Can A Man Be A Good Mother?
There is always a reason & purpose why we meet people. Sometimes, it’s unveiled & most of the times it’s hidden and concealed. No one knows about it, the only universe has all the information.
It’s a story of an ordinary guy, with some extraordinary life experiences. A global HR strategist by profession, a young aspiring leader, 28, single, and not at all ready to mingle- the journey of experiencing parenting eight years ago at the age of 20 was not something that I ever expected. In the world of struggles where each one of us fight to unleash our identities, I too stand holistically in the same segment but with an edge over others. That edge is “my daughters”. Now you must be thinking- this guy claims he is single but has daughters! Astonishing, is not it? My life has always been revolving around some hard and never heard decisions that I had to take. Thought of sharing some of them with you.
Let me take you in the past- 11 years ago a girl gets married to a well-settled defense family, her brother does kanyadaan, she goes to a new family, and wishes to start her “fairy-tale” life like most of the girls dream for. Well, the dream broke when she delivers a beautiful girl child. Her husband and in-laws are not happy- as they believed in some “babaji” who predicted that she would deliver “a munda” and not “a kudi”, this chapter doesn’t get over. They somehow accept it.
Two years later she again conceives, and yet again another “kudi” and that was the beginning of the end. She undergoes torture in her home for having delivered girl children and cursed. One night she comes back to her mother’s house with both the angels. This emotionally lost and broken girl tries to get away from every memory that her husband gave including these kids.
That’s where her brother pitches in. Her brother - me! Family, fights, studies, job, so-called society, friends, relatives, girlfriend- everyone pushed me to let her and kids go. My conscious and instinct did not allow me to even pay heed to what they said. I let them go instead. Got a legal advice to adopt these girls- got a disappointment that I could not adopt them being single and being too young myself, all possible “logical” reasons. Finally, I became their guardian/ foster parent and there was no looking back. My mother (another iron lady from whom I derive all my strengths) she took care of my sister. I think we underwent a string domino effect- we were literally penniless, sister suffered, kids were almost lost, lost our house due to some family conspiracy, and so on… Having langar from gurudwara and finding a house for us overnight were some real eye-openers where I realized how the world functions. I still smiled because I had these two angels with me.
Meyhar and Gurbaani
Believe me, it feels great to be a parent yet not being a parent. Long ago I wrote a quote “we are the substitute for someone in their lives”. It was time for me to step into the shoes of a father- the process was interesting. From changing their diapers to feeding them, helping them burp by patting them in my arms- revisiting it still gives goosebumps and a sugar-sweet smile on my face. It’s been full of challenges- the biggest one was to get them to school. Answering some weirdest of the questions, even people saying that “seems his girlfriend conceived, and she sent kids to him, seems this guy has an early broken marriage...” and the list goes on! Believe me, it never mattered! I always took that with a smile and pun by answering- “yeah, come watch a live episode of Balika Vadhu at my home”. Getting questions like, “you have maintained yourself very much- you don’t look like you would have two daughters”, to which I would say, “I am forever young & charming thanks to all anti-aging products” (pun intended, again). Another funny thing used to be addressed as “uncle” while being just in my early-twenties, attending PTMs and people looking at me as if I am unwanted, but their teachers flirting with me indirectly by telling my daughters that “your dad is very stylish.” lol 😉
I even ended up calling off my relationship with my then-girlfriend five years ago because she could not accept them. I did meet a few later hoping to have someone in life who would stand as a pillar with me, but all that I got were disappointments. One decision that I took that day was not to marry anyone and just do every possible thing for my daughters. Give the best of the education, life, happiness, and help them achieve their goals.
I lost my mom in June 2017. That day I realized that life is very unpredictable. I had to take a hard decision of signing a DNR form (do not resuscitate) in case she goes through a cardiac arrest. Every single day I would go the ICU, see my mother fighting on a ventilator and promise her that I would take care of the kids, myself, her bedridden husband, our pet cashu, and her daughter. It was literally a moment of feeling like a murderer. My kids overheard this and once decided to quit talking to me- but later came back and said, “We know what you did, but don’t cry- what you did was for naani’s betterment, we know she’s up in the sky- the brightest star seeing all of us, including you. So please mama- come out of this dark room & depressing phase.” Hearing all this was a moment that I looked up and thanked my mom for giving me the strength and power to take care of these blessed souls. My mother always told me that I am more than their mother because I am MAMA (two mothers in one name). That was the time I realized that it’s not that a woman can play a role of a father- there are times that a man can be a mother and sometimes double mother.
“Nothing is as easy as it appeared to be”
Nothing is as easy as it appeared to be- but I never thought of the problems- rather I focused on the solutions. And as it is rightly said, girls are goddesses- yes they indeed are. With their presence in my life, I happen to get my first young leadership position at the age of 23, their presence sets the base for every other accomplishment that I have attained.
Sukhpreet with his adorable daughters, Gurbaani and Meyhar
Coming back from office, seeing their happy faces, notebooks, talking about their friends, teachers, favourite dolls, styles, clothing, hairdos, actresses, and the list is endless… They have grown up now Gurbaani (9) and Meyhar (7). They are two of the important pillars of my life. Even in whatever downfalls that I have had in my life- they have always blended with me in it and helped me come out of it like a warrior. Not to mention, they cope with my typical Sagittarius mindset.😉 They observe every single thing from what I wear to how I cook- everything. The most interesting element is to go out and shop with them when it’s sometimes impossible to find what Aaliya Bhatt or Deepika Padukone wore in one of the movies. :D The moments that have been enshrined are priceless.
“It’s not about being great or strong!”
Some of my friends and colleagues keep telling me that I am very strong that I have taken such hard decisions in life and yet I smile. It’s not about being great or strong!
But let me ask each of you! How many of us can think of changing this mindset of preferring male child over female child? No matter what we keep saying big things, launch campaigns, make people sign them, post pictures, launch schemes… can anyone of us get into the social legacy of each family and change this? The answer is no one! Let’s be honest. We treat all these readings as a piece of awakenings and realizations, but do we ever think of changing the thoughts of people who carry such callous thinking? Well, I challenged the norms of society and so-called set systems by embracing the uncertain, unheard, and unseen. I am a proud double mother (MAMA) of two super amazing daughters- playing a role of a friend, mentor, parent, and anything that can help them grow. I seriously feel bad for that family who disowned them, they are deprived of a kind of love which is difficult to explain in words.
Sukhpreet Swaran Sandhu currently works as a Global HR strategist. He is a food blogger, reviewer & critique. He loves cooking & experimenting with food. He is also a fitness lover, a Zumba enthusiast, and prefers to live in a healthy way. He is a motivational speaker, coach, and an aspiring author. He likes to write quotes and poetry. Studied at the University of Delhi and taken up advanced certifications in HR from London School of Business & XLRI Jamshedpur.
P*****Very inspiring story .yes u can do and u have done it .Make it daughters strong so that one day the family who left them for being daughters should feel ashamed of such act
P*****Very inspiring sir ..... Hats off
D*****My father has been like a mother . .. He knows even the smallest of the smallest things about his child....I'm still a small child to him even though im 21 years.
S*****U are an angel Sukhi. Lots of love. U inspire us
D*****He has been an inspiration. Hats off to a Brave and Humble person like Him. "Not all Super Heros wear a cape!" That's perhaps all I can say for Him.
A*****Being his colleague and friend he is a motivational factor of many.Keep up the good work Sukhi , we are proud of u!
S*****Yess they can be if they take up the responsibility...why it's always a woman who has to b a good mother. But in our society it's always a woman responsible for the child, though she is working. Why can't both parents take the responsibility and do the same as the mother does. The child needs both of them. Woman have the motherhood inbuilt in them but at the same time men can also take the initiative to bring up a child, whatever said and done it's their baby so the responsibility has to be equal.