It's safe to say that my time has become less my own lately. When my wife and I decided to start a family, I knew our lives would change, and I'd have to re-arrange how I used my time. What I didn't know was how I would have to do it.
The thing everyone assumes going into parenthood is that there's a massive investment of time in raising kids. That they take up so much of it you'll have less time just for yourself. Some would insist you have no time at all for yourself or the things you used to enjoy.
Well I've certainly seen how they intrude on your time. However, with enough planning and communication between my wife and I, we still manage to find time for ourselves to chill out or watch a movie. We just multi-task a lot more!
That's the key, really, with any major life change. You don't treat it as something external which diverts attention from other interests and responsibilites. You incorporate it into your lifestyle. You welcome it with open arms and allow your life to be changed completely. What you end up with is an amalgamation of your previous lifestyle and your new responsibility. Instead of sitting quietly to read a book, you read with a baby sleeping next to you in a cot. You sit back on the couch with a movie while they lie in your arms. When they need your attention, you pause one thing and turn your attention to them.
That's the approach we've decided to take. Instead of putting everything on hold whenever the girls need something, we keep going. Sometimes we take turns; one of us looking after them while the other does something else. Sometimes we take one baby each, and get it finished all the faster. We pause and rewind tv. We replace a cold mug of tea.
It's not easy, and I know that just when we find our stride with the new routine something new will come along, like teething, or teaching the girls to read. We adapt as each change comes. We didn't have children to leave behind one lifestyle. We had them so they could be a part of our world, the life we've made for ourselves. There's so much we want to share with them, I hardly know where to start.
One thing I do know, is that the things that really matter to us; gaming, seeing friends and family, my writing, are all going to remain a priority. We're adapting well to this new stage in our lives, and while I'm currently on a break from running games, this is going to be a great year for me in terms of writing. I'm looking forward to starting work on the third and final part of Nathan Shepherd's trilogy, and I can't wait to get stuck in to the edits for the second book.