"What? You fast from dawn to sunset? Whoa, how do you do it? No water either, not even a sip!?!".
Welcome to my world folks, the world of a Muslim during the sacred month of Ramadan. Ramadan is scheduled to commence later this week and I am not looking forward to it. The Islamic calendar is lunar based, so Ramadan shifts by approximately 10 days every year. Fasting during the winter months is easy with dawn being so late and sunset being so early. Fasting during the summer months is brutal -- dawn is currently at 3:45 a.m. and sunset is at 9 p.m.
Religion is a funny thing and the followers of any given religion range from non-practicing to fanatical weirdos, though I like to think most people fall somewhere in the middle. In the name of faith, we (believers in God) all do things that don't completely make sense. We argue over silly things. We can be hypocrites. We shift values when necessary. We judge even though we know we should not. But I would be lost without my belief in God and, therefore, regardless if it makes sense to others or not, I am accepting of fasting for over 17 hours.
Initially, my thoughts for this blog were to write about the wonderful aspects of fasting and why Muslims and those from other religions fast. I wanted to write about my faith in God. So I went ahead and wrote a short piece and, as I read it back to myself, I realized how little it included my "true voice." I always like to give voice to the emotions that people do not like to vocalize.
For example, I have always encouraged moms-to-be to ignore other moms who claim that every moment of motherhood is amazing. In fact, these other moms are more likely than not lying to you or lying to themselves. Motherhood is hard and it perfectly fine to cry, complain and realize you need time to yourself; this does not mean you love your kids any less. Similarly, I would like to talk about the tough aspects about Ramadan and being Muslim.
So why am I not looking forward to fasting? Well, let's summarize what a day in the life of a fasting Muslim mom could look like this:
1. Get up around 3 a.m., eat something nutritious and drink as much water as your bladder can hold. Dealing with your incredibly grumpy husband at that hour is far from a dream come true;
2. Try to go back to bed before it is time to wake up again;
3. Start your day and hope for least amount of interaction with Muslims who are suffering from tea/coffee and smoking withdrawal;
4. Respond to your kids 100 questions while your throat dries up;
5. Survive a trip to: (a) the zoo where your kids want to stay under the sun instead of go to an indoor pavilion and (b) McDonald's where your kids happily eat their happy meal while your tummy growls;
6. Deal with clients who want to chat endlessly while you manage your headache;
7. Prepare dinner without tasting the food (this usually results in "oops, I forgot the salt!");
8. Count down to sunset at least a dozen times;
9. Break your fasts and attempt to drink 8 glasses of water before bedtime;
10. Spend the night going to the bathroom on-and-off until its 3am-ish when you start back at 1) above.
If you think the above sounds easy, I dare you to try a day. Ramadan is around the corner... and I am not ready to starve yet!
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