I’ve just read Phaelia’s announcement over at Resto4Life that she is expecting her first child, and thus withdrawing from the blogging community. It’s quite a shock, and she will be greatly missed. Her site has provided a fantastic resource to all Resto druids, with guides and advice aplenty. I’ve spent a lot of time over there, learning how to play my druid even better. I’m even the proud owner of two Resto4Life T-shirts 🙂
Phae’s post made me cast my mind back to Summer 2007, when I was expecting my first child, and my husband and I had no idea what was ahead of us. At the time we were playing WoW on the US servers, where we had a regular 10-man group working towards clearing Karazhan. All my husband and I knew was that once the baby was born, we’d probably lose out on our evenings for quite some time, and we didn’t know if we’d be able to raid again. So we warned our raiding partners to count us out of all plans after the baby arrived.
My memory is still quite fuzzy when it comes to our baby girl’s newborn days, but I do remember we shared to night-time duties for some time. I would go to be about 8pm, leaving my husband in charge as late as he could stay awake (usually 1 or 2am). He’d then come to bed, and whenever the baby next needed a feed would be when I would get up for the day. Thankfully our little one was pretty good at night sleeping from quite early on, and I could usually feed her at some hour in the morning (usually 4am ish), and get her back to bed for a few hours more sleep. I, of course, was then wide awake. Prime WoW playing time! I used this time to level my new EU druid all the way to 70.
My husband and I were both keen to get our evenings back as soon as possible. I wish I knew whether anything we did actually contributed to the way things are now, but we did manage to get a good strong bedtime routine in place from quite early on. I think by the time our baby girl was 6 months old we were in a position to play WoW in the evenings again, and potentially raid.
Fast forward to today, and our baby girl has blossomed into an active toddler. Thankfully she is still a great sleeper. She’s in bed about 6.30pm, and then my husband and I can eat our main meal and have the evening to ourselves. I try to get all my chores done during the day, where possible with baby girl “helping” me, as she loves being involved in the stuff that I do. This means that when evening rolls around, all the work is done, and I can relax. It’s important for all parents to get some “you” time, and for, that’s my WoW time.
I certainly play a lot less WoW than I used to. Those all-day all-night weekend sessions are most certainly a thing of the past. But on the plus side, I can still play more WoW than I expected to. The great thing about WoW is that there is plenty of content for solo play, so those times when I was online at ungodly times in the morning I could still feel that I was progressing in the game. And now we’re settled into a great routine I can attend my guild raids, and play in the evenings when other people are online.
So how do I balance WoW and parenthood? My first rule is that I never play WoW during the day in front of my daughter. I manage this pretty well, with the only exception so far being the “Love is in the Air” event where I did log on every hour to give a guard a love token. That doesn’t really count as “playing” in my book! I also have a rule that all my household chores must be finished before I log in in the evenings. Work first, then play, that’s the way it works. And finally, I am blessed to be in a really understanding guild. Whilst I haven’t had to do it yet, I know there may be a time that I need to AFK during a raid or even leave to deal with a small person. My guild is made up of many parents, and I know all I would need to do is tell them I had to deal with my daughter, and there would be no hard feelings.
How do you balance WoW and parenthood?