As a new mother (and even now as somewhat seasoned mother of two), I remember longing for some time alone. Reciting the Qur’an in peace and that sweetness of long long sujood. Those things had become a thing of past long gone. Everything had now become rushed. Rushing through prayers while the baby cried for attention. Forget reciting the Qur’an. It was forgotten altogether.
I could feel myself going out of balance. So much so I started to dread life itself. In hindsight I wasn’t tending to my spirit which made me feel more drained and frustrated with things in general. And it makes sense because Allah الله سبحان و تعالىٰ says in the Qur’an:
“And whoever turns away from My remembrance, indeed, he will have a depressed life”Qur’an 20:124
“Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest”Qur’an 13:28
No wonder I was stressed, overwhelmed and feeling so out of balance in all spheres of my life. Then one day I had that “AHA!” moment!
I could accept my situation and do something about it or just be frustrated my whole life….
This was my life now. I wasn’t going anywhere and so weren’t my children. There was always going to be as much work to do. I could just sit and vex over it. Or actually (wo)man upto the situation and do better. Because what worked for me before children wasn’t going to work for me anymore as things were different now. I had to meet the demands of a very needy baby alongside running a home and be a companion to my husband amidst this all. So something had to change.
What I started off with was letting go off of the notion that I always had to have alone time to be able to connect spiritually with the Lord. As a mum I had to think of ways to weave it around my duties and everyday tasks. As I remembered a friend saying that don’t parent hard but parent smart. Hence I started fitting in dhikr and ibadah into my life just like you would fit in any other important thing in our life.
Here are I am listing a few ways I have used to strategically add dhikr and ibadah in my life while complimenting children’s learning along the way. Read on!
Make the best use of your time:
A few examples how you can make the best use of your time:
- While rocking, feeding your baby, use the time to read up. As I mentioned before my son was a very high needs child. That meant during the first year of his life he just wouldn’t nap without me holding him. Alhamdulillah I used that time to start up on a Qur’an Tafseer course.
- Do dhikr while doing chores out loud so the children listen and can join in too. Even if they seem to be busy with other things, They do listen intently
- Recite, play the Qur’an, adhkar etc while you are driving.
- Make the habit of reciting recommended supplications to your children eg. the supplication for entering and leaving toilet, supplication for entering and leaving the house etc. Intentionally doing this will shift your focus to present and help you to be mindful inshaAllah. Stick the printouts around appropriate place if you need reminding and memorizing. Don’t miss out on these easy reward points! We have used this and this to memorise the du’as and have them stuck around our house.
Don’t wait for your children to go to sleep. Do what you need to do in front of them and with them:
As a new mom I remember struggling to even open the Qur’an. As my son wasn’t a very good sleeper and a very high needs baby. That meant I was rocking and holding him most of the time. And I didn’t open Qur’an in front of him for the fear he would rip the Mushaf and I did not hold the digital device for various reasons. I posted my struggle on an online motherhood group and a mother suggested why don’t you just read it while holding your baby in your arms. It really helps children bond with the Qur’an as well when they see it in front of them and they are allowed to touch and feel it. And after all they say give your children something good to imitate. They see you doing it and want to do it themselves too. InshaAllah.
Make Dhikr infront of children and involve them:
Making the special adhkar during morning and evening time is so important. While making the dhikr, make the intention of doing it for your children. Even better if you recite it in front of them. They say children’s minds are like sponges. When things are repeated for them often, they pick them up very quick. And when they are older perhaps involve them with you. When a dhikr needs to be done a specific number of times, ask your children to count it for you on a counter or just fingers.
Don’t make children as an excuse to not pray. If the child is inconsolable, pray holding him/her. The Prophet is صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ is reported have prayed holding his grandchildren (Reported in Bukhari , Muslim). Also, with older children try to pray together in congregation as a family. As mothers we should make praying on time a priority. It helps keep discipline in home and also keeps things running smoothly. If you want that barakah in your house and your time, pray away!
Make the best use of technology:
With children, finding the time to just sit down and read can be a challenge. Hence just play the Qur’an, various adhkar or even lectures on youtube, soundcloud or wherever possible to get to whatever you want and whenever you possibly can. While cooking, doing dishes, cleaning around the house, etc. With that frequent playing inshaAllah, you will notice you and your children starting to become familiar with it all and things starting to settle in memory.
Relate to your children the stories from the Qur’an:
It was only after having my son I realized I don’t know anything! How in the world then I impart valuable lessond from the seerah and the Qur’an on my children? That’s where my journey with the Qur’an truly started. I started reading the Qur’an along with its Tafseer. My son was a very needs baby. He wouldn’t take naps unless I held him. That’s when I would take classes for Qur’an online. It not only brought a significant change in me and my life but it has also helped me build that longing in my children to learn the Qur’an.
Last but not the least…..
Running a household, raising children and doing all that these entail is not an easy job. But when things are done with the intention of seeking the pleasure of Allah, it in itself holds immense rewards.
I would like to end by reminding myself first and then my sisters: life IS hard. So hard that some days we find it difficult to just get to salah, leave alone anything else. But remember none of our obstacles and hurdles are bigger than what Allah can not control. He is the honour of time, our lives and all that we own and long for. He gives without us ever asking then imagine the magnitude of blessings if our hours are spent remembering only Him.
Please share this with all mums, mums-to-be and anyone you think can use it and spread the khair. Looking forward to know more suggestions or articles you came across. Feel free to drop them in the comments below.
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