or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Multicultural Families › Any non-fasting mamas with Muslim husbands--Ramadan
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Any non-fasting mamas with Muslim husbands--Ramadan

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi, mamas! My dh and MIL (who lives with us) are Muslim. I am not and am not fasting this Ramadan (have never, actually). Is anyone else in this situation? Because I need to do a very un-PC vent about this! I WOH and my dh and MIL are home with the kids (4 and 2), but during Ramadan they are wiped out. All the kids have been doing is watching TV and playing computer games because dh does not have the energy to do anything with them during the day. Plus he's been allowing them to stay up until late in the night with them (my dd went to sleep at 4:45 a.m today!!!!). Does anyone else have these issues or have suggestions? We spent a lot of last Ramadan fighting about these issues, and I don't want to do that this year, but I don't want our dc to become sedentary TV and computer addicts. Thanks!
post #2 of 16
Do your husband and MIL put them in front of the TV a lot when it's NOT Ramadan?

If TV watching is an issue all the time but it just gets worse during Ramadan, then you should discuss it calmly after Ramadan is over.

If it's only a problem during Ramadan, then I would say that there's nothing wrong with children learning that Ramadan is a special time when many things are different than the norm.

I lived in Egypt and it was amazing how many things came to an abrupt halt during Ramadan. People have very low energy during the day b/c of fasting!

I think I would make a big deal about the holiday, telling the kids stories and making sure they feel this is a special time of year. Then when it's over, things can go back to normal.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraN View Post
Do your husband and MIL put them in front of the TV a lot when it's NOT Ramadan?

If TV watching is an issue all the time but it just gets worse during Ramadan, then you should discuss it calmly after Ramadan is over.

If it's only a problem during Ramadan, then I would say that there's nothing wrong with children learning that Ramadan is a special time when many things are different than the norm.

I lived in Egypt and it was amazing how many things came to an abrupt halt during Ramadan. People have very low energy during the day b/c of fasting!

I think I would make a big deal about the holiday, telling the kids stories and making sure they feel this is a special time of year. Then when it's over, things can go back to normal.

Yes, I don't blame my dh and MIL for having low energy! I really admire them. And no, they don't put them in front of the TV and the computer as much outside of Ramadan. So maybe it's not a big deal. thanks for the good advice.
post #4 of 16
I'm not a muslim, or a mama, or married to a muslim... but I have muslim friends.

I totally get that fasting can wipe yout out, both from personal experience, and also watching my roomate through out college. I don't think tired automatically = letting the kids watch tv all day.

Would your DH compramise by playing games with the kids, that are fun but low key? Like perhaps card games or board games. Even if it's only for an hour in the evening-- what a great tradition and memory of Ramadan that would be!
post #5 of 16
I know you wanted moms who aren't fasting...but I did want to chime in even though I am (this is the first year I may actually make it the entire time...the past years I have either been pregnant, breastfeeding or like one year when I only made it about half way through)...
I agree w/ the PP that being tired shouldn't really equal being stuck in front of the TV. Especially all day. I know for me, when we wake up and eat breakfast before Fajr, we go back to sleep for a few hours, and then wake up and I have a good bit of energy for a while. Around 4 pm I get REALLY wiped out...so maybe that's the part you are seeing? Are they doing stuff with them in the morning and then are too exhausted when you get home and see them?
I do agree that Ramadan is a special time and things are different, but I don't think that should mean sitting in front of the TV all day long...even if it means doing stuff in the morning and then everyone coming home and resting once the effects of fasting hit (later in the day).
And hopefully it will get better...the first week is always the hardest...(((HUGS)))
post #6 of 16
Not in your situation either, but may I suggest coming up with a mental list of other low-energy / low-supervision activities, and once this Ramadan is well passed so its not so much in the moment bring it up again with your husband in an "I totally understand, but can we agree that so much television isn't really healthy and perhaps next year we could go into it with the idea that we'd like to see them do _________ more?" kind of way?
post #7 of 16
TV isn't exactly a Ramadan special. LOL. Does your husband practise year round? Many people look to make Ramadan a springboard to BETTER lifestyle changes, and being tired is not really a good reason to 'lower the standards' iykwim.

I fasted last year for the first time with children, (all other years post marriage I've been preg or breastfeeding ) and it was an incredible experience to still be trying to meet their needs whilst fasting and having a different focus to everyday life.

I'd suggest you fast to experience it and see that it's not necessarily that hard as people can make out, ( if you are in good health, of course). You'd have more power in what you observe/ suggest if you've been there done that alongside them. That little voice of 'how would you know what it's like' has room to crop up else!!! If you do know what it's like, then there is less excuse for the TV/ video games. It might give him a little shake but then I'm evil like that

Also, take a look at this site:
http://tjramadan.talibiddeenjr.amana...com/index.html

There are loads of printables and activity ideas such as these:
http://tjramadan.talibiddeenjr.amana...adancrafts.htm

It's a time to explore healthy eating habits, tell stories, talk about why we fast and generally hang out together, play nice qasidas, ( Islamic songs) and so on...

(edit: http://www.manaqib.com/v2/products_FromGodBeauty.html
this has some clips of songs in arabic and english)

This is a beautiful site to browse too - she had a Ramadan challenge kit for children last year, but it seems to not be available this year:
http://barakahlifehandmade.typepad.com/

Staying up *that* late is also understandably a bit worrisome - maybe you can channel his energy towards putting them to bed earlier and all getting up for the morning meal together instead?

Sorry for my ramble. I think you have valid reasons for concern, but obviously every circumstance is different and as you say, you want to avoid arguments. I do wonder if you can get more involved and make the changes happen more smoothly by being part of it, but again I don't know your work schedule and so on. As a family celebration it's fun to be fasting and having a new routine that is slightly out of sync to the rest of the year, but the point is also to found new habits that will last for the rest of our lives, so it's a fine balance.

God help us all with our various challenges!!
post #8 of 16
My dh is muslim and I am not (anything inparticular in fact) however, this year has been alot better, last year quite frankly I could have killed him, we discussed things after last year's ramadan his bad moods, short temper,lack of energy and generally not doing anything, and in fact I read an article in the Times which my mum kept for him and it's actually how he eats during ramadan that makes the difference, so this time he's eaten much healthier and it's made all the difference to his moods and to his energy - I'll see if I can find the link (it was written by a muslim).

About staying up late, i think I'd put my foot down about that, once we get to around 11pm (last night for example) it's just not healthy for the kids to stay up and it really knocks them out of sync. I've found that a few compromises really work but as it is something that lasts for a month we also can't over do it for the kids either, we let them stay up on the saturday nights - if they want to, and then they can celebrate with us at the end but that's really it.
post #9 of 16
Hi. I'm two months pregnant AND breastfeeding and so not fasting- it would put me in the hospital because I need to keep my blood sugar up. DH is fasting. I don't work out of the home but I hear you.

Quote:
All the kids have been doing is watching TV and playing computer games because dh does not have the energy to do anything with them during the day.
Quote:
Plus he's been allowing them to stay up until late in the night with them (my dd went to sleep at 4:45 a.m today!!!!).
I've never heard of such a thing, honestly. What do you think they do in Muslim countries? Absurd. My DH is doing nine to ten hours of farm work a day during Ramazan, with a one-hour nap or none. Now don't get me wrong, we have serious issues, but at least he's not lazy. Ramazan is not an excuse not to work. It is a time of getting energy from God instead of food. Anyone who uses it as an excuse might as well not bother, because you don't get any points in heaven for switching the day and night schedule and complaining about being hungry. Maybe in Egypt they do that (I wouldn't know, but I was in Dubai last Ramazan and the Egyptian taxi drivers seemed to be wide awake and in pleasant spirits around 5 p.m.) but they don't in many parts of the Muslim world.

I fasted for three years, each year working twelve-hour days, field work, etc. No smoking although I was a smoker. This is the NORM, not the exception. I'm not bragging- I did a pretty average fast as they go. Everyone around me did the same thing.

Around 4 p.m. we also got a bit tired, but that is the best time to get up and do something. If you are fasting as a faith exercise, God will get you through, no matter what your religion. We usually saved our big activities for the tough time, so that we wouldn't be thinking about food.

I don't know what you can say to your DH, though. Since you're not fasting I guess you're not in the position to give advice. Perhaps give him a schedule, as some earlier posters said, and explain that you hope this will help them pass the days? Fasting yourself might help, but you might find it very difficult if you are not going at it from a spiritual perspective. You need energy from SOMEWHERE.

NB we go to bed at the normal time, and always ate only two meals during Ramazan. Otherwise it's not much of a fast, is it?
post #10 of 16
Um, just want to add that in much of the world shortened work hours are the norm during Ramadan, as is a tendency to stay late in the night. Also there is considerable religious justification for staying up at night (albeit for prayer), for taking regular afternoon naps, and for doing what one can to bring ease to the fast.
post #11 of 16
Liquesce- Staying up late is one thing, but switching the day-night schedule is another. Cutting work hours by a few hours is one thing, but not working all day because you stayed up until dawn is entirely another. I guess we were with very strict Muslims, but these practices were really looked down upon where I was in the Muslim world. And everybody worked during the day, or took a pay cut. There were no big parties until the end of the fast. It wasn't mournful but it was definitely more contemplative.

But I have more experience with Asian Islam than Arabian / Persian Gulf Islam so that probably makes a big difference.
post #12 of 16
I'm not *strictly* disagreeing, I'm just saying that an expectation of using the opportunity for ease where it is presented isn't a strict vs. lenient muslims thing. That doesn't mean neglecting one's unwaverable obligations, no ... but to me it sounds as though the OP and her family have different views as to what constitutes unwaverable. Which makes it less of a question of religious observance and all its accompanying proprieties and more just a question of ordinary family negotiations surrounding that observance.
post #13 of 16
That's true- but I still think that if her DH's job is to take care of the kids, Ramazan does not excuse him from that job, you know? Just like if those of use whose husbands (or ex-husbands) work outside of the home just... didn't... go to work during Ramazan because they were "wiped out", and there was no money. That's really not okay, and it seems really not okay to not be a proper SAHD because of fasting. If he needs, why not hire a non-Muslim maid?

But again this brings up the question of whether Muslim children suffer neglect during Ramazan, since most Muslim families do not have maids. I don't think most children do suffer. That means that most women somehow manage it, and if he wants to be the primary caretaker of the children, or his mom does, they need to manage it as well. You can't just let it all go to pot for a month!
post #14 of 16
Absolutely. But not everyone agrees that watching to much tv and staying up late at night constitutes relaxing a little too much on the job, kwim? I mean, yeah, muslim mothers manage, but managing quite frequently means seeing to it that everyone is fed and cleaned and healthy and has their basic necessities met in general, Ramadan or not, and not so much managing their time or directing their activities. Those are more cultural inclusions. And, as always, there is a reason Ramadan has become the season of all the big television specials.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
managing quite frequently means seeing to it that everyone is fed and cleaned and healthy and has their basic necessities met in general, Ramadan or not, and not so much managing their time or directing their activities. Those are more cultural inclusions. And, as always, there is a reason Ramadan has become the season of all the big television specials.
That is a good point. If you have eleven kids you're not really directing activities. But those who have four are still helping with homework and they aren't sitting down. At least, not amongst the poor. Where I was, Ramazan was not a time for TV more than usual, because between all the prayers which people would do even if they didn't normally do them, and extra time put into food preparation to make pastries, plus the regular work, nobody had time. They watched less TV and tried to go to bed earlier so they would be able to get up and eat breakfast. It is very interesting to me that it is a more festive season to others. Where I was, Eid was the fest. Also people saved their money for the feast on Eid, and so didn't eat really well during Ramazan. They were poor people.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
It is very interesting to me that it is a more festive season to others. Where I was, Eid was the fest.
I wouldn't say more festive, but there is sometimes definitely more of a tendency to let the afternoon house the lull in the day. To cook and to pray and do all the necessary things, but also just to kind of mellow when able. I assumed it was a universal trait. Of course now I just feel I've been lazy.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Multicultural Families
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Multicultural Families › Any non-fasting mamas with Muslim husbands--Ramadan