|The writer with his boys (from left) Sharvieenraam, three, Srevisnuram, one, and Sanjeevram, seven, celebrating his birthday in January at their home in Bahau, Negri Sembilan.
By SARAVANAN SUBRAMANIAN
Being a father is no less a wonderful experience than being a mother. Years ago, a father’s role was to provide for the family but now, all the responsibilities are shared between husband and wife.
I married a woman who is older than me, and who used to determine everything in my life. I had wondered after my marriage if I would ever become a father.
To my delight, my wife conceived six months after our wedding. Those 36 weeks of her pregnancy were the toughest time of my life as my wife went through unpredictable mood swings. I put up with the bad times and enjoyed the good. Still, we fought over the smallest issues as she’d always have the last word.
We were then working in the same company, in the same department. Our arguments extended from home to the workplace. I was with her literally 24 hours a day, watching her at work as a production executive, and at home as a wife and mother-to-be.
Then the day came. I was in the labour room with my wife, all tensed up but eager to see our son. After several hours of pain and struggling (on my wife’s part), the little one was born. But, why wasn’t he crying? I panicked. However, God is great. Once the doctor gave him a light pat, he started wailing like a baby.
That moment is still fresh in my mind. And thus began my overtime duties in the wee hours. I learned to change diapers, make milk and feed our baby. I enjoyed being with my son; I loved holding his tiny hands and feet, and seeing him smile.
When he was a year old, I met with an accident and my right hand became partially handicapped. But with inner strength and my wife’s support, I was determined to carry on life as per normal. I continued with work as an engineer and duties as a father.
We planned to have another baby after three years. By then my wife had become a housewife, and our first-born was already in preschool. He started to read, write, and crack jokes. I loved spending time and jogging in the park with him.
Our second boy was a hefty bundle and my wife had complications during delivery. I was not allowed in the labour room. I remained outside, praying hard that both my wife and our baby would be safe. Today, the little guy is three years old, and going to school, running and cycling around.
Then child No.3 came. My three sons are now aged seven, three and one.
Every day after 8pm I’ll take charge of my “soldiers” while my wife teaches part-time. I’d change diapers, feed them and do the washing.
Whenever we go out, I will bring them to the washroom and make them milk. I share the work with my wife for the three boys are really a handful.
However, life is not all smooth sailing, as we know. After a bad cough, my eldest son was diagnosed with asthma.
As for me, I persevere in providing and caring for my family despite my physical handicap. I am even taking up a degree course at a local university to upgrade myself.
Money is secondary to us. Both my wife and I only want to build a happy family environment for our children to grow up in. My kids inspire me with the way they focus on their studies. Even their mischief and the way they act in public amaze me.
As I embark on my parenting journey, I have also come to realise how hard it was for my parents. They raised nine children, including me, the only boy in the family.
Here, I’d like to thank our parents who have taught us much in being good parents to our children. And for giving me the strength to overcome all obstacles in life.
Physical appearance means nothing to me but what’s important is having my family there for me with their pure love.
I dedicate this to all fathers out there:
Is not just a word,
It is the inner feelings that we need to feel,
It is strong as a diamond,
As no one can break it.
Have a wonderful life.
With new-age dads getting more hands-on and involved in parenting these days, Fathers Figure provides a platform for them to talk about their experiences – fulfilling, amusing, inspiring, or taxing. The Star's Star2 pullout welcomes contributions from fathers of any age and every stripe – rich dad, poor dad, single father, fun dad, tiger dad. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject header “Fathers Figure,” preferably between 600 and 800 words, with a photo attached. Published contributions will be paid. So please include your full name, IC number, address and contact number.