Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Gaming After Baby - Can You Ever Get It Back?

I would definitely call myself a geek. After years of playing World of Warcraft and religiously watching any sci-fi series that graces our screens, as well as building computers and repeatedly Googling when the latest DLC is going to be released for whatever XBox game I am currently addicted to, I most certainly wouldn't call myself anything else. That is- until I became a mum.
Truly though, the crux of my geek-dom lies in gaming. I'm not particularly specialised in any one genre, whether an FPS God or an End-Game Content raiding genius, but I wholeheartedly love gaming and the world that surrounds it.
The problem with this being my passion is that it is very hard to maintain when you find that you have procured a shiny new addition to your family. Don't get me wrong, being a mum has been the single most important achievement of my life and I will certainly never regret it, but when you become a parent there is a repercussive chain-reaction which changes everything!
The thing that gets you first is the sleep, or rather lack thereof. Pre-baby I would quite happily stay up until 2/3am trying to down that last boss on my guild's 25-man run or, for that matter, queue up outside GAME for the midnight release of the new WoW expansion; bags loaded with caffeine with the intention of not sleeping for several days whilst I desperately battle against everyone else for an elusive 'realm first'.
However, sleep is the now most precious commodity in the world as far as I'm concerned. Due to the unpredictability of a baby's sleep (especially in the early days), you sometimes end up rather sleep-deprived and so when those rare moments of alone-time crop up and you have the choice between a quick game on something, or to crash and enjoy every sacred second of blissful shut-eye that you can, the choice is always going to be the latter.

This means that your days are generally made up of things you can accomplish whilst holding the baby and sleeping when he is asleep... when you're probably still holding him! Unfortunately, this doesn't leave much time for gaming, as one of the most vital tools for this activity is the use of your appendages.
As a result of this, you get the next part of the chain-reaction starting to surface, slowly but surely: lack of exposure. Due to the fact that you are not gaming as much, combined with the diminished social life, you start to become somewhat out of the loop. Even with the capabilities of viewing Facebook/Twitter on your phone, you have to scour your news feed to find anything about gaming and, when you do, you just end up with those pangs of jealousy as you realise that you're just not going to get a chance to play anything any time soon!
Now, in my personal experience, it has become easier... to a certain extent, anyway. As my son has gotten older and been introduced to solid food he has slept better at night, meaning I am less tired and he can now entertain himself for a while now that he is more mobile. This leaves me with free time that I can make use of, as long as I can keep an eye on him. At this point you can get some gaming done, huzzah! So hold on, all you new gamer/geek parents; it does become possible, I promise!

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