"You make time for what’s important."
I’ve heard - and said - this phrase for years; it’s something of a mantra for me anymore, and it's relevance only increases as time marches on.
These last few weeks, that list of important things to make time for in my life grew by 1 with the arrival of my second child. With time being as finite as it is, having something added to the list of important stuff means something else gets cut back or bumped off altogether.
So here we are, at the intersection of “I love my kids” and “I play video games.” You can probably guess which of those two statements takes precedence in the hierarchy of time allotment.
Yeah, I get it - #Firstworldproblems. I'm not special or unique in this way - there's lot of parents in the world, and there's bound to be some who play games - but with the precious few minutes I have between changing diapers, foraging for food or feeding kids, or avoiding toddler-created disasters, I have found that many adjustments and concessions to my personal time (time normally spent on hobbies and interests) had to be made in order to maintain a semblance of harmony in the home. Many of the adjustments are common sense (games obviously come second to time with/needs of kids, I generally wait until nap/bed time, adjust the games you play during waking hours as to avoid scarring children), but some adjustments made were made for the sake of convenience and accessibility in order to allow me to continue to indulge in my hobbies (read: maintain sanity).
So, in the coming days/weeks/years(?) I’m gonna share some of my #gamedad thoughts (which all applies to game mom/parents just as much) where I'll detail out some of my everyday experiences as well as some of the adjustments/lifehacks I've made in the last few years and going forward.
Brief preview - you may have noticed that the pictures above all contain a mobile device of sorts. For years I've had most of the Gameboy models and a PSP, but they were far from my preferred platforms. Really, the only use they saw was on lengthy trips. That changed when I found that around the house I could sometimes sneak even just a few minutes in during a lull.
This can add up and there are certain game types that can fit this erratic play (RPG or quick hit games for example - I'll detail some of my favorites out later on). The ability to pause, power off/on and pick up right away is huge.
After I found a rhythm in timing as well as some games that fit into that odd pace, I was really able to experience and enjoy some titles that I had either in my backlog (Chrono Trigger for DS was my first big post-kiddo completion spread out over a few weeks), or experience some games that I may have not tried otherwise (Risk of Rain has become one of my favorite titles for the Vita, but I had never even given it a second look on PC). I've since invested quite a bit more in expanding my 3DS library than I had previously, and I recently purchased a Vita that I've really been getting into over the last few months.
I'll outline more of this in detail down the road, but just know that if you struggle to fit games in between being a functional and contributing member of a family, you're not alone. It took a little adjusting in my case, but you can care for and be part of your family, and still enjoy games.