Struggling to game while being a better parent
Life never prepares you for lots of things. Things like your first job right after college or compromising with your wife after an argument or (suddenly) becoming a parent. I had a lot of preconceptions on being a father and one of them was that I won’t have much time to do the stuff that I wanted to. This mainly meant that my gaming time would be significantly reduced. To be honest, I was afraid that I would turn out to be one of those kinds of parents who would have to drop one of their beloved hobbies, due to the lack of time and energy because they were focused on their children. I was afraid that I would have to give up gaming entirely. But then our baby girl was born into the world and all my anxieties were suddenly washed away and all my attention was focused on to my daughter whom I lovingly cradled around my arms. The first 3 months suddenly felt like a blur. Caring for a newborn really takes a lot of work! I’d also like to take the opportunity to give props to my wife for doing most of the heavy lifting. Every month, there was something new that you would have to adjust to: first month, baby likes to sleep a lot. Second month, baby develops weird quirks. Third month, baby starts to be more active and is curious to her surroundings. It was actually on her fourth month onwards that I noticed things are beginning to be more “stable”. Our baby is finally developing a proper schedule when it comes to sleeping at night and its much more predictable. Then I realized, I had more control of my time.
Naturally, I eased back into gaming bit by bit. I would sometimes play an hour a day, just to get a taste here and then. A few weeks later, I found myself really getting into it especially on the weekends. Playing for 2 hours straight, a luxury that I once lost, was finally back. Then I became bold, I had the craving to fly again. With protests from my wife, I broke out my flight stick (complete with thruster and pedals) and fired up a flight sim to refine my landing skills. I poured more and more time to flying practice missions and trying to get my technique perfect. I began to feel that my beloved hobby was coming back and it felt really good.
Feeling all giddy and excited that I’m gaming again, my wife, calmly pulls me down from my elation and kindly reminds me that I’ve been spending too much time playing. I haven’t been spending too much time with our daughter now that she’s beginning to be more active. A wave of guilt suddenly hit me and I felt the need to change my ways. Honestly, I think the problem here is just time management, but I’m still at a loss on how to balance everything together. Clearly I still want to game, but finding the right amount of time is the problem.
So I want to look to you dear readers who are also parents. How do you deal with the conundrum of juggling all your responsibilities and fitting in your hobbies (not limited to gaming, it could be anything!)? I’d love to hear your practical advice and any words of wisdom that you might have.