I also have young children who are now home due to covid.
I am in the kitchen almost all day prepping meals or feeding kids.
I feel I won’t be able to do any spiritual stuff this ramadan.
I want to take a break from all of this hassle or I’ll go insane. Is this a normal feeling?
In this counseling answer:
Make forward plans and intentions.
Reduce the amount of time spent on cooking and look for alternative ways to achieve the same goal.
Involve the whole family in house chores and make it festive.
Let me start by reassuring you that you are far from alone in feeling like this! Many sisters feel like this year after year.
This year however is made all the more difficult by the fact that we are cooped up at home, the entire family together, barely able to leave to get some fresh air even.
Don’t feel hopeless
It can become quite stressful and choking as we try and accomplish more tasks than we have the time to do. As well as the desire to achieve the spiritual growth that we long for during Ramadan.
The stress of feeling like this can’t possibly be achieved on top of everything else can leave one feeling hopeless.
When this feeling of despair and hopelessness is experienced it is very easy to fall into the trap of simply not doing anything at all.
To achieve the spiritual benefits of this blessing due to the feeling that it is simply not possible, so why bother? It is very important not to let yourself fall into this trap.
Check out this counseling video:
Prepare in advance
Alhamdulilah there are a couple of days left before Ramadan begins. You can make forward plans and intentions to face this dilemma head on.
Plan ahead to make sure that the worst case scenario won’t happen, in sha Allah. That way you will be able to do plenty of spiritual things on top of your normal duties too.
Target your barrier
From what you said it seems as if the main barrier to achieving your goal is spending so much time in cooking.
It would be best to begin by targeting this particular barrier first as it would seem that this is perhaps your most time consuming activity. And that it would be most likely to stand in the way of being able to do spiritual activities.
On a practical level, the only way to reduce the amount of time spent cooking is to look for alternative ways to achieve the same goal.
One way to achieve this is to bulk cook and then freeze the meals to eat at various other points during Ramadan.
It may mean that there is one day where you will be cooking all day to achieve this. But it will also mean that there are other subsequent days where you will spend little time in the kitchen as meals have been pre-prepared.
These are the days when you can really engage in spiritual activities.
Alternately, try looking for recipes that require less time in the kitchen. This might mean eating something new and different to what you are used to.
But it will give you the time that you need to engage in spiritual activities, which is particularly important at this time.
And, you might even find that these are new recipes that you and your family come to enjoy very much and you incorporate it into your main more often in the future.
The other option is to involve others in the cooking process to help out. If your children are old enough then you can ask them, or your husband, or anyone else living in your house.
If it is that they can’t or won’t cook, then you can ask them with the other tasks that take up time in the kitchen.
Such as, cleaning up or tending to the easier parts of the cooking process such as preparing the vegetables or something.
Embrace different ways
These are various solutions to lessen your time in the kitchen to free up time for spiritual activities and they may not be ideal or appealing to you or your family.
But you must remember that your spiritual growth, especially during this special time, is more important than spending so much time cooking.
This is especially so when you have children who will be looking to you as a role model.
If you are not involved in spiritual activities then they will have little motivation to do the same.
So, even if only for them, it is of utmost importance that you embrace ways in which you can get the most out of Ramadan.
By looking at the situation from this angle and seeing that it is possible to find ways to still have meals prepared for the family.
And achieve spiritual growth as well as thinking about this and planning ahead. It will make you realize that it is possible to achieve both and you can do it.
May Allah guide you to do what is best for you and your family. And may He grant you the peace and blessings that you search for during Ramadan.
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 are liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.