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Question 1

I am working full time. now due to covid-19 the kids are home 24/7 i feel like a robot and burning out from all the house chores? How do I show the kids I am not neglecting them?

Assalamu alaikum sister,

The current situation has out a lot of additional pressure on everyone as we are now in a situation where we are trying to manage multiple full time roles.

This is a difficult situation to manage as it is, but when it is something that we are not used to we have to find new ways to manage.

Manage our time whilst adjusting to a new lifestyle that we are not used to and fulfilling roles in a new and novel way that is new to us.

In your case you are possibly adjusting to a new way of working that you have not been used to previously. Even without the additional responsibilities of parenting full time and managing a house that is full all day.

And most likely producing increased chores to be done to keep the house in its usual order, this alone is a difficult task.

You may have been used to going to work each day and fulfilling your roles in an efficient way, but now you have to achieve the same results but in a new way and with additional distractions and in a new environment.

Additionally, your children are also home from school so you will be looking for ways to keep them occupied and your house requires more attention due to the additional chores accumulated as a result of having a house full all day everyday.

It is a very difficult task to manage all of these things and it will take time to adjust and find ways but there are some ways that you can ease the burden somewhat.

First of all, there are some practical steps that you can take. Regarding the chores there are a couple of things you can do. Of course it is always nice to live in a house that is clean and well ordered and makes for better well being to live in such a way.

However, in this case where you feel like you are burning out, it might be necessary to reduce the load on yourself. Ask yourself if you would rather sacrifice some chores and spend this time with your children feeling less stressed? Or would you rather see an entirely clean house but loose out on time with your children.

Given that you fear your children may be feeling neglected the former may be the better option. If this is the case it will be necessary for you to let go of feeling like household chores must be completed to the highest level.

That is not to say that you should completely abandon the chores because that could also lead to stress, but to just step back a bit. Perhaps you might assign yourself a certain amount of time each day to be doing household chores and discipline yourself to stop when the time is up.

Another thing you can do in this area is, depending on your children’s ages, encourage your children to help out. Assign them certain tasks appropriate to their age that they can do each day.

This takes a couple of daily responsibilities of your hands. Let them do these chores at the same time that you are fulfilling your assigned daily tasks to encourage a feeling of collaboration together as you all work together on the join task of cleaning the house.

This is a chance to be fulfilling both roles as a homemaker and mother at the same time and therefore, not neglecting them, but giving them attention at the same time as attending to your household duties.

A similar strategy can be employed when it comes to managing your work and additional time spent with your children. Try to establish some kind of routine where you have assigned times for work and for spending time with your children so they know that they will be getting your attention each day and when it will be.

It might be that whilst you were used to perhaps working in the day whilst your children were at school it may be that you now have to shift things around to give them your time in the day time in order to maintain a similar routine for them to what they were used to at school.

Then when things have settled down in the evening and their energy levels are less then this is when you might be better placed to do work task as the environment would be more conducive to productivity.

To make sure both these tasks run efficiently plan ahead, perhaps by making a schedule for your work and with your children for the week ahead on the week ahead. Create schedule with the children.

Let them be a part of it, something that you work on together to allow them to have some say over what things you will do together. This is way of giving them attention and giving them something to look forward to each day.

This will also save time each day as all tasks will be focused and will require less to complete each day. You can do the same with your work too in terms of planning ahead as a means make use of your work time more efficiently.

You have a lot of things on your plate right now and this could make you very vulnerable to experiencing burnout so it is important to slow down and relax to avoid this as much as possible.

Take care of yourself and try to be content with achieving smaller tasks each day and giving yourself at least some kind of break each day where you separate yourself from all these tasks and do something that you enjoy and that makes you feel relaxed.

This will help to keep on top of your psychological well being so that you can achieve your duties in a positive state of mind.

May Allah make things easily for you and reward your efforts to give your children all your best whilst also working to provide for your household.

***********

Question 2

Due to covid-19 all the masajid are lockdown. me and my family are big masjid goers, especially in Ramadan, we attend all the lectures and classes. We can’t imagine Ramadan without a mosque to go.  I am feeling very sad and anxious as to how to enjoy this Ramadan and give the kids the same spiritual environment? 

Assalamu alaikum,

This is an anxiety that most of us are going through as Ramadan approaches the knowledge that most likely we will have to complete at least some of Ramadan at home without being permitted to attend the masjid and in the worst case scenario this may even extend to Eid.

This is a very different situation to what you have likely been used to your entire life, and most people do have some difficulties in adjusting to something new.

Especially when they have not experienced something at all before, or would even have dreamed of it ever getting to the point where you could not attend the masjid, especially during the time when attendance typically increases as a means of spiritual fulfillment during a blessed month.

With this opportunity taken away this will naturally leave many feeling extremely anxious and wondering how we can achieve the same spiritual fulfillment as any other year.

It is not an ideal situation, but for the safety or ourselves and others it is important that we adhere to the rules.

It seems like an impossible situation on the surface, but there is much hope and blessings in the situation too.

So making sure to cling onto these positives will help to overcome the anxiety and move forward. Being in this state of mind to begin with will give you that added bounce and motivation to achieve great things this Ramadan, in sha Allah.

Whilst it may feel like now you can’t go to the masjid you couldn’t possibly achieve the spiritual level as you would if you could, there are other ways to achieve this if you just open yourself up to new options and new ways of doing things.

Doing things differently can be daunting, but it can also be exciting too. Focusing on the latter will make the experience a happier and fulfilling time for you and your family, in sha Allah.

Perhaps since you usually go to the masjid you never had much motivation or opportunity to listen to lectures from other sheikhs around the globe. This current situation gives you the opportunity to widen your opportunities and listen to lectures from others than you may not have before.

It may be that you come across a sheikh that you are able to connect to very well and learn from them. This is an activity that you can do together as a family.

Likewise with other spiritual activities too. For example, perhaps you all go to the masjid and read Quran in halaqahs with your respective groups, be it other brothers, sisters or the children with other children their age, well now you can have your own halaqahs at home as a family.

This might be something that you haven’t done before so serves as a great opportunity to read together and bond in a beautiful activity together.

Until now you have been attending the masjid for face to face classes which masha Allah is a great way to learn in the company of other brother and sister and benefit from the social interactions too.

Now you may worry about how you can continue to learn at this time, but there are many online institutions that offer online courses too, so again, this is something that you can sign up to together and learn.

To make it fun for your children perhaps get them involved in a learning project and get them to teach you what they have learnt. This will help to solidify their knowledge and boost their confidence and self esteem.

You can also make sure to maintain social interactions with your friends and your children through theirs by encouraging regular telephone or video calling contact too. This is to ensure that you still maintain the ties of sister and brotherhood whilst you are absent from the masjid

Alhamdulillah that in today’s time we have access to many options such as Islamic tv channels, YouTube and online Islamic studies classes so as you can see whilst you can’t do the things that you normally do, you can still achieve all the same things, but just in a different way.

Aside from these spiritual tasks you can also do other things to make Ramadan enjoyable. Since you are at home all the time but additional effort into decorating the house.

Perhaps more so that you would do otherwise to bring some added joy and happiness into the household as a constant reminder of the month that you will be in.

May Allah ease your worries and grant you a Ramadan filled with joy and happiness and spiritual growth.

*****

Question 3

Due to covid-19 and quarantine me and my husband are on edges. We can’t go out for a breather. It’s either his way or the highway what to do?

Assalamu alaikum,

This current situation is very stressful for everyone in one way or another. Before the current crisis every one had their own space at least to some extent when gong to work, or at least to the shops for a short time, but now we are stuck indoors for much of the day with no opportunity to go out.

Families are now forced to be in the company of one another all day every day and this can easily lead to strained relationships as it is with you and your husband. However, there are things you can do lighten the burden.

In a normal situation you and your husband probably wouldn’t be together all day every day and even if you do there was always the option to go out and take a breather, but with the current situation you are forced to live like this.

However, you do not necessarily have to be in the continued company of each other. Make sure to get a bit of space apart for at least some portion of the day by taking yourself to a different room or something for a bit.

It might be that you go to your bedroom to read for a bit and get a breather from each other like this. A bit of time apart can be healthy for a relationship and in the current climate, at least for a short while, in sha Allah, you can achieve this within the confines of your house.

As well as spending a bit of time apart within the the house you can also work in improving the time that you spend together in the house. Make the most of it and make sure the time you spend together is productive in such a way that will increase your connection and enjoy each others company.

It might be that you do spiritual activities together, especially now as you prepare for Ramadan. Perhaps you might start a course in Islamic studies together or read the Qur’an together or watch Islamic lectures together on tv or YouTube.

Doing things like this together will serve several purposes; not only will it strengthen your connection to Allah but it will soften your hearts for one another too and build you relationship too.

You might also do something completely new together that you never tried before just for novelty since you are stuck at home doing the same things each day, seeing the same people and seeing the  the same scenery. Something new will add excitement to your day.

Perhaps look into starting a new hobby that can be done from home or taking up an online course in something entirely new. Doing things like this together can help build bonds also as you set goals together working on a shared task.

Alternatively, this might be something you do for yourself too as a means to get that sense of separation for a small portion of the day. Either way, you will benefit from doing something a bit different in a time when things can feel very choking as you are confined to your home for the most part.

So, whilst the situation is placing great pressure on many like yourself, there are many benefits that can be taken from it that couldn’t otherwise be achieved if you were not forced into this situation. Make the most of this time as much as you can to avoid slipping into a cycle of negativity.

May Allah make it easy for you and make you and your husband the coolness of each others eyes in this life and the next.

*****************

Question 4

Due to covid-19 we are all in quarantine and my extended family is always calling me. Mom gets upset if I don’t pick up her calls but I’m extremely busy these days with kids and hubby at home 24/7. I have too much house chores plus my job and studies as well. When I tell mom that I’m busy she gets upset and says she will never call back again. How can I explain this to her without harming her feelings.

Assalamu alaikum,

This is a struggle that most people are going through at present trying to juggle multiple tasks from within the home, such as work, study, chores and family life. These are things that would usually be clearly separated but now one has to find new epways to manage their time to ensure all tasks are done. In a normal situation maintaining family ties, even if it is through a phone call would be relatively easy, but with a new structure to follow it takes a process of adjustment.

Perhaps for your mother she does not have so many other commitments to attend to so is not affected by the situation in the same way that you are.

In terms of trying to manage her time differently to fulfill multiple roles and so does not realize the extent of the strain that you are under right now and this is why she gets upset.

From her perspective, perhaps the reason she is getting upset is because for her the difficulties she is facing is that of loneliness and isolation and just wants to have a chat with you and her family as a means to overcome these feelings.

Being able to do so as she wants causes her upset because she is not able to go out and see others as she perhaps was before so is looking to get that support from her loved ones like yourself.

Understanding things from her perspective like this will help you to deal with the situation in a way that might be more conducive to maintaining healthy relations with her in a way that will fit in with your current lifestyle as well as satisfying her desire to talk to you.

One way to achieve this would be to arrange to have a regular time that you talk in the phone. Set a particular time in the day that works for both of you where you will stop work, study and chores and call her. Let this be a time that is suitable to her too.

By having a specific time set aside each day, or every other day or so depending on how often you would usually be in touch means that you can make sure that you are always available for her at this time and she will not be hurt by your lack of contact.

Try to make this a regular timing so that she knows exactly when you will call and you can fit it around your own schedule too, for example, it may be that early evening works well for you so make sure to call her consistently at this time.

This will keep her consistently reassured also that she will have this continued ongoing contact with you and this will lessen her anxieties about feeling lonely and isolated.

If she is able or has the means to have some kind of video call then you might make this type contact every now and then, so she also gets the chance to see you and the children as this is the closest you can get to meeting in person right now.

Depending on how you would usually maintain contact you might think about speaking more often but for shorter periods, having 5 minute chats every day or every other day rather than 30 minutes or so once or twice a week.

Again, this could be a way to keep her consistently reassured by your contact but it also gives you a chance to check in in her during this times of concern for health especially among those who are older.

When making contact with her you be the one to make the call. This way you will be able to do so in the moment that you are free without distractions and will also let her know that you do care as you are the one to be making the call.

Again, as mentioned before, try to make this at a regular time that suits you both so that she will know when to expect the call.

May Allah make things easy for you during these trying times. May He keep you all safe and well and strengthen your bonds as a family.

********

Question 5

Due to covid-19 governments and health professionals are advising for social distancing. But my extended family and friends still want to meet up. How do I deal with this situation?

Assalamu alaikum,

The advice that we are being given to follow is for reasons of safety, not only to ourselves but to others too. If we are to combat this devastating situation it is paramount that we adhere to these guidelines that have been enforced upon us.

In sha Allah it will only be for a short time and restrictions will soon be lifted, but for now it is important that we follow guidelines.

It can be quite stressful to do this as we become confined to our homes in the most part, and it might be tempting to go against the guidelines thinking that we won’t be affected by the virus, yet many have made this mistake and ended up in the worst situation.

We must also remember that even if we don’t agree with the restrictions, Islamically we are obliged to obey the laws of the land in which we live, so to break the rules would also be a sin from the Islamic perspective.

This is one of the reasons why even masjids are closed for this time. No one is immune to this illness and we have seen the countless numbers of brothers and sisters who have been afflicted by it and suffered the worst consequences.

We should look to such examples as a means to remind of the importance of adhering to the rules.

I understand that in your situation the difficulty isn’t necessarily that you want to go out, but that you friends and family want to meet up despite that guidelines saying such gatherings should not happen. It will be difficult to decline such invitations for fear of upsetting relationships, but at least in this case we know that to adhere to the these rules is to adhere to the command of Allah just like anything else such as prayer..etc.. and the fear of Allah should prevail over the fear of upsetting friends and family in this case.

Of course, it is also important to maintain family ties and so by not meeting and having the same regular contact as before such ties could easily become severed.

However, alhamdulillah for technology today as we can maintain regular contact with friends and family via other means even if it is that we cannot meet up in person.

In sha Allah this will only be for a short time, but for now we can rely on other means to maintain ties. You can have regular contact though phone calls and even video calls too which is about as close to meeting face to face as you can get for now.

It is not even possible to have group video calls so do make the most of technology in this way. Even try something new and novel through these means, have a group quiz might for example. This way you can do something fun together each from their homes but without having to leave the house.

This way, you are following the guidelines, keeping yourselves safes and maintaining ties and therefore satisfying the rules of the land and the need to be socially active with friends and family.

May Allah keep you, your friends and family safe during these times of difficult. May He reward you for adhering to His commands and laws of land as a means to keep others safe and well also.

*****

Thursday, Jan. 01, 1970 | 00:00 - 00:00 GMT

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