We are in uncharted territory this Ramadan, for some of us it is unfamiliar due to the obvious and yet so familiar as we wait patiently for the Ramadan spirit to engulf us. As we step into Ramadan with COVID-19 looming, doors closed to the outside world this Ramadan is set to look different for these UK based mothers. However, we are feeling we think it’s always insightful and even comforting to hear how others are navigating this month.
Motherhood often prepares us to deal with the unexpected, as with each age children bring different challenges and joys. Some of us may have children who are beginning to pray whilst others soothing newborns all night and barely keeping our eyes open, let alone engaging in extra acts of worship. While children are young we may feel pressured to “make Ramadan special” especially as we see the likes of Christmas capturing our attention on street corners, shop windows and on TV.
Ramadan for Mamas is different year on year, with some of our Ramadans not defined by fasting and some of us fasting for the first time in a while, we wanted to ask three mothers how their Ramadans will be. We spoke to Medina, Zainab, and Sarah this week on how they will be spending their Ramadan with their children.
Medina Grillo is an award-winning DIY & home improvement blogger, proud Renter and creator of the ‘How I rent series’. Medina is also the author of ‘Home Sweet Rented Home’. Medina has a 7 years old and hopes he’s doesn’t have a lockdown birthday!
One of the biggest changes will be the fact that there won’t be attending taraweeh prayers. My husband and I would take it in turns going in the week during school days, and it’ll be sad that we won’t be able to do that now. Praying at home is nice, but you don’t get that same feeling of community like when you go to the mosque. We also love having iftar with family and friends, especially family. Cooking and being cooked for during Ramadaan is a big part of how we spend it. But there is still so much reward for cooking for my own immediate family, so I’m holding on to that.
To be honest, my son is a bit older now so he can take part a lot more with Ramadaan. We’ve bought him Ramadan workbooks for him to work through, set some Quran memorisation goals and he says he would like to try and fast a few hours on the weekend with us!
I don’t often decorate for Ramadan but I do for Eid! But in terms of the feel of our house during Ramadan, it’s generally a lot more quieter. We don’t watch much TV during this month and instead focus on more peaceful and religious activities! So yes, my reading corner is going to get lots of use this month! I really would like to finish reading the whole Quran!
Sarah is a home educating mama of 3 who often documents her honest journey of motherhood and beyond on Instagram. Sarah strives to embrace a more respectful and peaceful approach to parenting her three daughters. She has also started an online knitting meetup for over 60’s, inspired by her own Mother spending lockdown alone.
I am generally a bit of a last minute person when it comes to Ramadan, I get a bit overwhelmed by the pressure to “prepare” and I often end up doing very little. I would like to spend the next few days setting some goals with my family, sending some Ramadan care packages to loved ones and focus on moon sighting to welcome the blessed month Insha Allah.
I don’t have specific plans other than to make an extra effort to be present- especially with my children. I always love to follow the Omar Suleiman series and I have some very simple things planned for the children – but I think what makes Ramadan “special” is how much you can connect your heart and soul to the blessings of the month.
I hope that slowing down and being in isolation will, in many ways, make it feel more special.
I don’t think we’ve established traditions as such, but as my children get older I really want to consider this more, I am planning to studying one surah in-depth this Ramadan as a means of connecting more with the Quran, so this is something I would like to keep up in sha Allah.
Zainab set up The Montessori Studio, whilst expecting her first child, to help make Montessori methods more accessible and demystify some of the ‘elitist’ stereotypes that can come with this way of learning. 8 years and two children later, she has gone from nursery settings to homeschooling to teaching parents how to implement the Montessori approach in their own homes.
We’ve already been reading some books, singing songs, discussing the moon and its phases. We’ve made a little cutout to hang in their room which has helped my four year old understand it, which was a lovely activity.
We usually do feel it is a special time, but with very young ones it’s not always necessary to go out of the way because they find everything (adorably) special. Personally, for a while now I’ve been listing duas to read in a pretty book, and people to make dua for – something I’ve wanted to do for the past four years. It’s also my first year fasting after four breastfeeding years so I’m keen to be ready!
We usually make an effort to go to different mosques for tarawih, which obviously can’t be done this time around. This year I am planning to record my dad reading tarawih and send it to our family members, I may also make a full audio of his Quran recitation inshallah.
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