When I first found out I was going to be a parent I was incredibly excited by all the new experiences I would get to have with my daughter, every step, every new word and every new food I would get to show her made me so incredibly excited to have a daughter that nothing could bring me down for weeks…
Until something, really really shallow was ignited in me and I thought to myself: Yeah, but what about all my gaming time? I kidded myself for a while that nothing would change and “All babies do is sleep right? I will have loads of time to play loads of games when she’s asleep” and for the first 2 months or so this was true. My wife would nurse the baby then take intermittent naps at the same time as she did so we resumed my ever familiar routine of cracking on with whatever game I had on at the time and life was, for the most part, still incredibly normal.
During this time, I platinum-ed Kingdom Hearts 3, played Online FPS’ every single evening with my friends when the wife was in bed and cracked on enjoying all the games I wanted for as long as I wanted.
Then after a few months, the baby slowly grew more conscious and demanded more of my attention. I wont lie to you, I was a pretty bad dad in these stages because this would sort of annoy me a little bit because I still wanted to just be left alone to play my games and have the alone time I craved every day from my peaceful life.
For a little while, gone were the hours I could whittle away on JRPG’s and gone were the evenings where I would play games until the early hours with my friends – for a little while I just thought that I had transitioned from being a gamer to a non gamer, but I was fine with this because I had my little girl and no amount of platinum trophies or Call of Duty kills could even match the fulfillment that I got from making her laugh or smile at any given moment and I was at piece with this.
Then, some new games I had my eye on came out and I was back into wanting to get back on the games again and spend all my spare time doing so, luckily I have an amazing wife so I was able to whittle my way through Resident Evil 3 or the Final Fantasy 7 remake whilst we both parented our little bundle of joy together.
I found time in the evenings when my wife and baby had gone to bed so I would just stay up that little bit later, listening out for baby cries the whole time, and journey my way through Racoon City BUT, for any of you who think that life will just resume when you have the baby there, you are going to be very selfish as a partner and parent if you continue to think this way because parenting is 100% a two person job, this however, does not mean you cannot play games every day if you please:
With this in mind I have some tips that I have learned that can make you a) a better parent b) a better partner and c) a better human when it comes to gaming with a baby in the house:
- NOTHING is as important as your child, not the boss you are on. Not the last few kills for your team. If you hear your baby cry then you drop the controller and you run to them.
- If your partner allows you to play games for a few hours, remember that they have given up a few hours of their time as well and chances are, it was probably a pretty intense few hours – Return the favor
- If you want to play something enough, you can MAKE the time to play it – have an hours less sleep, repay your partner in kind or do whatever but make sure you are looking after everyone in that household
This has been my personal journey from Hardcore, 10 hours a day gamer to gaming dad. It was more of a personal blog of my journey but I DO hope this helps anyone out there!
Look after yourselves and your children guys and as always:
Don’t be a dick.