The Muslim holy month of Ramadan is approaching – and I’m nervous!
Ramadan is the time when Muslims fast every day from sunrise to sunset for 30 days straight. But it is so much more than that. During this one month, Muslims all over the world remarkably put their lives on pause and spend their time in increased worship, more charity, inward and outward reflecting, and more time at their masjid with the community. It’s a beautiful time of year. A time to refresh your faith and your spirit. To put every day fluff aside and really focus on your relationship with God and reflect on your purpose in this world.
And I haven’t been able to hit that refresh button for five years.
Let me explain.
There are certain conditions which allow a Muslim exemption from the mandatory fasting during this month. A woman, who is either pregnant or nursing is allowed the exemption in order to not have any adverse affects on her or her baby’s health, usually following the advice of her doctor. Between 2013 when I first became pregnant with Aiza until today – every year I have been either pregnant or nursing. Now that I have weaned Zahra off of breastfeeding after her recent first birthday, I will be resuming fasting this Ramadan after five whole years where I had to do nothing except focus on my kids.
And I’m so nervous.
I’m anxious about getting back into the flow of things. When I used to fast before, I didn’t have any kids and I was in the habit of doing it every year. I was able to have the flexibility to sleep after I got home from school or work until it was time to break fast. I had the flexibility and energy to stay up late doing worship or to make nightly trips to the masjid to participate in the special congregational prayers for the month, called taraweeh. These prayers are much longer than the five daily prayers and the person(s) leading them aim to finish the entire Quran during the month of Ramadan during these prayers. Anyway – point is, I could be selfish and rest as much as I needed or re-arrange my schedule as needed in order to fit in all this special worshipping.
But things are different now. I have little kids who take a lot of energy out of me. Not to mention, I still am not sleeping through the night. Nor do I have the luxury of sleeping in the day. I worry about how I’m going to get through the day, cook, and care for the kids on low energy. I worry that by the time they go to bed, I’ll be so physically and mentally drained, that I won’t have the energy to engage in extra worship or reflection.
But my goal is to be a supermom – one who keeps a positive outlook at all times and doesn’t shy away from a challenge. So I looked deep, and realized something. All the things that are worrying me about Ramadan, are exactly all the things that are going to make my experience even better.
How, you might ask?
The harder the struggle is for something – the greater the reward. Right? That’s an Islamic belief too. To be able to make dedicated time for reflection and worship is rare as a mom. So just by participating in the fasts themselves, I will get to taste the sweetness of re-connecting with my faith. After all, nothing will ever give you the strength to be a mother more than your faith that God chose you for this very special role. That He entrusted these beautiful, innocent, sweet children to YOUR care. He believed that you would do what was necessary to raise them with love and mercy and bestow upon them the right values and morals.
I can’t let Him down. I can do this.
When I feel those hunger pangs, even amongst the chaos of my day, I will have brief moments of gratitude for everything I have. And maybe at the end of the day, I may not be able to stand in long hours of prayer. But I will make time for small reflections, to re-center myself and to rediscover my purpose in this world and as a mother. And because I’m sincerely trying to make the most of the month – I just know that Allah will make it easier for me.
As I go through this process, I hope to share my journey with you through short, but sweet posts in my daily Ramadan Reflections Series. I hope that these reflections will be beneficial for any mother who has been struggling with life with littles – as many of us secretly do at times! Follow along on the blog, Facebook Page: Supermoms Wear Stilettos, or Instagram: SupermomsWearStilettos under the hashtag: #momsramadanreflections. Looking forward to your support <3