During times of uncertainty...

Jan 23, 2022

This is a repost of an article that was first published on Cherished and Successful on 19 Mar 2020

Hold On To Good Habits

It has never been a more important time to have a loving and strong marriage.

During this time of difficulty, hold on to your good habits so you and your spouse can be a source of strength and peace for each other and the rest of your family. If you arent married, then the same still applies - be a source of comfort for those around you during this time of uncertainty.

As you know, I've been super-busy over the last few months, and now it's more important than ever to wind down and re-prioritise. And so, as a reminder for myself, first and foremost, I am going to be posting some tips in the upcoming weeks to help you maintain a home of affection and tranquillity while schools are closed, family members are working from home and kids playdates are no longer an option.

  1. Express gratitude - now is the time to be grateful for everything! Thank your spouse and loved ones for every loving gesture. If they are cooking, thank them; if they are optimistic, thank them; if they are working from home, thank them; if they brave the shops... thank them!
  2. Making requests - if you need help, which you probably will ask for it! Yes, I know, we all wish that those we love can figure out what needs doing themselves, and we want everyone to be considerate - but now really isn't the time to bring that up - instead, let them know how you would like to be helped. Here are some examples of requests Jawad or I would be making:
    • Could you help with the cooking over the next few weeks?
    • It would mean so much to me if you could hoover every few days
    • Would it be possible for you to clear the table once you've eaten?
    • Can everybody put their shoes away when they come in?
    • Can someone clear up the kitchen this evening?
  3. Ask if your spouse needs anything to make things go smoother.  They might need a designated workspace, help with organising some alone time to work/unwind, help with the laundry - remember, everything may be stopping around us, but the laundry never stops! Or even looking after if they are feeling poorly.
  4. Connect at every opportunity - make time for one another! With everyone busy doing their own things, if an opportunity arises to connect - drop what you are doing if it isn't urgent and go and connect!
  5. Carve out some time for your spouse every day, where you can sit and enjoy each other's company.  If there is something you like to do together - now is the time.  For us, it's watching Ertugrul - am I glad I didn't binge watch it, I'm still on season 2! Or, me and Jawad watch youtube videos of Shuyukh we like to study with - if they have a new one come up, it's nice to watch it together. Sit and have some tea together as a daily ritual.  This is something I learnt from my lovely parents in law - my father in law always makes the afternoon tea, mashaAllah, and brings out the biscuits, which, incidentally, he always goes out to buy himself!  Bless them, they are staying in Pakistan until after Ramadan.
  6. Keep the home cosy and fresh - make the living rooms a place where your spouse and loved ones gravitate towards.
    • keep sofas clear of clutter, fluff up the cushions - it makes the world of a difference!
    • keep dining tables and chairs clear and ready to sit at - when they are draped with laundry, books and post, it's easier to go and eat somewhere else... alone!
    • diffuse cleansing and protecting essential oils
    • encourage all family members to pick up after themselves
  7. Beautify yourself - If you aren't poorly, make a point of beautifying and performing yourself (men and women) and keeping your hair and body fresh. If you are going to spend time with your spouse at home, I'm sure you will appreciate it if they aren't lounging around in their pyjamas all day - so don't do the same! :)
  8. Establish a family prayer time - If you don't have a family prayer time, now is a good time to establish it.  In our house, mashaAllah, the menfolk read every maghrib prayer together, others times too, if possible.  It's a nice way of gathering everyone and reaping the rewards of group prayer.  Now is a good time for both you and your spouse to pray at least one prayer together and pray for each other, your family, and your local community and the world at large - note to self!
  9. Take time out for yourself - and do it as an investment into your marriage! A well looked after wife/husband is an asset to a marriage.  Keep up with your self-care - you can read the books you have been waiting to read (for example the new Shama'il!), have a hot soak in the evening, start a jigsaw.
  10. Change your bedding - freshen up your room as you start this period of staying at home and make it a place of love and romance. Keep kiddie things out, empty the wastebin, perfume your pillows and light the candles at night...

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