Ramadan is a time when Muslims around the world fast from sunrise to sunset, do more charity, perform extra prayers and become closer to Islam.
But the day-to-day grind of being a mother is still there. And during Ramadan a lot of the iftaar and Eid duties fall to mom. Yes, of course there are dads that help out but a lot of the time, it still falls to mom.
So with us just having entered the last 10 days of Ramdan, here’s what I’ve learned being home with two kids under 5.
1. Get dad to take over bath-time duties
Hopefully dad gets home early enough to help out with the kids. So while you’re busy rushing to get things ready for iftaar, get dad to do bathtime and get the kids into their pyjamas. This way the kids are both out of your way and ready for bed after the evening prayers.
2. Make a big pot of soup for the week
It’s a sunnah (practice of the Prophet Muhammad) to break your fast with a date and water. But it’s also a good idea to have a hearty bowl of soup, preferably one with lots of veggies, to nourish your starving body. On a Sunday I usually make a big pot of soup that will be enough to last the week.
3. Try to get things done early
If you’re a stay-at-home mom, try to get as much done in the mornings before your energy starts to dwindle. To keep my anxiety at bay I try to get things done ahead of time so that I’m not rushing. So prep as much as you can for iftaar in the mornings. If you’re a working mom, prep as much as you can after the kids have gone to bed or after suhoor.
4. Skip the savouries
It’s so hard not to have savouries during Ramadan. All you want is a deliciously golden fried samoosa or a beautifully puffed-up pie. But aside from being unhealthy to eat every, single night, they also take so much time to prepare in the evenings.
Baked goods that can be prepared ahead of time are always a winner and if you can pop it in an air fryer, even better.
- Also read: Moms share their yummy Eid recipes with us
5. Teach the kids with arts, crafts and books
One of the main parts of Ramadan is getting a better understanding of your faith. And passing this love and understanding on to your kids during Ramadan is a great time to do that.
There are loads of Ramadan books available to read to your kids and there are also so many lovely craft ideas on Pinterest. From watercolour lanterns to colour-in placemats, it’s a great way to teach your kids about both their religion and this holy time.
If your kids don’t need much supervision then a great time for them to get into it would be in the afternoons, when you’re wanting to rest. If they still need some supervision, then it’s best you do this in the morning while you still have energy.
Another great way to get the kids involved is to have them make Eid decorations. The kids get excited to decorate for the big day and get to be involved in the festivities. Once again, Pinterest is your friend.
- Also read: WATCH: Kids explain what Ramadan is about
6. Be realistic
As a mother, every year, I vow that this year, I will finish reading the Qur’an during the month of Ramadan. You see, it was during Ramadan that the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad so we try to complete reading it during this time. But as a mom of two kids under 5, I just don’t have the time. I often fall asleep with them after night-time prayers or preparing for the next day. And my days are filled with working, playing referee, picking up Lego blocks, making sure my kids don’t kill each other, feeding them and doing laundry. It’s a lot. So we have to give ourselves a break
So instead I have smaller goals like learning a new surah and I have the Qur’an playing in the house as much as possible. Then reading through the English of what we listened to when I’m putting the kids to bed or when they’re doing a craft.
7. Get your Eid shopping done before Ramadan
No, it’s not too early. Yes, you still have to fast for an entire month. But how about this for a novel idea, my fellow Muslim moms: get everyone’s Eid clothes before Ramadan starts. This way you have energy to shop with kids in tow. You don’t have to stand in an half-an-hour line at every shop you go to because we all left our Eid shopping 'til two weeks before the time.
- Also read: Creating Eid traditions for your family
8. Plan ahead
Meal planning has been such a help this Ramadan. When it comes to the afternoon, I am so devoid of energy that we’d have take-out every night if I only had to decide our iftaar menu then. So I printed and laminated a meal plan and stuck it on the fridge.
Speaking of meal planning, it’s never too early to plan your Eid menu. And if you get your shopping out of the way early, even better! But even just having a list is a great start.
How did you manage to balance work and family life this Ramadan? Do you have any tips you'd like to share? Tell us by emailing email@example.com and we may publish them on the site.
Read more about your family and Ramadan here:
- PRINTABLE: Ramadan 1439 calendar for 2018
- OPINION: Should children be allowed to fast during Ramadan?
- Ramadan activities: The Good Deed Jar]
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding during the month of Ramadan
- My childhood Eid
- Is it safe to fast while I'm pregnant?