Alhumdhulilah! You have just opened your eyes by the will of Allah. Schools are closed. Most adults are working from home. Your hands are rough and flaking from all the extra hand-washing and cleaning! Oh, and alhumdhulilah! We have been able to witness the blessed month of Ramadan!
It’s a surreal feeling… Welcome to lockdown.
You’re not quite sure which day it is. You have already woken up with a headache due to the pile of mental post-it notes you have gathered in there… The list is as long as the queue at your local supermarket! Home learning; whilst fasting and ibadah to fit in – how will you manage…
Due to seeing the continuous social media sharing of all the great things other parents are apparently doing with their kids – today your list consists of putting some of the endless home learning resources and Ramadan packs you have been saving to good use, as well as fit in your ibadah with the hope to get rid of some of the parental guilt that is accumulating– yes, today is that day! Yet still, this won’t be enough, right?
I mean, how exactly are people managing to get through; teaching all the subjects, completing a 1000-piece puzzle, baking a 5-tier cake, Ramadan packs and fitting in that 1-hour exercise with kids and two kittens in tow – oh and reading the Quran and as well as other ibadah all in ONE DAY?!
You may feel like you have failed even before you swing your legs out of bed and your feet touch the floor. Just before you have a chance to look for that one slipper that always keeps going on some sort of pointless adventure, you realise one of your beautiful offspring’s managed to crawl into bed in the night and what you thought was a pleasantly warm feeling – is in fact, toddler urine. Great!
You have to be doing something wrong – right? Well, guess what? This is NOT the golden standard. Our duty is to simply do OUR best for ourselves and for the sake of Allah. Also, do remember that many photos and posts on social media are heavily staged. So much so, that the activity is sometimes arranged for the perfect Facebook or Instagram shot in mind– rather than undivided, quality time with your loved ones being the focus. It’s time to put a curfew on the tech and have a healthy intake on social media!
It is time to start doing what is best for you. It is your life and your family. So, you didn’t get to finish the puzzle you started on day-2 of the lockdown, you didn’t get to start – let alone finish – all of the seven lessons you planned to complete with your children. Worksheets, online lessons and oh, a PE lesson ALL before lunch. You didn’t get to through all the pages of the Quran you had planned? It’s okay. You picked up your child from a warm bed, fed them, clothed them and have kept them safe -you’re winning! Remember, looking after children is also a form of ibadah! 😊
So, you continue to receive the school online learning and your feeling like you haven’t cracked the delivery for the whole of the National Curriculum in the last few weeks? Why not? What sort of parent are you? Let me tell you – An absolute AMAZING and very normal one! It’s lockdown, home learning, on 24-hour watch and Ramadan – don’t be so hard on yourself.
“But what if my child falls behind at school and in their Arabic?” – I hear you ask. But…
What if… they appreciate the simple things in life; nature, fresh air, the sound of birds? Each and every wonderful creation of Allah.
What if… they learnt the importance of not wasting food?
What if… they learnt the true value of money, saving and donating to the needy?
What if… instead of just eating, they started to actually taste and smell the food they ate?
What if… the slower pace of life allows them to explore their true interests and passions?
What if… they learnt how to show respect, appreciation and gratitude to people from all walks of life?
What if… they learnt about those who are less fortunate and the gift of giving?
What if… stronger bonds are created through providing tech-free undivided attention to each other?
What if… they started to open up and talk about their feelings in a safe space?
What if… your child is able to answer inquisitive questions, sparking their curiosity and individuality?
What if… they realised the true meaning of family, empathy and unconditional love?
What if… they increased their knowledge of Islam and boosted their emaan?
What if… they found out who Allah is and have a new found love for Allah?
So, would they have really fallen behind? Not at all. They would have embraced and learnt qualities for life that they may have never developed if it was not for the opportunities COVID-19 has actually given us. We can focus on Ramadan, prayers and Islam as a family, without the normal pressures of time and life.
Forget the social pressures we are presented with during lockdown. Forget worrying about organising that cupboard with random things in it; chargers for technology that you no longer even own and those plastic containers that never seem to have a matching lid! – Where do they even go?!
We have been gifted with the amazing and precious moments of time! You know that thing we ALWAYS said there is never enough of or wish we could get back once it has already gone? It has been gifted to us, in a way we may never experience again, for generations to come – most of us would like to freeze time and stop our children growing up… Leave their little handprints on the mirror – one day we will long to see them there… So, forget the past. Forget what the future may hold for now, while we do our bit by staying indoors to stay safe. It is time to live in the PRESENT.
With the pressures faced in this duniya, we need to educate ourselves and raise our children to be the best version of themselves; allowing them to feel the affection and unconditional love that they deserve. They won’t be children forever – you are currently in the process of creating their childhood memories. What will these memories be?
As a primary school teacher and parent, myself, even I give myself permission for an ‘off day’ if needed -doing the best we can to maintain a healthy balance between academic, social and emotional development.
Take these rare moments we have craved for; to bond, work on building resilience and life skills, build character, teach and explore Islamic stories, embed and boost emaan.
- Create your OWN routine that works around you and your family – Do things YOUR way not their way.
- It is okay to have an off hour, morning or day – and NOT feel guilty or anxious about it.
- Limit your news intake – FOCUS on the things that you CAN control.
The world may be in lockdown but we now have more time than ever for those who mean the world to us. Count Allah’s continuous blessings. Tomorrow is another day. Another opportunity. Do what you CAN and LEAVE what you can’t. Happy parents and children are MORE important than any lesson.
Get ready to take a step in whichever direction is best for YOU. It is time to just BE. There is goodness and wisdom in all that happens – let’s start embracing this opportunity. Now.
I hope you manage to find that slipper that always seems to disappear before you want to make wudu… Maybe, it too, is also trying to follow the 2-metre distancing rule!
L ove and prayers to all that have been affected.
O ur families are gold dust.
C an’t do it all? That’s okay 🙂
K now you are doing your best.
D on’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
O wn this and be brave.
W hen it gets a little tough. Remember you have Allah.
N ever forget to appreciate each other and all that we are blessed with from Allah.
Written by a sister in Thurrock who is an experienced local Primary School teacher and runs ‘Orchard Learning’ – a tutoring service for the primary age, as well as offering educational and behaviour management related support to parents. You can contact her via 07856286177 for more information about her services (currently offering some free support due to school closures).