Radio Ramadan invited me as a special guest to talk about the dynamics of family life during the lockdown in their Multi-cultural hour. It was a great honour to be able to speak about life as a mother, a wife, a writer and an employee at such an unprecedented time.
As Muslim mothers and wives, we are the Queen’s of our homes and our homes are our kingdoms. Whether you are a stay at home mother or a working mother, you are in charge of your kingdom and you run it the way you like.
Currently due to the lockdown, we are having to share our kingdoms with our families on a 24 hour time-scale and this has become very challenging. Our homes have turned into the workforce, schools, Mosques, restaurants and hotels.
As mothers and wives, we have taken on the role of the whole society. We are now teachers, Ustadhas , councillors, chefs and cleaners in our own homes, as well as mothers, wives and daughters.
The added roles are challenging and can become overwhelming, with trying to purify our hearts and increasing our idadah in the month of Ramadan. The challenges have increased.
Spending time with the family , homeschooling the children, preparing meals , running the household, checking up on our parents and in-laws and trying your hardest to be the best worshipper can lead you to become stressed, anxious and overwhelmed.
Dealing with the family on a 24 hour time-scale, spending far too many hours under one roof, does inevitably lead you to become annoyed, irritated and at times angry.
Alhamdulillah, we are in the blessed month of Ramadan and now is the time to reflect, ponder and evaluate the situation we are in now. It is time to self evaluate and better ourself in all the role, Allah (SWT) has put you in.
We must see this situation of lockdown as a blessing and not a calamity, as Allah (SWT) does not burden a soul more than it can bare.
Being a working mother and an author, I never imagined Allah (SWT) would give me this opportunity to worship him with so many responsibilities and with so much dedication and commitment.
Lockdown in Ramadan has given me the opportunity to better myself as a slave of Allah (SWT) and better myself as a mother, wife, daughter and all the extra roles, which I have been given. It’s allowed me to focus on my writing and my personal development.
The extra time at home, no rushing to work or school runs has allowed me to focus on what is important and allowed me to find positive outcomes from a negative situation. It’s not been easy, there’s been struggles and it’s taken time. But if you follow some tips, it should help.
- Be patient with those around you, this is definately not easy, but see it as a test from Allah (SWT) and focus on pleasing Him. Everyone is feeling the impact of the lockdown, so try to understand why the members of your family behave the way they do. Avoid criticism, yes you will notice all their bad habits, whatever they do, will not be good enough. But try not to critise or belittle anyone. Try to remain positive and see this situation as a blessing.
- Find positives in each other and in the situation, see this time as a time to pray together, recite Qu’ran together, help each other out, tackle some long awaited house tasks. Learn a new skill, spend quality time as a family, try not to look for the negative attributes in others. We all have faults and pinpointing these faults, does not help. Instead, try to advise and help each other, correct these faults.
- Avoid each others triggers, if you know something triggers your spouses anger or irriration, avoid it. Yes, we as women are experts in nagging, make it easy for us, don’t make us tell you to get a job done 100 times, just do it. If you can’t, then kindly provide us with a reason. We as women are reasonable.
- Learn to forgive, we all make mistakes, we all say or do the wrong thing, but overlook these shortcommings and forgive each other. If Allah (SWT) can forgive us, then why shouldn’t we be able to. This is the month of forgiveness, so don’t hold grudges and remember forgiveness purifies the heart and lightens the load.
- Recognise that we all cope differently in times of uncertainty, be kind to each other. As a family, talk about your feelings, your fears and your worries. Take into consideration, the feelings of your children and open up the door to communication in your household.
- Maintain a routine and some normalty in your household. Wake up at a decent time, get the kids to complete work set by school and Mosque. Help each other with household chores and spend time in ibadah. Pray salah on time, recite Qur’an at least once a day and especially now, engage in the night prayer and teach the children about Islam.
- Set boundaries and respect each others space. Keep work areas, school areas seperate to family space and allow some space for yourself to take time out or do private ibadah. A place where you can turn to Allah (SWT) alone.
- Enjoy the opportunity to spend time with each other and make time to reach out to extended family, your parents, siblings, in-laws and friends. This will allow you to feel connected to the outside world.
- Stay healthy, eat well, especially during Ramadan. This is your opportunity to prepare fresh, healthy meals. Try to get some sort of exercise. Boost your immune system and take the necessary precautions at this unprecedented times. Don’t spend the whole day cooking, as Ramadan is about fasting and not feasting. But at the same time, remember that preparing a good meal for your family is a form of ibadah.
- Always make some time for yourself during the day. As well as ibadah, do something you enjoy, whether it is reading, cooking, sewing or writing like me. Make that time for yourself. Take time to gather your thoughts and relax. Give your self the time to self reflect and always work on purifying your heart.
- Make plans for the future and look into the future. This lockdown will end, but we may never get a Ramadan like this again. We are not fighting against the clock like we usually do. We have time to make changes.
- Lastly, I just want to remind all those mothers and wives who are rushed off your feet, feeling overwhelmed or feeling guilty for not doing enough ibadah, remember that Allah (SWT) will judge you by your intentions and not just your actions. So make sure your ibadah is of good quality, it’s not the quanitity that counts, but the quality and remember that all you do for your family and household is ibadah too.