On Friday 28th I chose to take part in #ShareRamadan.
I’ll start by saying that I thought this was a great idea and I wanted to support and be involved with it as I try to uphold the values that it represents in my day to day life and feel that this it is even more important to do so now that I’m a mother. Unfortunately that was also the problem, I’m a new mother – a new nursing mother. So fasting for a day was not the most sensible plan for me or my boy. It was this that caused me to adapt the idea slightly: rather than fasting, I chose to spend the day as if I was a mother on my NQT salary; I decided to use this method to remind myself how lucky I was and how there are many mothers struggling to balance the budgets.
I cut the luxuries out of my day and chose my food for the day on what was in the ‘reduced to clear’ section and was affordable on my starting salary.
I found it an interesting experience as the impact and realisation of the struggles of others didn’t really hit me until I was giving my son his bedtime feed. That quiet time was perfect for reflection and I walked out of his room with a huge load of respect and admiration for the families who often have to choose between feeding themselves of feeding their children. I also thought back to the time when my parents were struggling and, unbeknownst to me, they were sacrificing to ensure I was unaware of their financial struggles. I left my son that night with a greater appreciation of my parents and fond memories became fonder as I finally realised how much effort and sacrifice my parents put in to making sure I had those fond memories from those years.
On a personal level, I learnt that I’m incredibly lucky to be able to live the life I do, but that if I had to, I would sacrifice anything to make sure my child grew up with fond memories. I also decided to stop trying to sell the bundles of baby clothes he’s out grown and gift them to those who need them instead. After all, we’re united in wanting the best for our children and I don’t need the money from them more than a new family may need the donation of baby clothes.
And finally, I also learnt I’m useless without my Earl Grey; that would be a hard sacrifice to make again!