8:30 A.M – “Wouldn’t it be great if I could keep Jummah as a special time to bond with my boys?” I think to myself.
8:45 -In my mind the scene unfolds like this: Friday morning after taking a nice shower and wearing my new Lawn shalwaar Kameez my squeaky clean children put on their Kufis and we arrive at the mosque. My angelic kids first listen to the Khutbah and then pray besides me. They then go off to play with their friends at the playground. Afterwards we go to the Rice and Kabob where my kids gobble down the food while I talk to them about the lessons we’ve learned in the khutbah.
9:45 – Reality beckons… Humza is being chased by his younger brother with a wooden spoon, there is alot of screaming, THUD, Hassan falls, CRYING ensues…Simultaneously corresponding with the crying is the pressure cooker’s whistle (PHEWWW) letting me know that i’m on my 10th whistle which means my aloo gosht (beef and potato stew) is ready.
11:00 – Breakfast is done, fights over, thinking of having a cup of chai and then getting the into kids the shower, this is the point I re-check all the ADAMS times and locations and make a game plan. GAME TIME ON!
More often than not my dream that I had at 8:45 every Jummah never makes it to fruition possibly because my kids are never squeaky clean and who really would have the time to iron a lawn shawar kameez?
I think about all the preparations that I will have to make to get to Jummah and ensure that my kids last an hour without a major meltdown
1) Snacks – cereal, goldfish, chips, fruits, juice
2) Wipes and napkins – Sounds basic but with all the snacks and choas you need them!
2) Cars – I always think im not going to take a car because I want them to learn to self entertain themselves, also they end up fighting or losing their cars. However based on past experiences, I’ve learned that all the other boys always bring some sort of car/toys and that causes even a bigger problem because then my kids hover over the other kids toys.
To be honest its a draining expereince but still every Jummah I have an internal struggle of why I should just be extra patient and head over to Jummah. Here are some reasons why:
Family Bonding Time
When I was growing up, going to Sunday school was the most annoying thing to do. Waking up early to catch up on Sunday school Homework such as the last minute essays on the importance of the five pillars was not exactly memorable. What was memorable was the whole chaos surrounding it. My mother would yell to get us in the car, we would be trying to find our scarves and inevitably there would be a discussion about the clothes we were wearing to the mosque and the reasons why next time we should just wear shalwar kameez… can anyone relate?
Your kids will start school and you won’t really have the option of spending Jummah with them, so bite the bullet pack the snacks and toys and throw those kids in the car!
Getting Kids familir with the Mosque environment
Believe it or not the mosque is a perfect place to take younger kids. It’s an open space they can wander if they get bored and there are not many dangerous things around. That being said many people are concerned that their kids will disturb other peoples Jummah. That is a valid concern but if we don’t expose our kids to the mosque environement and the rules of the place then how can we expect them to learn? Moms be prepared to take your kids out of the prayer area if they are having a melt down, but otherwise don’t worry, kids will make noises and they will wander.
Jummah Jihad is what comes to my mind when I think of getting my two boys ready for Jummah. Before you flip out the Jihad is the struggle that I have every Friday morning to just pray at home versus going to the actual Mosque. Althought it may be spiritually more rewarding to pray at home while the kids are napping, if you are going in with the intention of making your kids familiar with the Mosque and instilling in them the love and importance of Allah (SWT) then you will inshAllah get rewarded for that.
There are social benefits for both the mothers and the kids. Mothers can meet other women, correspond play dates and learn about other things that are going on at the mosque. Going to Jummah cuts the “routine” and allows for mothers to get dressed and read their Jummah prayer in congregation. It also gives them the opportunity to enjoy their friday afternoon with friends or enjoy a nice lunch. A breath of fresh air and getting out of a routine does wonders for a mother!
Althought I write all this and I believe in all the positive aspects of taking your child to Jummah, I know that its hard getting out for Jummah and sometimes we have had negative experinces that may cause mothers with young kids to hesitate going. Lets try to motivate each other and make it to Jummah with our kids, inshallah may Allah reward all the mothers who go the “extra” mile!
Do you have any Jummah Experiences? Positive or Negative? Advice please share!