In this counseling answer:
•Don’t beat yourself up about your need to make choices between one type of service to Allah (swt) and another when the requirements of your life are different and unique compared to other people’s.
•Enjoy Ramadan; don’t make it a source of guilt and suffering. It is enough to fast and make salah and love the Quran.”
As-Salaamu ‘Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh,
Not knowing how old your kids are limited my ability to respond to this question directly. So, I am going to assume that they are not so young that they need you constantly.
I am going to assume also that they are not old enough for you to explain to them that you are busy in Ramadan. So, I am going to assume that they are between the ages of 5 and 10.
This is a transitional period wherein they are just learning about “independence” from the parent. So, my advice to you is portion out 5 to 10 minutes each day to explain to them the uniqueness of Ramadan and why you are not available to them as much as usual.
This is a great opportunity for you to do two things. God Forbid if anything happened to you and they were left without you—this period can teach them how to be without their mom. This is a very valuable lesson, indeed!
The second thing is, get them on board too with the additional worshipping that takes place in Ramadan. Even if they can’t pray, they can sit on the side and listen or read the English or the Arabic book or even just sit quietly for a few minutes.
Other than that, if you find that you really must attend to their needs instead of doing all the extra worships of Ramadan, do not blame yourself. There is a value system going on here that is different for men than it is for women.
Allah (swt) knows that women are needed by our small children and even our not-so-small children. It may be that Allah (swt) will give you a double reward for missing the extra worship because you suffered the pain of not being able to participate AND you took care of the needs of your children.
Allah (swt) judges us by our intentions. If you want to do the extra ‘ibada but you can’t, then you may get the reward for doing it and serving your kids.
Ask for help
Also, I do not know what your husband’s attitude is about this but he may be able to help, even it is only an extra 5 or 10 minutes per day of commitment. Maybe he would be willing to watch the children for 2 of the 11 rakah of tarawih so you could at least make two.
Or, maybe he would be willing to read aloud when he is reading Quran so that you can listen while helping the kids with their baths or helping them stay on task when they are washing dishes or doing some other of their chores.
Maybe he would be willing to wash dishes one night a week on the weekend (or whenever he does not have to go to work that day or the next day) so that you can take out time to read Quran or do extra prayers.
The most important thing is to remember that Allah (swt) Is Ar-Rahman, The Merciful. He loves to forgive and be compassionate. So, never despair of the mercy of Allah (swt)!
Allah (swt) mentions in many places in the Quran that He (swt) loves those who repent again and again. Not those who are perfect (which is completely unattainable). We cannot stop Shaitan whispering. So, just keep asking Allah (swt) to forgive you if you think you are falling short. Sincere repentance is that is praiseworthy behavior in the sight of Allah (swt).
So, you are no different from anyone else in your need to balance the requirements of your life and limits. Don’t beat yourself up about your need to make choices between one type of service to Allah (swt) and another when the requirements of your life are different and unique compared to other people’s.
Check out this counseling video
Enjoy Ramadan; don’t make it a source of guilt and suffering. It is enough to fast and make salah and love the Quran.
Allah (swt) says in a well-known hadeeth qudsi that when we turn to Allah (swt), He walks to us. When we walk to Him, He runs to us. So, trust in Allah (swt) that He (swt) appreciates your service, whatever it is, as long as it is true to the reality of your life, not someone else’s. What YOU should do is relative to your life, not someone else’s.
May Allah (swt) make it easy for you!
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.