How to find more gaming time as a dad (and feel less guilty)

As a new father, you may start to wonder if you’ll ever find time to enjoying gaming again as you settle into the new reality of having a little one,

Not only will you be fighting through tiredness and all the demands of fatherhood, but you’ll likely also have feelings of guilt trying to enjoy your gaming hobby.

It’s a concern we’ve heard from a lot of gaming dads, and we’re here to reassure you about couple things:

It’s natural to feel guilty

It will get better

There are some ways to still enjoy some gaming

So as a couple gaming dads who have been through it, let’s go through some viewpoints and ideas to help you feel less guilt, and get you gaming more.

The Long Term View:

It gets so so much better. You can remember the difference when your first child started sleeping through the night, just know that will happen again with your second. So the current tired days are numbered.

A husband and wife playing Sony PS4 game console

Short Term – Some Immediate Ideas:

There have been some excellent articles written about how crucial good communication with your partner, and trying to give each other “free time” to stay connected to your hobbies. So this article won’t add to these great suggestions. Rather some tactical ideas for a gaming dad:

Change your gaming to your reality

For the near term it’s not going to be easy to have longer drinking & gaming sessions, which is just temporary. If you only view your gaming in that old context you’ll feel bad about it and never enjoy ANY gaming. Shift your expectations for a while and change the games and places you play to suit the current situation. Accordingly:

Stay away from games you can’t pause

If you need to have uninterrupted time to game you’re going to have a lot less gaming at this stage. You don’t want to upset everyone else on a Raid because you have to go tend to you kid. Worse, you shouldn’t set yourself up to resent having to help with the kid because it’s an interruption. Accordingly, try and focus on single player games you can dip in and out of easily that won’t cause tension with your duties.

Embrace mobile gaming

It’s easy to look down on, but there are some really great mobile titles you can get into. OceanHorn, Call of Duty mobile, Slay the Spire, Balder’s Gate etc. There are a bunch of excellent mobile options to try that will allow you to sneak in some gaming during the quiet times, or even while rocking with a sleeping baby. (I could get an hour of mobile gaming while rocking with my sleeping son, which is a really fond memory now).

Check out game streaming

Much the same idea as above, Game Streaming services have come a long way and allow you to jump into a full quality game anywhere you have decent data connection, untethering you from one cut off location.

Buy a Switch

It is an amazing little console, and so very portable. It allows you to bring the gaming to wherever you find a moment while offering AAA titles and experiences. Again, imagine grinding through some missions while your baby uses you as a pillow (best of both worlds).

Game Near Your Partner

This worked really well for me to help with the guilt of gaming separating me from her. Every time I would game it would be and act of physical separation. With a laptop / Switch / mobile / moved TV, I could be near her while I game, and enjoy idle chat and jokes. Important: this isn’t quality time, this is just time where normally you’d both be on phones as you recuperate from a tough day. Non-screen time is critical for you both. This will more come into play when the little one is in their own crib.

It’s still possible

Hope some of these ideas may help. Big take away is to change gaming to suit your lifestyle, not the other way around.

Good luck from one gaming dad to another!

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