Being Both a Parent and a Gamer is a Fine Balancing Act
When you’re a Dad you have way more responsibilities that take precedence over playing video games, unfortunately. In a perfect world, every day would be extended by a few hours in which it was mandatory to play video games, read a book, or exercise. As this is not the reality of things it’s up to you to come up with the ability to balance Dad and husband/partner life.
It’s not enough to just be dedicated to being a great Dad all day and then playing games during nap and bedtimes. This would make the relationship you share with your significant other quite dull and would undoubtedly lead to conflict down the road. Not to mention the many other things you have to fit into your very limited free time such as cooking, anime/manga, a social life, TV shows, movies, cleaning, and romance.
Balancing your daily responsibilities while finding the time to play your favourite video games is no simple task, however, here are some tips on how to optimise the little time you do have:
Start making use of handhelds
For those of the master race that are too stubborn to try something else, you’re not going to like my suggestion. If you want to maximise your gaming time you’re definitely going to have to adapt to playing handheld gaming systems. As a Nintendo fanboy, my suggestions are most certainly going to be with the 3DS or Switch, however, tablets and phones can work as well. They are just inferior gaming platforms in my opinion.
Handheld gaming devices allow you to play on the go, while you’re waiting in the car, when riding the bus/train, and when you’re on the can.
Most importantly, handheld devices also allow you to play your favourite games while you’re hanging out with your partner. “Sure hunni, let’s watch Pretty Little Liars”, so that I can play some Pokémon. This is very crucial because traditional consoles make it so that you have to take over the TV, or hang out in your own little world of you’re a PC person. At the end of the day, a little compromise will allow you to game even more!
Encourage your partner to play games
An excellent way to play more games is to get your partner involved. Now you can’t expect to necessarily play the games that you might have in mind, however, playing any games is certainly better than none. On top of this, playing certain games with your partner is going to test your patience.
For many of you, playing with some sort of handicap might even be exciting. For others, this may certainly test the strength of your relationship. On that note, I’d aim to avoid playing any of the newer Donkey Kong games as they are hard enough as it is.
Stay away from time consuming online only games
MMORPGs might not be the best choice in games when you’re a Dad that’s looking to play video games on a somewhat regular basis. Firstly, to be any good it takes a lot of time and dedication. Secondly, online team-based games take up 100% of your focus, which is a bit of a gamble when your child or partner needs you. Lastly, ignoring your family/loved ones on a regular basis to play a video game is an unhealthy thing to do in the long run.
Volunteer to stay in with the kids
Letting your partner know that you’re okay with staying in on a Friday or Saturday night to watch the kids while they go out is a great way to get some gaming time in. Not only is this healthy for your relationship to have some independence but it gives you some serious 1 on 1 time with your beloved games!
Please note that there is a slight chance that your kids could wake up from their sleep and completely ruin your night, however, that’s a risk you should be willing to take. There’s nothing quite like an intimate night to yourself and that special video game that’s been running through your mind all week long!