Being a stay-at-home mom to the general public sounds like the easiest gig in the world, right? Wrong! The misconceptions that come with being a stay-at-home mom are actually alarmingly way off from what the reality is. I was always a working woman who contributed to society. I paid my taxes, worked two jobs, and maintained a regular healthy lifestyle alongside my husband. I was up at the crack of dawn and came home just before midnight. I never had time for anything let alone myself during the busy Monday to Friday hectic work schedules I had so my weekends were gold to me. Given this fact, I still found it hard to do grocery shopping, do my weekly DIY facemask, make a home cooked meal and find time to spend with my husband, family, and friends. Sounds like the rest of the world right?
As soon as I gave birth and went on maternity leave, I became a stay-at-home mom. My son is now 10 months old Alhamdulillah, and the constant question of going back to work has been on my mind. But when I thought about the pros and cons of going back to work or staying home with my son, I barely saw a difference besides I’d be getting paid for my hard work if I had a job.
Being a stay-at-home mom is a not a part-time, full-time, or casual job. It is a 24/7, all hours, everyday career. People often say things like ‘but you’re home! You can sit on your couch all day and do nothing!’ ‘You must be bored!’ ‘You get to sleep all day!’ Newsflash: I don’t even have time to take a shower long enough to wash my hair thoroughly. This is also how I feel with only one child, so obviously, my heart goes out to those mothers with more than one child.
In between diaper changes at 3am, making bottles at all hours of the day, cleaning up the house, making all the meals for everyone else in the home, grocery shopping, preparing my baby’s meals for the day AND using the bathroom – yes I factor in this time as well – it is hard to keep up with my 5 daily prayers. I found myself downloading apps, setting reminders, making wudu and then also found myself choosing to make my baby’s bottle, change a diaper first and by the time I was ready to pray it was already time for the next prayer. I needed to make a change ASAP because this wasn’t working and my faith is everything to me as a Muslim. I came up with a couple of ideas as to how to pray on time and effectively to ensure I never missed a prayer when I was physically able to pray.
1.Download Apps So You Get Notifications to Alert You When It’s Time to Pray
Apps like Athan: Prayer Times & Quran are extremely helpful. They also have duas and provide with help finding the prayer direction and where to face for the Qibla. Also, check with your local mosque and see if they have their own app. Some mosques have their own application and the prayer times are more accurate for your location. They can also have details about events happening at the local masjid.
2.Set Aside Your Prayer Clothes in a Specific Location in Your Home Beside Your Prayer Mat
This was a big help for myself personally. I had a designated abaya and hijab I love praying in. So instead of putting them away after every time I offered prayer, I decided to keep it in a separate location along with the prayer mat. This made praying on time more effective for myself instead of scrambling to go to my closet every time I was about to pray.
3.Make it a Habit to Make Wudu Every time You Use the Bathroom
This one right here was a game changer for me! I didn’t realize how time-consuming it was to make wudu just before praying, knowing I had barely 5 minutes to pray and rush back to care for my baby. So I made it a habit to always have wudu on me. I did this by making wudu after every time I would use the bathroom. I was already in the bathroom anyway and this would save me a trip to the bathroom while my baby unsupervised when I was home alone with him.
4.Ask For Someone to Watch Your Baby While You Pray
As a mom and I think it is safe to say as a woman, we tend to often not ask for help when we need it. If you aren’t home alone and it is time to pray, ask that person to watch your baby for you. It won’t take more than 10 minutes usually and if that person is also a Muslim they would understand the importance of praying on time.
5.Set Up a Safe Play Area for Your Baby to Play or Lay in While You Pray
If you are home alone and your baby is just not cooperating with you, then set up a safe play area or clean out their crib and place them in there. This has helped me immensely. When we finally had our Crib delivered for our baby, I would pray in our room where the crib was and place my baby in there. That way I knew he was somewhere safe and I would be able to tend to him when I was finished praying quicker than if he was in another room and not in a secure place.
I hope this helps all the new moms and current moms who are already dealing with a million and one things. If you have any other tips to contribute please let me know below. To comment you need an account, so please sign up and join the conversation. Your comment can benefit others!