Thursday 8 June 2017

Ramadan Journal 2017: Day 12 - Fail

When I think ahead to the routine in the evenings during Ramadan, it all seems so positive: feeding and putting the babies to bed early, catching up with my Ramadan reading, spending a little time in the kitchen before sitting down with my family to make intense and lengthy dua (supplication), before opening the fast peacefully and enjoying my meal.

Clearly I forget the chaos that happened the year before. The babies eat early, and then join us again for iftar, or better still, today refused to eat their food because they want to eat iftar – two hours before iftar time. I spend way too long in the kitchen and the older kids keep sneaking onto the computer the minute I turn my back and then promptly all turn deaf. I manage to drag them off about half an hour before to do a short taleem (study circle), which is currently reading daily from Virtues of Ramadan (from Fazail-e-Amal or Virtues of Deeds by Muhammad Zakariya Kandhelwi). The kids will take turns to loudly tell each other to be quiet before one of them starts to read in English and I translate into Urdu for mum-in-law. Darling will sit quietly sucking her thumb, but Baby insists on singing and jumping on sofas throughout.

As soon as they finish they will try to head back to the computer and get warned to stay off of it. I ask them to sit and make dhikr (remembrance of Allah (SWT)) and make dua for whatever they need as the time when we break fast is considered to be a time when supplications are answered:

On the authority of Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) it is related that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “There are three people whose dua is not rejected; the fasting person until he breaks the fast, the just ruler, and the oppressed person, whose dua Allah lifts above the clouds and opens unto it the doors of Jannah, and Allah says: “I swear by My Honour, verily I shall assist you, even though it may be after some time.” (Ahmad and Tirmidhi)

Instead they start squabbling, trying to convince me to make chips and nuggets at the last minute or wander off. All of this I can deal with, it’s only when it comes to breaking the fast and I am trying to make dua and everyone starts trying to talk to me, arguing over who got how many nuggets and the babies start clamouring for food. It’s only then that I start to get annoyed. A few days ago I asked them to please allow me to make dua quietly for a few minutes. I told them they were not allowed to talk to me for a few minutes and I asked the babies to wait a few minutes for their food.

Today they all starting talking to me at once and arguing over the chicken wings someone dropped off for them. The babies starting waving their plates at me because the other children had started eating. I got very cross. I shouted at the kids, quite a bit. My mother-in-law looked entirely unimpressed but decided to ignore the yelling. I felt absolutely awful. Ramadan is a time when you are supposed to try and control your temper, let alone right before you are due to break your fast and when you should be making dhikr and dua.

I think this is known as a parenting fail. I didn’t feel like eating much after that, feeling embarrassed and a bit ashamed for blowing my top like that. I am away for a few days without the kids this weekend. I am going to relish opening my fast quietly and making lengthy dua for two days. Then insh’Allah when I come back, I will remind everyone about some basic ground rules about computers, arguing at meals, talking to me when I am making dua and cheeky babies trying to gate-crash iftar.

My youngest and cheekiest trying to help in the kitchen


  1. Anonymous09 June, 2017

    Assalam Alaykoum Sister,
    I totally feel you but have to remind you that yes, everyone is making the same mistakes sometimes. We cant be perfect parent all time and when you talk about how your mum in law looked unhappy about your shouting - what crossed my mind was why instead of judging(or looking "judgy"l she did not help? Telling the kids to let you, or helping to fill their plates so you can have your few minutes for your dua too..
    I don't know her of course but many times you wrote she has lots of boys- she must be tough and she must have yelled at them to when they were kids why the judging?
    Sorry if this caught my attention too much - but I always put myself in the situation as I read and this upsetted ne quite a bit..because people in general can be very judging towards mothers and the answer should be help them dont judge - in my opinion.

    1. Assalam-alaikam Dear Sis Kenza,
      Interesting I neveer saw it from that point of view of her being judgy, I was too busy being ashamed of herself.
      And about her boys - I have heard many stories from them and her of their mischeif and the beatings they would get.
      She does try to help with distracting the little ones when she sees I am getting cross, but at iftar time she seems completely immersed in her dua.

  2. Asalam alaikum dear sister,

    I hope it will make you feel better to know that I've done the same... Twice, actually. Both today and yesterday I just lost it big time to my kids. It might be due to a combination of exhaustin, hot wetter, monthly hormones and two very tired but oh so whiny children at the end of the day. Astafirallah, I feel so bad, not only because it's ramadan but also because I really scared them. However, I did apologise afterwards, gave big hugs and explained what made me so anger. I pray Allah will forgive both you and me for our parenting fail. And now I plan to reflect on how I can prevent this from happening again.

    1. Walaikam-assalam Dear Sis,
      For me that has always been the key, apologising where needed, taking a step back and allowing yourself to start again.
      Ameen to your dua's sis. xxx