Any man can be a father. However, it takes that special bonding with your child to become their dad!
There may be various reasons for people to become a single parent. But it’s never an easy ride for a mother to double up as a father and, for a father to double up as a mother.
On this Mother’s day, here is the story of one super single father who is raising and guiding his children as a good mother and friend as well.
49-year old Vikram Singh Chugh, in a heartwarming conversation with Life Beyond Numbers, shares the joys and challenges of being a single parent to two young growing sons.
“One thing that I can say with certainty is that I am a very hands-on father. Both my sons are 20 and 22-year-olds and still, they are kids to me,” says Vikram from Gurgaon.
The Joy of Parenting
As a single dad, there may be overwhelming thoughts about how to raise the kids and dealing with the absence of a mother can be distressing for children at times. “Being alone is not a very easy thing to handle, and it does have an effect on small souls. My children didn’t bond with me overnight, there were numerous challenges that our relationship has gone through but now we have that understanding and mutual respect for each other.”
Apart from the emotional crisis that this family has gone through, over the years they have made some beautiful memories as well and while sharing with LBN, he says, “I feel blessed that I am the medium to take care of these lovely souls and I want them to know that no matter what happens, I will be standing behind them.”
While both the children were sent to boarding school, “I haven’t missed a single visit in the last 3-5 years, be it a monthly visit to their school or a parent-teacher meeting. I really feel it is essential to give your children the tangible proof that their father is doing something for them out of sheer love, even though I was financially unstable back then. I have learned to cook as well and I love serving them breakfast, whenever they are home. So, you have to be mindful of small things at all the time,” narrates Vikram.
Life may not go as planned, but that is not stopping this father to move forward with his kids. “I do take care of them in terms of nurturing them. I like to shop for them now and I really browse brands before going for shopping, ask people at shops to try sizes I pick of my kids. It’s just that I have an eye for doing these things.”
It is not like the children do not have their own share of freedom. They do have their own space, but as a father doing little things for your kids gives the relationship an added flavor and that much-needed pop of color.
Not Giving Away to Your Child’s Whims and Fancy Always
When it comes to parenting, all we need is to strike a balance between being a guide for our child and becoming a friend. There are lots of stuff that children are not able to process in their minds, become confused and it is the role of a parent to guide them and help them deal with these little thoughts in a better manner. Also, it is necessary for parents to not give away to their whims and fancy even if you have the money power to buy materialistic items for them.
Providing all the comforts to your child is absolutely fine, but making them emotionally intelligent is also the responsibility of a parent, feels Singh.
“In parenting, you really need to stand tall to become a friend, this generation has too much access to information at a young age and therefore it becomes easy to get influenced by certain things because they are emotionally vulnerable or raw at this stage. For they are more susceptible to changes than other kids. Therefore, they do their healing in their own way. I really respect the fact that my children have evolved as good human beings.”
Being a Father and a Mother
It is a challenge indeed at times, and it lies where at times you really don’t understand that you have to be a father or a mother, he says between laughs. “It is easy when your partner is there. At times when you go through mood swings, your better half can be with them, counsel them and make them understand the situations. That is where the real challenge lies. But, I am blessed to be surrounded by morally upright and spiritual people who stand with me in times of emotional crisis.”
On asking if he can draw similarities between the way he was parented and how he parents his children, Vikram shares, that his parents did give him his share of freedom and have raised him beautifully but weren’t able to communicate well in terms of options. “I and books used to stand at crossroads. I was not someone who was excelling in studies, that part of my childhood they were unable to understand. Even though later on I pursued MBA and other degrees, but I feel if there was a little more understanding in terms of communication, it would have eased out our relationship in those years.”
“The art of parenting lies in guiding your children, putting options before them and not interfering in their lives. Giving them freedom, trusting them, allowing them to take their own decisions, telling them the pros and cons of their decisions, helping them to reach out to more people,” adds Singh.
Let’s Praise The Single and Sole Dads!
It is not a very easy ride as a single parent when you are not financially sound, but Vikram along with the help of his kids has started Value Of Today, which aims to pave the way for self-awareness and transformation through knowledge and action.
Vikram feels, as a parent, it is extremely important that you take care of yourself first. Participate in different activities, mix with people, do things that you love to do. This will always bring freshness to your lives. Never bottle up your emotions. Share it with your children, this makes the bonding stronger.
“Not scoring well in exams is absolutely fine, but what skills are you adding in your life, is what I ask my children. Because these extra-curricular activities or skills will really take care of them down the line. Even though millennials spend most of their time staring at cell phones or laptops, I believe, a balance is possible even today,” he says.
“Simple gestures like making a cup of coffee when I am home, or my younger son splitting the rent with a flatmate, or my elder son doing a job, thinking that it will make my life easier, means the world to me. I never asked them to do that, they do these little things with their own understanding. These small things have a huge impact on my life and it fills me with pride, joy, and happiness,” recalls the proud father.
Vikram has a very beautiful message for parents, he says, “At the end of the day your child should be able to swim all by themselves, a parent cannot fight their battles always. Having kids doesn’t really make you a father, raising them surely does.”
Kudos to you all!
A very Happy Mother’s Day to All Single and Sole Dads who double up as mothers for their Kids!