Every year, I tell myself that I will make this Ramadan better than the last one and that I will accomplish all sorts of goals and nearly every year, I fail miserably. I was reflecting on this a little while ago and realised that it was because I failed to plan. It dawned on me that I was expecting Ramadan to fit in with being a mum, a wife, work, home keeping, and everything else and that just set me up for failure every time. I needed to work everything else around Ramadan not the other way round.
I was also setting unachievable lofty goals or none at all, and that didn’t help either. So this year I thought about what I wanted to achieve and how I was going to do it. I looked up several resources that were incredibly useful and wanted to share them all with you just in case you’re wondering how on earth to do Ramadan with young children.
How to create a pre-Ramadan game plan
I created a simplistic game plan (you can download mine at the end of this post) to enable me to see my goals every day in the lead-up to Ramadan and to be motivated to achieve them. The game plan outlines what you need to get done before Ramadan even begins. I go into all of these in more depth in the video below, but to summarise, it was important for me to:
Set spiritual goals in advance
So I had plenty of time to research ways that I would actually achieve them. I go into more detail of how I came up with these in the video below.
Come up with an activity list
So that I can ensure the kids are out for a minimum of 2-3 hours every day. For us, bedtime runs a lot smoother and this is also a way for me to work in some exercise. I use the Hoop app and our local online gazette to look for activities that the kids can participate in and mix it up with days at the park.
Thoroughly clean the house
Not a spring clean, but a thorough clean so that come Ramadan time, I’m just following my daily cleaning routine and not ‘catching up’ or spending hours scrubbing drawers or doors when I really should be focused on ibadah.
Get Eid dealt with
Absolutely everything Eid related, done before Ramadan begins. The kids’ outfits ironed and in their closets, our outfits ready and waiting, gifts wrapped, and any decorations done so it’s a quick hang-them-up job only. If you do food gifts for friends and family like I do, get your recipe ready, the packaging, labels, cards, and ingredients (if non-perishable ones) all in the house and waiting. That way, again, we’re not exhausting ourselves completely in the last couple of days with additional things that could have been handled much earlier.
Come up with meal plans
This is the bit that can be difficult. We prepare dinner as we normally would, nothing special, but I feel like my brain doesn’t work when I need to sit and come up with a meal plan and shopping lists when I’m fasting. I intended to come up with a meal plan for the entire month, but then I saw this Ramadan 30 Day Meal Plan and I was sold. I bought it almost immediately and love it. It’s going to save me loads of time inshaAllah and the recipes are easily adaptable to exclude meat or add meat or make other dietary changes. I’m really looking forward to trying them all this Ramadan.
Make it special for the children
They’re at an age where they really seem to be able to grasp what Ramadan is all about. I want to ensure I’m making the month special for them too, as opposed to just going all out on Eid instead. So we’ve finished working on our decorations (read about them here)and our good-deed calendar (learn how to make it here) for Ramadan. Our food gifts for family and friends are the last things we have left to check off. The kids deliver these and wish the recipients Ramadan Mubarak 🙂
If you’d like to learn more about my pre-Ramadan game plan, watch the video below:
To download the free printable, sign up for the And then she said newsletter below! Note: you’ll need to click on the link in the email you receive to confirm your subscription first. You’ll then receive an email with links to download my game plan and other printables I currently offer (loads of gems there!)