Their is no way to accurately describe the experience being a new dad. Emotions range from joy to fear and a bunch of stuff you can barley describe to your non-dad friends.
Gaming as a new dad, however, brings its own set of unique challenges. You will be up late at night, but it won’t be because you are crushing through new levels. Now you will be mastering the new skills of diaper changing and feeding.
It’s a big change from your previous norm, but with a few helpful tips you can still be the #1 dad and keep some of your gaming time.
Gaming as a New Dad
Set Realistic Expectations
Let’s be real. Staying up battling it out online until the sun comes up isn’t an option any longer. A baby brings change and you will need to think about how to properly allocate your time. Hint: more time to the baby is the right move here.
It’s important to realize that if gaming was an important part of your life that it isn’t going away for good. It’s just going to change. You might not get to play every day. Weeks might even go by. But if it is something that brings you joy be sure to speak with your partner about it in advance.
We all need downtime to unwind. This is more true for new parents than maybe anyone else. It’s when you are a new parent, however, that downtime is in super short supply. So have the talk before the baby arrives. Figure out a plan that gives you the time you need, but also consider your partner’s needs.
Your Partner Needs Time Too
Yes, your partner will be going through the process of adapting to a new baby at the same time as you. Clear communication between the two of you will help reduce what is already going to be a hectic period in your life. Open communication also ensures that gaming as a new dad doesn’t come across as disrespectful or uncaring.
Mutual respect and compromise are going to be key here. Don’t for a second think you will log 50+ hours of gaming while the other person looks after the baby, house, and still works. If you’re going in with that mindset, then you have a rude awakening coming your way!
It’s important to be a key part of your child’s life. Early memories are precious and can’t be retrieved. Your game will always be there for you. One strategy is to divide up the work.
Pick a few items in the daily baby routine that you will do. These are your IRL missions and you will need max strength, stamina, and life force to succeed. Some fun tasks might include:
- Bath time
- Bedtime stories
- Diapers (ok, maybe not fun but something pretty darn important that will make for good stories when your kid brings home their first date)
Also remember to chip in around the house. Dishes, trash, yard work, cleaning and many other tasks still need to be done. Don’t jump in your gaming chair when your baby is asleep and expect your partner to do everything else. This is not only rude, but is going to cause some trouble sooner rather than later.
While not all of your new duties are going to be exhilarating, it’s good to remember that this is part of being a dad. Also, when you do get your much needed gaming time it is going to be more fun than you remember as now it is a real treat.
Finding New Games
This might be one of the toughest parts for a new dad. If you’ve been a fan of MMORPG style games you may need to seek new genres.
Yes, these styles of games are fun but they take a ton of time and concentration. You have to focus and once you’re absorbed in the game world time in the real world zips by.
Find some games that are quick to play and aren’t team based. If you end up being the guy who says “gotta go, be back later” in the middle of an important team match, your teammates will not be friendly for long.
Single player games that allow you to easily save progress (quick save, auto save, etc.) are great as you can play and jump away quickly when needed.
This isn’t to say your days of in-depth gaming are gone forever. Your child will get older and someday they might be joining you on quests. However, that day isn’t today so you need to find games that scratch your itch, but don’t pull you away from family.
The real men recognize that being a dad is the ultimate game in life. This is the one game that, no matter what, you just can’t screw up. No new lives and no checkpoints in this game.
It might take a bit of an adjustment period, but being a dad will bring more joy than any bunch of pixels on a screen can bring.