A Mom’s Ramadan Reflections

The first 10 days of Ramadan have passed already. Huh?.…How? When? The days seem almost like blurs and I’ve honestly been feeling more like a robot than a human. Work, kids, home, cooking, and trying to squeeze in some worship in the middle. My head hurts and I get that familiar pinch in my stomach which I have identified as the dreaded “mom guilt”, as I have a free moment and scroll through Instagram and see picture after picture of moms setting themed, elaborate Iftaar tables and making cute DIY Ramadan crafts with their kids to decorate their house with. Then I hear of those who are who are getting up and taking advantage of the long hours of the night to stand in prayer and supplicate, who are halfway through reading the Quran and taking the time to reflect upon it. Those who are making and distributing snack boxes to those in need and those who are planning and organizing charity drives.

And then there is me. I’m just tired. So tired. Tired as I scramble to get my work done on time and focus on tasks at hand. Exhausted as I rush home to go straight into the kitchen and plan what to make for Iftaar, not having time for more than a 5-second hug from my kids. Totally out of energy by the time that date reaches my lips and I open my fast.

But what I have come to realize now is that I’m not alone and there is nothing wrong with me for not being the super-creative/chef/philanthropist/productive mom. Each woman is different and every family is different. If you are feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, it’s important to understand why. There are aspects of motherhood so taxing, so exhausting, so stressful that moms can often be left feeling broken.

As a mom going through this slump myself, I feel like the saddest and most regretful part that suffers is my worship and practice of my faith during this Holy Month. But I’ve decided not to let this get me down, instead I need to make some changes in order to benefit as much as I can.

First and foremost, I try to continually remind myself that everything I do can be an act of worship with the right intention, including feeding our kids, smiling and yes, taking a nap. In fact, taking care of ourselves must be one act of worship we start right away.

Secondly, I need to reinforce again and again that Ramadan is a month of Blessings. It is not meant to burn me out or break me. It is not supposed to make my life harder – in fact, the opposite. It should bring warmth, love, ease, and peace. My wellbeing – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually – should be one of my main focuses. Not the number of dishes I prepare for Iftaar.

I’m slowly learning to let things go and being okay with it. So I’m not creative, my house won’t be decked with stars and moons and pretty lights and mosque cut-outs and cozy prayer corners. I’m not an elaborate chef who experiments with new recipes every day – my table will be basic. I have also learned to accept that I should focus on the quality of my worship rather than the quantity. Spending hours praying, supplicating, and reading Quran just isn’t possible for me and I shouldn’t feel guilty if I am not able to achieve it.

Throughout the year, and most importantly in Ramadan, our lightness of heart, overall wellbeing, and presence as a mother should be what we focus on and it’s time we stop being so hard on ourselves! May this Ramadan bring love and light, may it open your hearts and bring you closer to your Creator. May it be a month of blessings for you and your loved ones – tightening your relationships and support systems. May it be a month of ease and peace for you and may your prayers be heard and answered.

Ramadan Kareem!