family and I in your duas. Please share this article with family and friends, also, leave comments and give me your insight, i’d love to hear your feedback and ideas!! JazakAllah Khair!!
The Trippin Mommy