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The Challenges And Blessings Of A Work-At-Home Mom During Ramadan

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Sastri  •  May 06, 2021

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One day, I was glued to the laptop with my earphones plugged in. There was an important meeting at work that I need to listen carefully to. Then, someone knocks on the door, not once, not twice but three times - and it gets louder each time.   Aku mau sama Ibu!” (I want to be with Mommy!) I tried to stay focused and ignored my son’s cry for me. Then, there was silence outside the door for about five seconds before my son cried even louder for my attention. “Aku mau sama Ibu! Aku mau sama Ibu!” And there it was - I found myself hearing my colleague on my right ear and my son’s loud cry on the other. Trust me, that wasn’t the first time. Many times I felt like screaming at my son and saying “Hey son, please be cooperative!” but would a three-year-old understand his mother’s plea? When the meeting ended, I got up, exhaled and reminded myself that I was fasting. It was the last 10 days of Ramadan and I don’t want to ruin this holy month by feeling angry, even for a minute. I opened the door and saw my sonlaying on the floor, flooded with tears. My heart softened as I held him dearly and said, “I’m sorry, baby.”
Meet my son, Kelana My son’s name is Kelana and he’s 3 years old. Threenager, that’s how some parents would describe it. Trust me, there are 7 stages of these so-called terrible phases including terrible twos and sassy sixes, depending on their behaviour - and sometimes, Kelana does behave like a teenager. Kelana; “Ibu, aku sayang sekali sama Ibu.” (Mommy, I love you so much) Me: “Ibu juga sayang sekali sama Kelana.” (I love you too) Kelana: “AKU MAU PUDDING COKELAT DONG BU!” (GIVE ME MY CHOCOLATE PUDDING!) Every mother would agree that their children are the most beautiful beings. I love him more than anything in this world. He’s the only reason I work hard - even if it means ignoring him on most days. He is also the very first person I mentioned in each prayer. I’m 100% sure that I’m not the only mother who experienced this. Juggling between work, household needs, messy rooms, husband’s needs, cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, ironing, a lot of hugging. It happens every single day but during Ramadan, it’s alwaysmuch more tiring.
A day in the life of a work-at-home mother during Ramadan You might be wondering, what is a typical day like for a work-at-home mother during Ramadan? Mine starts when I wake up every 3AM to prepare suhoor, do a prayer then clean a few things until the sun rises at 5.30AM. After that, I take a short nap and wake up again at 8AM.  By that time I prepare breakfast for my son, I would be on my laptop, updating the team and feeding my son breakfast. I always have my morning meetings while feeding him. Sometimes, I think that’s why we are blessed with two eyes and two ears - to see and listen to many things at the same time! After his breakfast, I play with Kelana while working (I’m guilty of watching him from the corner of my eye and making sure he doesn’t do anything dangerous). By 11AM, still with the laptop open, I prepare his lunch and dinner. I bathe him, feed him lunch, and tuck him to sleep. He usually naps from 1.30PM to 3PM and that’s my free time! I think I spend all of it either working orgetting some nap as well. Trust me, it’s hard to keep your eyes open while taking a nap with your child! By 3PM, I usually rush to finish all work-related tasks. By 5PM I start to prepare for iftar, making takjil (sweet appetizer) and hot tea. After breaking fast with hot tea and takjil, I feed my son for dinner and do my prayers. Then, I can eat peacefully afterwards.  Many times I feel that I don’t have enough time to finish all my work-related tasks, so I continue working after my son is asleep at 10PM. I usually sleep around midnight until 1AM and wake up again at 3AM. The cycle continues every day and sometimes, I miss my suhoor because of tiredness or I would do duha prayer instead of fajr. Ramadan has taught me patience and to be a better mother
For me, the closest word to describe Ramadan is patience. It’s hard to get zen when you’re facing an endless to-do-list, dealing with your child’s demand for affection, and sorting out work-related tasks every day. But Ramadan always reminds me to be more patient - no matter how challenging the situation may be.  Even though Ihave bad sleeping habits and my dark circles are becoming more visible, I can say that I survived it all. I 100% believe that these struggles aren’t reserved to working moms alone, but to all mothers too. With all the fasting and praying, Ramadan has taught me patience more than anything. Ramadan also taught me to be more sincere and strive to be a better person (and mother) every day.  I’m happy to say that I’m not the only human who has the ability to multitask at the same time. I’m grateful to say that there’s a superhuman inside all mothers - and it cannot be replaced even with the strongest Marvel superhero. To all mothers out there, Happy Mother’s Day :)