13 March 2013

The Game/Life Balance

I have read 2 blogs in the past week relating on how to balance real life with game time.
The first blog I read was SoCalWowGal's WoW Life Coach, she has lots of wonderful tips on how to achieve the right balance  for you. To follow up SoCalWowGal, Navimie posted a blog on her site The Daily Frostwolf, on how she personally balances her game time with real life. I found it a great perspective to see how others work game and real life in, especially as Navimie's husband does not play. I thought I would write my perspective as it is different that I have a husband, Moogyver, that does play.

Firstly a few facts about me, some have been mentioned before but just for clarity:
  • I work 3 days per week, travel time of around 2-3 hours per day
  • We have 2 young children both in daycare on those 3 days per week, they travel with us as daycare is near work
  • Moo works 5 day weeks, mostly office hours with occasional weekend of after hours work. He also records his podcast, Spare Parts which is once a fortnight.
We mostly play after Sprocket and Gizmo are in bed asleep, usually after 8pm. With the early starts we only get about 2 hours (3 on the nights we lose track of time and don't have those early starts) of play time before we are in bed and ready to start the next crazy day! Tuesday night we have maintenance which usually kicks in at about 9 or 10pm depending on daylight savings and I think even 8pm once winter hits so those nights we do other stuff. 

I do try and avoid playing on the days I am home with the kids, mostly because I need to look after them first and if I log on I tend not to get much of my other chores done which are quite easy to hide from in a game.

The challenges we face are things like making sure all our spare time is taken up with games and we try to do other things together as well. I think we are still finding that boundary and balance because WoW is something we both like doing together and kids and budget kinda restrict outside the house alone time. 
We also have those frustrating nights when you finally get into a dungeon one of the kids wakes but I am sure we aren't the only ones that have that problem :)

How do you balance your time between real life and games? Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

xx Natanie


  1. I don't think it is just a game/real life problem. Anyone who does something meaningful outside of a day job has to work out the time management.

    I picked up my concept of time management - as much as I have it - while working my way through art school. I had to work a job for rent, tuition, supplies, etc; and do the school stuff and occasionally sleep.

    This came in handy after graduation because I still have to work a day-job (for fun things like rent and health insurance), try to function as a working artist (what ever that is) and occasionally sleep. And play a bit of WOW.

    I have a schedule for myself, what needs to get done and that helps. A lot of housework gets pushed to the weekend and the dye-plant blog is way behind. Mostly I keep a running list of what needs to be done during the week, deadlines, that sort of thing. Don't laugh, but I quest between loads of laundry.

  2. I envy those whose partners play. I wonder what my life would be like if it was more like that? :)

  3. My husband and I both work full time. He works further away and takes the kids to daycare near his work, so I try (usually successfully) to get home before he does so I can get something on the table before he and the boys come home. I usually have dinner on the table by 6:30, kid bedtime routine starts around 7:30 with lights-out by 8p for K and 8:15/8:30 for E. After that, I handle any chores like dishes (G does laundry) and food-prep for the next day, hoping to have all that completed by 9ish. On evenings that we have events, we're usually home by 9:30.

    So, I have time to play from about 9ish to 10 (or 10:30 if I'm willing to skimp on sleep) most nights. A couple nights a week I don't have time for more than profession cooldowns, choosing instead to spend time with G. I sometimes have 15-30 mins in the mornings after G heads off with the kids, depending on how early I have to get into the office. Greg doesn't play computer games, instead choosing other computer-related pursuits. He also prioritizes sleep higher than I do.

    On weekends I can sometimes sneak in "random afk" time during the day to do low-attention tasks like farming, crafting, or delivery quests.

    Balance? Husband, kids, and house come first. However, my recharge time is important too, and I get cranky if I have to miss too much "me" time.