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As a mom of a seven, six, and one year old, Ramadan has changed for me. I’m continuously trying to find ways to celebrate and make it special in our ever-changing world.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and the holiest month to Muslims. In this month, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. This includes not eating food or even drinking water.
Before It Starts
The weekend before Ramadan starts, we decorate our house. Lanterns are placed around the home, our 30-day Advent calendar goes up, and moon and star lights are put up inside and outside our home. Every year we add another piece to our collection.
We pile up our Ramadan and Eid books in front of the fireplace with pillows. I set up Ramadan baskets for the children, which include Ramadan pajamas, along with new books and crafts related to Ramadan. We spend the first week prior and during Ramadan making crafts.
For Our Community
Ramadan is a great opportunity for our family to reach out to our community. In the past, the children and I made little goody baskets for our neighbors. We include dates and chocolates. One year we even added fresh mint and tea bags. We write a little note thanking them for being our neighbors and we share about Ramadan. My kids look forward to this every year.
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Every year since my oldest started preschool, I go to my kids’ class with cupcakes, goody bags, an activity related to Ramadan, and a book to share with them. We’ve done this for five years.
The last Ramadan my oldest read a book to her whole class and was super proud of herself! Now as the children get older, they take the lead by answering questions and helping with the activity.
When the sun sets, you can typically find us at our nicely set up dinner table with family or friends. We invite people over to break our fast together. Sometimes we’re invited to their homes. There is lots of food at the table (plus so many deserts!). To be honest, after fasting all day, all you really want is big cup of cold water!
Nights are typically spent at the mosque for taraweeh prayers. It’s a night prayer that lasts several hours. But as a mom of young children, I typically pray at home.
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These 30 days of Ramadan can be challenging at times. Even though I’m raising children and working, there is something that makes me look forward to the holiday and the challenge it presents. It’s the spiritual discipline, the family time, and the desire to do more good — something we can all relate to. All in all, Ramadan makes me strive to be a better mom.