Holy Week or Kwaresma is upon us once more and for Catholics, this is considered a significant time for self-renewal. Lent is the greatest and most solemn period of fasting on the Catholic Church’s calendar, leading up to the celebration of Easter. And although its observance and practice may be different for each individual and family, from going on Visita Iglesias and participating in processions, one of the most common practices during this period is abstinence — waning off meat for the week or even for the few days leading up to Easter. However, limiting food or even certain types of it may not be so practical for moms. Expectant moms or even breastfeeding moms are usually exempted from practicing fasting during the Kwaresma because they need all the nourishment for their unborn baby or breastfed baby. On the other hand, moms of picky-eater toddlers might also be hesitant to cut off meat completely from their menu even for just a few days as doing so might result to a hunger strike from their kiddo.
So what can a mama abstain from aside from food and meat this Holy Week? Well, it must be noted that fasting or abstinence does not only apply to food, it could also be about avoiding your normal guilty pleasures and indulgences. So here are a few things mamas can cut out of their lives this Holy Week:
1. Social Media
Facebook, Instagram, and other social media apps take up most of our time. We spend a substantial part of our day browsing our feeds, liking and commenting on our friends’ posts, and reading articles — basically just glued into our smartphones and somewhat disconnected from what’s happening in real life. Well, here’s your chance to wean a bit from social media and shift the focus to real life. You might be surprised at what you can do with the extra hours that you would’ve otherwise spent browsing your social media accounts. Play with your kiddo, read a book, spend some quality time outdoors with your family, even spend some quality time alone with yourself and your thoughts. Use this extra time from the Holy Week to reconnect and grow closer to yourself and your family.
2. Your favorite movies and series.
If you’re thinking of spending the two extra days downloading and watching movies you’ve missed or catching up on your favorite Hollywood or Korean series, then sorry, but it’s another indulgence you can consider cutting off this Kwaresma. At the same time, if you usually download your fix in torrents or other questionable means, then do try to reconsider this practice as well. How would you feel if someone ripped off your hard work? Alternatively, you can consider using streaming subscription services such as Netflix or iFlix instead.
Shopping is a form of rewarding ourselves and there’s nothing wrong with that. With the number of malls in the Metro and online shopping sites popping out everywhere, it is quite easy to get caught up in all the materialism and consumerism. So give your wallet a break and curb in your materialistic tendencies even for just a few days this Holy Week by going on a shopping ban. Who knows, you might even be inspired to keep at it even after the Lenten break.
4. Designer coffee, chocolates, or junk food
You might not be able to afford to abstain from substantial food such as meats, but you can give up food items you usually enjoy, such as your daily Starbucks fix, sweet treats, and even chips. Try to eat healthily this week and your body will surely thank you for it.
5. Single-use items
We’ve heard it again and again, continued use of single-use items such as plastic utensils, styrofoam boxes, tissues, and straws are not helping our environment. And if we want out kids to enjoy beautiful forests and oceans like we did, we need to stop or even minimize their use. So why not use this Holy Week to start the habit of refraining from using such materials and perhaps continue to do so even after? Doing so will not only benefit us and our kids, Mother Earth will also surely be happy.
Have a restful Holy Week with your family, mamas!