I’ve long been familiar with the concept of Gamer Dad, but never understood what it meant until recently. About a month ago our daughter was born, and holy hell has my world changed.
How You Want It
I knew there’d be some period of adjustment. Wanting to be as hands-on as possible, I often offer to feed, change, and sooth our little darling as much as I can. Even so, I figured babies slept most of the day. And while I’d need to be close by to respond to a bottle or diaper emergency, I assumed I’d still have plenty of time to paint miniatures and play games. I was wrong.
How It Is
As it stands, my project momentum has slowed down to a crawl. It’s true; our newborn sleeps a lot, but not in large chunks. She takes one-to-two hour naps. Which means I’m taking little naps. Not bad for the short term, but after a few weeks I’m too tired to do more than watch TV.
As for the times when I get the energy to put brush to plastic, our little girl might not always agree. Sometimes sleep alone isn’t enough. Sometimes she wants to be held while she snoozes, leaving me to stare longingly at my project table.
Being One of You
I use to give my Gamer Dad friends a hard time for only being able to come out to play once a week. I’d say, “no worries. I understand,” while secretly thinking, dude, you need to get your balls back from your lady. I see now how wrong I was. It’s not that my wife won’t let me go out and play with my toy soldiers. It’s that I don’t want to be the dick that over burdens her with mommy duties. Moms need nights off too.
An Apology Owed
To all my Gamer Dad friends out there, I’m sorry for my dickish way of thinking. Being a Gamer Dad is tough. For those of you who do it well, mad respect.
Worth the Trouble
Still, for all my complaining, it’s worth the trade. Our newborn is a lot of work, but she’s worth it. Before I became a Gamer Dad I had no concept. You hear parents talk about how it’s the most wonderful thing in the world and all that crap. I genuinely believed it, or at least I believed that they believed it. It’s true. If you’re a Gamer Dad you know it to be so, and if you aren’t you don’t really get it until it happens.
So while my Warhammer 40K armies may not march forth from Terra with as great of purpose (or color) as they once did, they are no less resolved to get the job done…eventually.
Shae has his own fatherly confessions. To hear Shae’s way, check out his blog.