Get the most out of Ramadan: 1st week Assessment

Hello and welcome to my blog. It’s been a busy week but it’s been so lovely. I’m still struggling with my son’s behavior but im getting better at controlling my anger. I’m also learning to rephrase my thoughts and words from “my son is giving me a hard time” to “my son is having a hard time”. It helps when you don’t take people’s behavior personally against you.

In between exhaustion from fasting and trying to get my son to eat, change his clothes, and study, there isn’t much time or energy left to spend quality time with him. I’m looking forward to the spring vacation, although that does mean a lot of boredom, but I will try to go out with friends and see my family more often.

Covid is pretty much forgotten about with the crazy prices and technically nonexistent government. I try not to think about it but it’s always at the back of my mind. In Lebanon, we are fasting for 14 hours and 20 minutes today (it becomes more as the day gets longer). I’m feeling hungry and tired now but that is the least of my concerns. Fasting isn’t just about stopping food and drink. It’s about fasting from prohibited things that you shouldn’t be doing anyway, but get encouraged to stay away from during Ramadan because your fast isn’t accepted if you do them. Did you know you’re not supposed to get angry while you’re fasting? I don’t know if anger breaks your fast but I think it lessens the good deeds you get from the fast, and I have gotten angry during the fast, at my son mostly.

As for my weekly goals, I didn’t make any this month. I’m just doing what I can when I can, from checking my emails to reading blogs, posting blogs, etc. The thing im doing most is adding designs on redbubble. My creativity in that regard is at an all-time high and im either creating designs or adding them to the shop every day. I have designed some products for my gumroad shop but im yet to add them. I haven’t written for my novella this week because I need a clear mind to write fiction and im too tired and hungry. I also didn’t promote any of my books on Instagram this week because I haven’t been opening my laptop. Housework is going well. It’s not exhausting me much because im doing it early morning. I have been taking the positive psychology course on Coursera but at a very slow rate (barely once a week) and I haven’t been reading from the books I have because I barely have the energy to read blogs (im still going alphabetically and im at letter R now).

As for habit tracking, im not actively tracking my habits but I can tell you im not exercising or meditating, but im reading Quran and brushing my teeth everyday. As for the other habits, I think im doing them but im not stressing about them as much. I printed out a weekly Ramadan checklist and a daily Ramadan checklist/planner. The weekly planner was a bit overwhelming so I scratched some things and im focusing what I can.

Revive your Eeman This Ramadan: Reminder List presented by System of Life and Islamic Treasure websites
I forgot to fill in the 1st 2 days of Ramadan. I love this planner because it includes a prayer tracker, a worship checklist, a meal plan so you can be mindful of what you eat, water intake tracker, a doua focus for the day, Quran recitation notes (I pick 1 verse to focus on all day), and a good deed of the day (I just leave that empty because I make the intention that everything I do, especially during Ramadan, is for the sake of Allah, from cleaning to cooking to studying with my son and more).

I also wanted my son to be involved this Ramadan. For years I had been trying and I was met with resistance. I tried my best to be gentle and loving because you can’t force religion on a child. My son was, until this year, uninterested in anything Islamic, and being someone who was taught the religion by force, it’s hard to pave a new path for my son. Last year we did some activities during Ramadan and he was excited I enrolled him in an Islamic class where they studied and played, but mostly studied playfully. This year, he is 7, so if he enrolls, he goes to the big kids class, the class I teach. I don’t have much interest in teaching him, because he is resisting learning at home, and he isn’t interested either (I just asked him).

This Ramadan, he got excited about decorating and after many ups and downs, we finally kind of decorated the house.

I also printed out activities for him to do during Ramadan but for some reason, he won’t do them.

So far we have been eating at my in-laws, except for 1 day when I ate at home but my husband still ate at his mom’s, so I only cooked once. I made spaghetti but my son wouldn’t eat it. He said he won’t eat the meals I normally cook because it’s Ramadan so I can only make special things. Spaghetti used to be one of his favorites. There has been a lot of power struggle between us ever since he turned 7 and im still learning how to deal with it. It’s frustrating sometimes. As im writing this, he is pushing my buttons.

I have managed to calm him down, or rather he calmed himself down by deciding to take a long bath. I think it’s safe to say that we all have anger management issues. I’m trying to teach him to self-regulate but it’s hard. It’s safe to say today I realized he is more aware than I give him credit for. I have been binge-reading blog posts for the past 3 hours and I read that I need to praise my son more often. It was a much-needed reminder. I do praise my son but more often than not, I treat the good things as normal things he is supposed to do and criticize him for not listening to me or doing what I say. I still have plenty of parenting books on my tbr list to get through. I’m still learning.

Anyway, before Ramadan began, back when he was excited about the holy month, we made Ramadan goals for him together, and I wrote a list of rewards he would get upon the completion of each goal. If all goes well, he should be getting a reward tonight for the completion of his 1st Ramadan goal! I’m trying to get him to work on the others, but he is very moody about it, so I must be patient.

All in all, im working on worship but this month’s main focus is practicing patience and self-control.

Oh, and last night I prayed Taraweeh at the mosque for the 1st time in years and it was such a nice spiritual experience. I didn’t realize how much I missed it.

How are you spending your time this Ramadan?

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