One of the very foundations this blog and community is being built upon, is the commitment and nature of my current situation as a father of three children. In today’s busy, technological society – the days feel short, the spare time gets shorter, and the kids have so much homework.
Like many of you reading, hopefully, your life is busy. ‘Busy Gamers’ right? I know some of you may just be kids checking out my blog, or a budding Twitch streamer, and that’s alright, I’m looking to make a community, but I want to make that emotional connection to all the other full-time working moms and dads, the full time student, even the stay-at-home mom with five kids, who handles all the extracurricular during the day, cleans, does laundry, and still manages to come home at night at squeeze in that hour or two of game time.
My life is complex. My story is a vast one, that I hope to share bits and pieces of throughout the journey of the blog, making sort of a narrative along the way. So far, I’ve told you so much history, and given you a taste of backstory, but while I have plenty of things I want to talk about from back then, I also have so much for the current, and even the future!
Yesterday was a grim reminder of what my name means. As I’ve said before, I have a full time career, I live with three kids, and my lovely girlfriend (who we will call Ajjalan from this point on) – who also has a full-time career. We have two dogs, one grandma dog, and a recently adopted puppy named Lola (After the bunny) because she is missing a vertebrae in her lower spine – so she hops like a bunny. I am divorced, and all three kids live with me – they are 9, 7, & 5. I generally (not always) work 6:30am to 4:30pm or 8:00am to 6:00pm depending on the schedule. I try to shoulder as much of the burden as possible with the kids, but my life would not be possible without Ajjalan – there are some things I just could not control, working my career, and dealing with the kids. I have also recently shouldered writing a blog, creating YouTube content, managing a few social media platforms, and creating this community. As you can imagine my plate is full.
A typical day for me and my three kids looks like this: I wake up at 4:30am and get myself ready for work. Generally I wake my children up at 5:15am, to get ready for school. After brushing teeth, hair, doing dad-styled ponytails (to all the dads with girls out there I feel for you), we are down the stairs, and getting breakfast snacks to drive to a bus drop-off point at daycare. Ajjalan will take the kids to daycare for me if she is working that morning, but this is not a guaranteed thing. Drop off time for the kids at daycare for the school bus is around 6:00am and then I’m off to work 30 minutes away, where I will work my shift 6:30am to 4:30pm – at which point I will return to daycare in where my kids have been dropped from school to pick them up. Have I lost you yet? Hope not. The. Fun. Begins. Here. I will (Or Ajjalan will if I’m lucky) pick the kids up from daycare around 5pm. We then whisk ourselves away home. Arrival time is a lot like our own personal hurricane here. My leadership skills (haha last blog post) kick in here. Generally we will arrive around 5:20pm, which turns into one bath, two hand washes, three bookbag checks, three individual stacks of homework, weaved into one dinner, then two more baths, eating dinner, finishing studying/homework, brush teeth, tucked in, and in bed by 8:00pm. Was that a lot for you to read? It’s a lot for me to live.
From 8:00pm to 12:00am (sometimes I push that until 1 am) I am doing what you see now, or finishing laundry, cleaning house, training a puppy, raiding two hours in World of Warcraft, spending time with Ajjalan, creating YouTube content, and other small ventures. This doesn’t include anything out of the ordinary that may crop up. Projects, extra reading, trips, visits to the store, or anything of that particular nature. This is a busy gamer day for us and the children.
Multitasking is the key to my success, and ingrained into everything I do. This is yet just another talent I’ve developed through gaming and raiding. If I’m folding laundry, my son is studying his spelling words next to me. If I’m doing dishes my daughter is reading her assignment to me and I’m timing it. If I’m cooking dinner we’re reviewing conductors and insulators. I have, at one point, just to keep everything on track with time – bathed one child, while one read words to me, while brushing the third’s teeth, rotating them to accomplish this monumental workload into a sizable nugget to achieve bedtime. Ajjalan steps in and helps with baths, or homework, and she is an amazing woman – but I do try to shoulder as much of this as I can (She’s in charge of the nightly teeth brushing though – I’m in charge of feeding and taking out the dogs).
That hour or two of gaming I get is so crucial to my sanity – it’s part of what is driving me to create this community and this blog, to get the most out of that time – and talk to others that feel just like me. My son loves Minecraft, and his two sisters adore playing with him. The girls will sometimes play LittleBigPlanet together. They socialize side by side with these games, and it connects them, and creates an avenue for them to flourish their relationship. Before where kids could go outside and build dirt castles, mud cakes, and drive around with toy cars – now my kids are creating monuments, castles, worlds, monsters, and environments together as a team – and I’m not going to stifle that. My daughter built a zombie in Minecraft two nights ago, and it looked absolutely amazing, and I wish I would have taken a picture. My son built a Freddy Fazbear pizzeria, that is true to the game. It warms my heart to see them create, and work together to accomplish it in a couch co-op experience (Another previous blog post, see a theme yet?).
The world is going to technology, you cannot stop it. Do not squash your children’s interest in it, but control it, do not let it get carried away, stop giving cellphones to your 9 year old to consume content non-stop. Mold what they’re doing with it, this is your future, their future. Technology is going to continue to make a lot obsolete in our current lives, so let your children embrace technology and gaming, so long as you are a responsible parent and control it, it will be okay – and they might learn something from it.