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It's neat how you contain a factory for making more of you.

ImriayldeImriaylde Registered User regular
edited December 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
So, my boyfriend and I have been discussing the idea of having children (in the future, once we're married and financially able and such).

He's on the fence, having images of losing all of his free time forever and being surrounded by snot-nosed poop-factories that break everything. While I'm sure there's a fair amount of that, I have to believe that there's a good side to all this baby-raising, too.

I'm not posting this to try and change his mind or convince him that we should have kids, I'd just like to see the benefits to having kids, too.

So, people - especially gamers out there - with kids, can you answer a few questions for me?

1. Why did you decide to have kids, if it's a decision you actually chose?

2. Are you able to juggle your games/hobbies/etc while taking care of kids? How do you manage this?

3. What is the worst thing about raising children?

4. What is the best thing about raising children?

5. Do you think your life is better with your children in it than it was before you had them?

Thanks so much in advance!

Imriaylde on
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Posts

  • dojangodojango Registered User
    My wife and I just had a kid about a month ago. Well, she did most of the "having", but you know what I mean. At any rate, we're still pretty early in this project, and so far, we're still figuring things out. One thing to mention is you have to take a 20-30 minute break every 2-3 hours to feed the little nipper. So as long as your game/hobby can be put on hold every few hours you'll be fine. Also, it helps if it can be done one-handed. Our little guy cries a lot if he isn't being held, I've heard that's pretty typical for really younguns.

    Oh yeah, diapers, too, there's another break you'll have to take every couple of hours.

    So in conclusion, it is a pretty major life-altering experience. I don't know what your circumstances are, but for my wife and I, we figured we'd have one when we were "ready". But I don't think I was ever really "ready", but it was definitely worth just diving right in. Even if there's a lot more work than I originally thought there would be.

    I am looking forward to the part where he's a little person that I can interact with; hopefully in a few months, if not a year. But for now, the "snot-nosed poop-factory" is an accurate descriptor. He's not mobile enough to break anything, and even if he were, he'd have to compete with the cat for destructible targets.

  • KafkaAUKafkaAU Western AustraliaRegistered User regular
    1. Always wanted to have kids, it came to the right time in life so we just decided to go for it.

    2. (long) My son is 7 months old now. I used to play WoW, raided 16 hours a week + prep time + significant time on the weekend. The first few weeks I kept up most of that, but I knew it was coming to a close. Now I still play games for a couple of hours most nights, but weekend days are taken up with stuff. I honestly couldn't tell you what stuff, but I don't get anything extra done on the weekends than I used to (at least it doesn't feel that way) yet I also don't spend an obsence amount of time playing WoW. My wife takes care of him during the weekdays and late night week nights, but evening times and weekends are my domain so she can catch up on sleep and have a bit of a break herself.

    I still play games but they need to have a pause button and able be saved at any time (or just left open paused until you can return to them). My son loves banging on my keyboard when he sits on my lap when I play, so I got him another keyboard that work was throwing out and he just bangs on that.

    tldr: My gaming hobby shifted from MMO to games that have pause button.

    3. The worst part at the minute is the sleep. It appears that kids get sick all the time and my son has had a cold off and on for about 3 months now. Which means he coughs himself awake and cries. My wife is getting so tired that I need to help out with the midweek stuff. Currently we run on about 4 hours of sleep a night, which, when I used to be an arse if I got less than 8, I am surprised I can function with.

    4. The best part of raising kids:
    Spoiler:

    steam_sig.png
    Origin: KafkaAU B-Net: Kafka#1778
  • XArchangelXXArchangelX Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    1. Why did you decide to have kids, if it's a decision you actually chose?
    Wasn't so much a deliberate decision as a sort of we're ready for it going forward. I now have a 3yo and 1yo, Evie and Joe. True Fact: Impossible to be ready.

    2. Are you able to juggle your games/hobbies/etc while taking care of kids? How do you manage this?
    It's hard, and gaming takes a distant second place. I had to give up raiding, and then just quit WoW altogether for a couple years for the first one, then came back and just did casual stuff after their bedtime at 8pm, working out a deal with my wife to raid at 7pm a couple times a week.

    3. What is the worst thing about raising children?
    There really isn't a single worst thing. The diapers are bad at first, but that goes away pretty quick. For me, it was discovering of a sudden that all network tv dramas, at some point or another, entail the death or endangerment of small children and I just can't handle that bullshit anymore. It reduces my wife to tears every single time. I just always have this deep, resonant fear that something bad will happen to my babies, but it's vague, and undetermined and I feel like I just don't have any control over it and that really sucks. And when they get sick, that sucks like you wouldn't believe.

    It's just a LOT of work. They require constant supervision, kidproofing everything, which is impossible. I woke up from a nap one time when I had a cold and couldn't find my kleenex box. I then followed a trail of kleenex into Evie's room to find her laughing hilariously while yoinking one kleenex out after another while she's sitting in a pile of kleenex up to her waist. Joe has figured out how to climb up on chairs, but hasn't figured out that gravity still applies to him, even way up there. Have to clean clothes, plan out food, do extra dishes, clean all the time, bath time, no going out without a trusted baby-sitter. Logistics overall become a serious hassle.

    Also, country music makes a lot more sense now. Maybe that's the worst thing.

    4. What is the best thing about raising children?
    The kid. Watching them get so big, so unbelievably fast, watching them learn how everything works, just holding them and tickling, and playing and that their yours, you made this incredible, perfect, awesome human. It's like role-playing a Man. Hearing my little girl say "I love you daddy" when I put her to bed, and getting a big hug and a kiss. Coming home and having my little boy get this big grin, run over with his hands out so I can catch him up for hugs. Really, the best thing ever.

    Edit: I have a pic too!
    Spoiler:

    XArchangelX on
    Eve Online is a terrible game, but I used to play, for the lulz!
    Steam
    Only the strong can help the weak.
  • ImriayldeImriaylde Registered User regular
    Thanks everyone for the responses! They're really helpful. And I love all the cute kid pics :). Keep 'em coming!

    Dojango, congrats on your new little one!

    KafkaAU - I can imagine the lack of sleep takes a lot of getting used to.

    XArchangelX - I have to tell you, I laughed and laughed at the kleenex story.

  • KafkaAUKafkaAU Western AustraliaRegistered User regular
    If you think that Kleenex story is funny, here is a whole blog page full of them, plus the photo of her little girl at the start is so cute!

    http://blogs.news.com.au/naughtycorner/index.php/news/comments/what_have_your_children_done_while_youre_not_looking/

    steam_sig.png
    Origin: KafkaAU B-Net: Kafka#1778
  • AridholAridhol Registered User regular
    The wife and I had a little boy about 5 months ago :)

    1. Why did you decide to have kids, if it's a decision you actually chose?

    I always wanted to have them. As weird as it is to say I wanted to carry on my name and my dna :)
    She didn't always want them and definitely felt that the "time to yourself" aspect was a drawback.

    2. Are you able to juggle your games/hobbies/etc while taking care of kids? How do you manage this?

    At first? hell no, it's 100% consuming, but it does get better.
    We're going out more now, doing our own hobbies etc...

    It will have a forever impact on your free time.

    3. What is the worst thing about raising children?

    Lack of sleep sometimes.

    4. What is the best thing about raising children?

    Everything. The tiniest thing they do can make your day and you've never had the experience of getting super happy just for seeing them smile or do something new.


    5. Do you think your life is better with your children in it than it was before you had them?

    It's different, I feel more fulfilled and more responsible.



    Bottom line is I think it's awesome. I would say though that the absolute worst thing you could do is "convince" someone who doesn't want them to have them. They don't come with receipts to return.
    The best thing would be to take a family or friends kid for a night or weekend and see how it feels.



  • PelPel Registered User regular
    If I were to describe the ways my life has changed post-fatherhood, it would sound awful. But it isn't, you end up making all the changes you dread, and being a better and happier person for it.

  • KillgrimageKillgrimage Registered User regular
    Hi! I just had my baby girl five months ago. I'm writing this while she naps.

    1. Why did you decide to have kids, if it's a decision you actually chose?

    HA. Yeah, nature decided for us. Four months after the wedding. As for general readiness, you won't ever be rich, organized, or stable enough for kids. If everyone waited until then, no one would have kids! However, if you feel you are in a bad place, unstable family life, any kind of criminal activity, any out of control mental illness (your or him or even close family members) then yeah, try to wait. That shit ain't good for kids.

    2. Are you able to juggle your games/hobbies/etc while taking care of kids? How do you manage this?

    Well, I just finished Arkham City, including all side quests etc. Not sure what my next game is going to be, but I'm sure I'll find the time to play it. One side note: I didn't do much reading until AFTER I had the baby. I nurse, and she eats like 40 mins at a time. Husband bought me a kindle for my birthday and I'm just reading the shit out of everything now, and that makes me feel great.

    Don't forget that babies stabilize eventually and take regular naps/long bedtimes. I finished Arkham during her naps which are 2 hours twice a day. Good downtime for mom to recharge!

    3. What is the worst thing about raising children?

    SLEEP DEPRIVATION. Let me paint you a picture of sleep deprivation, because I guarantee until you have kids you don't actually know.

    You probably know the stats on babies, and you probably had the same thought that I did. "Hey, babies sleep like, all day! I'll just sleep when she does!" Sounds good in theory, but in practice? So hard, almost impossible sometimes. My baby had GERD, and wasn't sleeping more than 13 hours a day, and a lot of that was ON me because she wanted comfort all the time. Anxiety keeps me from sleeping while baby is on me (OMG what if she falls) so during the day, I am wrecked. During the night? Newborns sleep whenever, and so that means your bedtime is ???. The WORST is when you get her down and think you can FINALLY hit the sack and then...eh eh eh...WAH WAH WAH. There were times when I would literally just start hitting myself because it was preferable to being awake. Oh yes, the dirty little mother's secret is the extreme amounts of anger you can feel, mostly at the situation, but it's dangerous for the kid, so you HAVE to make sure your bf is on board and ready to help out when it gets hairy. When it got like that, I really just needed like, ten minutes to myself, either to doze or veg out.

    Also, I didn't realize how much of an anxious person I was until I had kids. If it weren't for my Angelcare monitor that lets me know she's breathing, I would not have been able to sleep at night, period. If you have any anxiety now, be prepared for it to multiply 100 fold.

    4. What is the best thing about raising children?

    The first time she smiles at you and every other time after that.

    5. Do you think your life is better with your children in it than it was before you had them?

    Like a previous poster said, life is different...and that's okay. That's actually the best indicator as to whether you are ready to have kids or not. If you are stressed about the idea of having kids because your life will change and how will you keep up your current lifestyle...you are not ready to have kids. If you are stressed about being a good parent, are you going to be good enough, can you keep from making the same mistakes your parents made...you are ready for a baby.

    As a prev poster said also, movies/shows/scenarios where kids are in danger/killed. No thanks, I can't handle that stuff anymore, it's not even funny to me at all. Hell, even the news is going to effect you when you hear about children dying because suddenly every child is YOUR child in your mind.

    Anyway, good luck! It shows a lot of maturity to be looking into this stuff now and not figuring it out after it's too late. That already is miles ahead of many parents who just don't give a damn!

  • CliffCliff Registered User regular
    I know you said you are not looking to convince him, but be honest, thats exactly what you are trying to do. Please don't. This will only lead to resentment and a bad life for the kid(s). If children are a big deal for you, then you'll have to find someone who wants them as much as you do.

    Wasn't that movie about David Bowie seducing a 16 year old girl while surrounding himself with monsters and rubbing his balls?

    I don't think it was even a movie, it was just some footage of what Bowie does in his day to day life.
  • JHunzJHunz Registered User regular
    1) My wife and I have both always known we wanted kids, but I didn't feel like I was ready for them for a while. Eventually I decided I was and we made one.

    2) Yes, but it's obviously different than it was before. My hobbies are mostly books and video games. Reading when she's around is not really a problem as long as she's not being too helpful with the pages, or wanting all my attention. Video games are a lot harder - sticking to kid-friendly games when she's around limits my options, so I do the majority of my gaming these days after she's gone to bed or when my wife is watching the baby elsewhere in the house. No more marathon 10-hour sessions though, those days are gone.

    3) They are poop factories that [try to] break everything. Sleep deprivation can be a problem too.

    4) Her smile when I come home makes even the lousiest day brighter.

    5) Definitely. But - and I think this is important - I wanted a child. There are a lot of things that are different or harder now, and it's a difficult adjustment even for someone who's looking forward to it. Different views on whether you want children is a huge relationship incompatibility, and it's good that you're having this conversation now instead of later. I hope it works out for you.

    bunny.gif Gamertag: JHunz. R.I.P. Mygamercard.net bunny.gif
  • hamdingershamdingers Registered User regular
    Well we had kids early (we were 20) -- we knew we wanted them and talked a lot about it before hand. Now we are 42, so I've seen the whole ride here. It's a wonderful, amazing experience and it produced two people I am proud to know. It is NOT for the timid, and it is not to be entered into lightly. It is a huge emotional (and financial) commitment. It is the most important thing you will ever do. So my advice is simply this:

    People who don't want kids should not have them.

    You both have to be on the same page. You both have to want them. You have to want to have children, not just babies. The poop-machine stage is short, but so is the stage where you are mommy and daddy. Soon these are miniature people with real wants and needs. Problems won't be fixed with a hug or a kiss anymore. They will be bullied at school. They will want to know what "sexy" means. They will need help with homework -you- don't even understand. They will want to get a tattoo, drive a car. They will come home at 1am when they were supposed to be home at 9pm.

    They will need parents who are committed for the whole ride.

    The babies, the little kids, the teenagers and now the two grown men ... MASSIVE sacrifices were made by my wife and I on the way to get where we are now. It was all worth it.

    Not trying to come off harsh - the fact that you are thinking about this before jumping right in says a lot about you. Please keep doing that - keep talking to your partner. Be on the same page.



  • DisrupterDisrupter Registered User regular
    I am a relatively new dad (3 month old), who admittedly was not ready to have a kid. I wanted another 2-3 years before diving in, my wife was sort of on the same page as me. But not as bad.

    What I can tell you is, even if you are worried about "OMG ALL MY FREE TIME AND MY OLD LIFE!" its not as bad as you imagine. Yes stuff does change. I'd say my wife and I have lost a bit of each other more then we have ourselves. But we can fix that with some work.

    Then again, my wife and I didn't do a whole lot before. We would go out to bars and dinner and stuff, which we can't do as much, but that's ok. Friends would come over to our place to have a few beers and play games, which we can still do once or twice a week without too much problem.

    The whole thing eases you into being a parent more then you'd expect. Babies don't do much. They eat, poop and sleep. They will want to be held, but its not difficult to hold a baby as it sleeps and do other things like eat, use a laptop or play a videogame (depending on the game. I play skyrim while holding my daughter, but i wouldn't play battlefield)

    As she is growing, she wants to interact more, but she is also smiling and laughing (sort of) which makes it awesome to interact with you. Basically, as she grows, she demands more of me, but she also makes it so I want to give her more. A newborn doesn't take much actual interaction, its a chore, but that also means you can just hold one and do whatever, cause it wont know the difference. A 3 month old will want to see you and interact with you, but its also fun to do it.

    Man, when this baby smiles, it melts me. Also, playing with her is fun to the point it feels like it gives me something to do. Like I go home missing her and wanting to hold and play with her. So, my desire to do my old hobbies has been replaced (somewhat) with a desire to hang out with my baby.

    Then again, I've had a relatively good baby so far and an absolutely awesome wife. So my story may not be the norm.

    Oh, the one real downside is, our house is messy as hell now and we never have time to cook real meals. I think we will eventually work that out though... i hope.

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  • DruhimDruhim Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Yeah, can't emphasize enough that you should both really want to have kids. If you have to "convince" your boyfriend to have kids, then you might want to seriously reconsider your relationship. If you really want kids that badly, you should be reasonably sure that your partner is just as jazzed about it and that you have a strong relationship.

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  • DisrupterDisrupter Registered User regular
    Druhim wrote:
    Yeah, can't emphasize enough that you should both really want to have kids. If you have to "convince" your boyfriend to have kids, then you might want to seriously reconsider your relationship. If you really want kids that badly, you should be reasonably sure that your partner is just as jazzed about it and that you have a strong relationship.

    But it's not like he has said he doesn't want it.
    He's on the fence, having images of losing all of his free time forever and being surrounded by snot-nosed poop-factories that break everything.

    I'm pretty sure most guys feel this way. Because...well, its sort of true. And its hard to ever really know just how awesome your own baby smiling at you is. So you can see all the downside but really have no way of knowing the upside. Honestly, this maybe sounds weird, but the best way to describe having a daughter to me is like when I first got my kitten. Id drive home those first few days with such excitement over seeing my kitten and playing with him. Id sing "i got a kitten! I got a kitten! I got a kitten, hey hey hey hey!"

    With my kitten, it went away and I got used to it.

    With my daughter, that feeling really hasn't gone away yet. I think it probably will once she is a tween...

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  • Steve BennettSteve Bennett Registered User
    Let me preface this by saying that I have a 3 year old.

    A lot of recent research out there is indicating quite strongly that when considered this in a non-emotional way, it just doesn't make sense to have kids. It takes a huge toll on your health and well-being, and the financial cost is absolutely massive (when considering LOST income and opportunities). If you're a person that likes to continuously improve and better yourself through experiences and learning... then having kids might not be the best idea. Once you have kids, your focus has to shift away from yourself and on to them.

    I echo others in their advise to NOT have kids unless both parents really, really want to. I can say from personal experience that having kids - especially the first months or even years - puts a great strain on a marriage. Even a strong marriage will be strained because things CHANGE - strong marriages are often strong because of the time and effort put towards each other, which is something that is simply not possible with young children.

    Oh, and another warning - in addition to financial security, having a strong extended family nearby is critical. People that will come and help you, watch the kids, give you a break when you really, really need it. We didn't have much of that, so everything rode on us. You get worn down as the months of sleep deprivation and lack of fun persist on and on.

    On to your questions:

    1. Why did you decide to have kids, if it's a decision you actually chose?

    My wife had always wanted kids - it was her whole reason for living. I had a desire to have kids eventually, although when we actually did so, I mostly did it for her sake (this was probably bad, but the issue was causing very serious conflict so I had to make a call).

    2. Are you able to juggle your games/hobbies/etc while taking care of kids? How do you manage this?

    Honestly, no. You just don't have time to do so. Even when you might have a few hours, you are too tired and the prospect of getting 'invested' in something has no appeal.

    3. What is the worst thing about raising children?

    Loss of sleep. Loss of time. Relationship strain. Financial impact. Social impact. Oh.. you wanted one? Oops.

    4. What is the best thing about raising children?

    Likewise, there are many great things about raising children. I'm not sure I can name a single one. I absolutely love taking a nap on the couch with my son sleeping on my chest/stomach... it's adorable and he's snugly lol. I really like that I can raise him in all the awesome ways that my parents failed with me. I love watching him learn and develop. It's really cool when he shocks/impresses me with demonstrating his knowledge or ability in something that I had no idea of.

    And they're sooo.... freakin.... cuuuute!

    5. Do you think your life is better with your children in it than it was before you had them?

    I think so.

  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Pel wrote:
    If I were to describe the ways my life has changed post-fatherhood, it would sound awful. But it isn't, you end up making all the changes you dread, and being a better and happier person for it.

    This is going to be true for everyone. Biologically you're hard-wired to be happy with the kid, even though rationally you shouldn't be.

    "Well, look at this. Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What's that make us?"
    "Big Damn Heroes, Sir."
    "Ain't we just."
  • KatoKato Registered User
    I have two kids...a 10 year old and a 6 year old.

    1) We didn't decide to have either of these kids. We were just stupid and never wrapped it up...fixed that after the 2nd one and I got snipped. No more children for me!

    2) Hobbies? Time for yourself? Yeah...in my experience, you can expect to have maybe 25% of the time that you are used too if you are lucky. I stopped playing MMO's completely and many games came to a halt. It gets better as they get older and you can involve them with some gaming or they have other things to do, but your free time, personal time, gaming time is going to take a HUGE hit. If you know what is good for you and your kids, you will accept this and move on. It gets better as they get older...

    3) Sleep deprivation and lack of privacy. Lack of "me" time...

    4) Watching them grow up and teaching them and witnessing them succeed. It makes everything worth it.

    5) Yes...my life is better. It is more fulfilled and complete. I have other things in my life other than just games and drugs. It has certainly been a good, life altering experience.

    Signature??
  • Lindsey LohanLindsey Lohan Registered User regular
    Imriaylde wrote:
    So, my boyfriend and I have been discussing the idea of having children (in the future, once we're married and financially able and such).

    He's on the fence, having images of losing all of his free time forever and being surrounded by snot-nosed poop-factories that break everything. While I'm sure there's a fair amount of that, I have to believe that there's a good side to all this baby-raising, too.

    I'm not posting this to try and change his mind or convince him that we should have kids, I'd just like to see the benefits to having kids, too.

    So, people - especially gamers out there - with kids, can you answer a few questions for me?

    1. Why did you decide to have kids, if it's a decision you actually chose?

    2. Are you able to juggle your games/hobbies/etc while taking care of kids? How do you manage this?

    3. What is the worst thing about raising children?

    4. What is the best thing about raising children?

    5. Do you think your life is better with your children in it than it was before you had them?

    Thanks so much in advance!

    1. We decided to have kids because we wanted to have a family and do all those things families do I guess. I never really thought of the logical reason we wanted to have a kid, we would have had a happy marriage either way. I was never sure of it though - my wife knew she wanted kids but I don't know if guys are wired that way. I just kind of went along with it and I'm really glad I did.

    2. Yes, juggling hobbies really isn't a stretch. When they're little they nap alot, when they're older they can either join you or entertain themselves. I don't always have the newest games, and I definitely would have struggled keeping online playdates for stuff like WoW raids if that's your fiancees game of choice, but for my normal gaming habits it was no real adjustment.

    3. Worst thing is probably just that it can stretch your finances and the lack of sleep when they're little.

    4. Best thing now is having a built in multiplayer partner in crime. Obviously we can't play anything graphic (he's 7) but it's awesome to have a Rock Band drummer or Castle Crasher helper on hand at all times. Sharing gaming is awesome.

    5. As someone that struggled conceiving and had at one point accepted it wouldn't happen for us, I hesitate to say having kids is better than not having kids. We would have been happy with our lives either way. I would say my home life is definitely more rewarding.

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  • ImriayldeImriaylde Registered User regular
    Thanks everyone for the responses :). They're very helpful.

    To clear it up, he hasn't said that he definitely doesn't want kids. We're just looking for stories from both sides of it.

  • wonderpugwonderpug Registered User regular
    My daughter (first child) is 17 months old. My life is not only better with her in my life; I can no longer imagine life without her.

    I work 40 hours a week and am also a full time student. On the three weeknights I have evening classes, I add about 30-45 minutes to my commute time in order to stop at home instead of going straight from work to school, so that I can have a chance to see her before she goes to bed for the night. I say 'a chance' because sometimes she's not up from her second nap when I get home. In those cases, if she wakes up just before I leave and I get just 5-10 minutes to play with her, my batteries are charged and my entire day is happier.

    Sure, now I can't do my hobbies anywhere near as much as I used to (that's also largely because of school) but when I do find time for my hobbies it's much more purposeful. When I have a free night where I can game for 3 hours after my daughter goes to bed, I play a game I really want to play, and I enjoy it a lot more. I don't know if I'm conveying this well, but it's always an active intentional hobby now, rather than ever being just a timewaster, if that makes sense.

    I'll say that the hardest part of the change is losing the ability to easily go on adult outings, like going to the movies or going out to dinner. My wife and I don't have any relatives nearby, so if we want to get out on our own it usually means a babysitter. Instead of $40 for a movie and snacks, it's $100 for a movie, snacks, and a babysitter.

    But back to
    I'd just like to see the benefits to having kids, too.

    My daughter lights up with excitement when I get home from work or school. She laughs when I'm silly, and she makes me laugh when she does her own silly things to be funny. If I put a spoon on my head to be funny, my wife will surely tell me my daughter has spent the week's meals putting her spoons on her own head. When I read her favorite bedtime story, she gives a tiny 'roar!' along with my big roar whenever I get to the part where the dragons roar. Every mental or physical milestone she reaches makes me beam with excitement and pride for her. Even with the stressful super busy work/school/home schedule I have now, as a parent I'm more content and fulfilled than I've ever been in my life.

  • JihadJesusJihadJesus Registered User regular
    I have two daughters, 2 years and 6 months old.

    1. My wife and I knew we wanted to have a family, but didn't decide to do it until we had some sense of direction with our careers. however I pretty much had no interest one way or the other until some of my family started having kids and I got to see that they weren't just slobbery little poop machines, they were also little people. If I had never been around a kid going from 0-3 or so it would have been a much tougher sell.

    2. There's less free time, certainly. I don't think that's the big problem, though. Having kids takes a lot of energy; I find that I'm pretty much only doing hobbies I find rejuvenating or relaxing in one way other another. Gaming can fall in there for me, but it's almost got to have a save anywhere feature for me to even consider it.

    3. I'd say the hardest thing is adult socialization. If your friends as a group are the kind who like to just wing it, and suddenly you get a call to go out to this event on short notice? Yeah, that's not happening if they don't like having infants around there. It's not so bad if your friends can plan ahead, but it's almost impossible to be spontaneous socially with kid...except with other families. There a couple of (flaky) friends we basically just dont see anymore because of this, though. Kids themselves can be challenging, but you kind of get used to that in some ways I think. For example, this evening my oldest daughter who is just out of diapers waited too long to get to the toilet...so she ran there as she peed, and declared triumphantly that she had used the potty. That image would have been a big time 'hell no' for me before, but I just cleaned up the pee and thanked her for trying.

    4. The best thing, by FAR, is getting to know your kid. Kids have a ton of personality even from a very young age, in ways i didnt appreciate before spending so much time with my girls. Getting to know who they are and helping them figure that out and grow and develop is incredible.

    5. I definitely wouldn't go back. I don't know if you can say one or the other is better, but I love life with my daughters in it.

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  • MagicToasterMagicToaster Registered User regular
    1. Why did you decide to have kids, if it's a decision you actually chose?
    This was a decision we both felt strongly about, we both wanted to have kids. I got to this point in my life after I fulfilled all my personal, academical and professional goals.

    2. Are you able to juggle your games/hobbies/etc while taking care of kids? How do you manage this?
    Currently, no. My wife is a stay at home mom, so when I get home after work, she gets a break from the baby. This means, I get the rest of the day with our daughter.

    3. What is the worst thing about raising children?
    It's 2:00 a.m., for the 5ht night in a row, you awaken to a baby crying. You change the diaper, and as soon as the diaper is off, the baby decides it's a good time pee all over everything. So there you are, again, giving a baby a bath at 2:00 a.m.... hoping she will go to bed before 3:00 so you can go to work the next day not looking like a zombie.

    4. What is the best thing about raising children?
    Everything. Even the pee covered sheets at 2:00 a.m.

    5. Do you think your life is better with your children in it than it was before you had them?
    Of course! However, we both agreed on this. I can see it becoming a wedge if both are not on the same page.

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  • LewieP's MummyLewieP's Mummy Registered User regular
    We have 2 children of our own, both now adults. We have also fostered 13 children in the last 13 years, 2 of them long term through to adult hood. I didn't like children that much before I had my own, although I knew I wanted children.


    1. Why did you decide to have kids, if it's a decision you actually chose?
    We were in our mid twenties when we had our daughter, we thought we were ready to do it, had talked for quite a while. It felt like it was the right time - we had married and bought a house 4 years before, had a car, both had jobs, and we didn't want to leave it too long. We had our son 2 years later (both planned to arrive when Wimbledon was on, so I could guarantee to be at home to watch it!).

    2. Are you able to juggle your games/hobbies/etc while taking care of kids? How do you manage this?
    This is always hard - children take up a lot of your time if you are going to do it as best as you can. Its more about involving yourself in what they're interested in, and them being involved in what you're interested in. This all changes over time, as they grow and develop. When our children were younger, we both played to our strengths: I'm the disciplinarian and educator, my husband always did the sporty stuff - swimming, trips to the park, bike riding, I did arty/crafty things (still do). Hobbies when they were small happened in the evenings or with them, or didn't happen.
    Their needs change over time - when they are tiny, they rely on you for everything; you are infallible, perfect and in charge totally. As they grow older, they don't physically need you in the same way, they realise you're not perfect after all, but emotionally need you just as much. As they mature, its exciting to see what they're like, but it can also be challenging. letting go is something I've found hard over the years, letting them make their own mistakes but being there to pick up the pieces if necessary.
    Priorities change, though, and being with them mattered more than other stuff. The only reason I'm on these fora is through my son; he's the reason I've been to PAX twice, and why I paint and am a bit geeky. That grew out of being interested in what he's interested in.

    3. What is the worst thing about raising children?
    When they're ill or have problems. Its my job to fix things, so when I can't, or have to rely on the doctor/nurse/hospital or when there's no solution, that's so hard. I'd rather be ill than my children, they're so precious to me.

    4. What is the best thing about raising children?
    Its awesome. You have a whole person who came out of you, who you can feed, take care of, nurture and see growing into a wonderful human being. Looking at my children makes me burst sometimes, they are amazing people, kind, loving, open-hearted, generous and very, very cool. I'm privileged to be in their lives

    5. Do you think your life is better with your children in it than it was before you had them?
    Immeasurably - I can't imagine what life would have been like without children, I'm a better person for knowing them both, and wish I could be more like them in different ways.

    We decided to foster as a family - our children were 11 and 9 when we talked about it, and 12 and 10 when we had our first 2 foster children. the rule has always been that we all decide whether or not to take a child, as fostering impacted them as much as us. It has been wonderful watching our children learn to care for, support and look after children, and I know they both will make wonderful parents themselves.

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  • EtchEtch Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    When it comes to gaming while you have a child, in my experience, the first 6 months or so it's not a big deal. I used to play street fighter with the arcade stick on my lap and my daughter snuggled up in my right arm. They're so small at that point that it's surprisingly comfortable.

    Where the gaming comes to a halt is when your baby really starts being able to get around on it's own. Once she started walking, I pretty much put my game playing on hold until bed time. Most of the time, if I'm trying to play something while she's awake she wants to yank the controller away. And don't try to kid yourself thinking you can give the kid an extra controller, she knows which one is actually working. Every time.

    What it really comes down to is your kid is going to be way more important, so until they get to the point where they want to be independent and play on their own, the hobby has to take a back seat. Nice thing is I spend way less on games now =D
    On a side note, it's good to find something like a video game that they can play too. For example, my daughter is always asking to play Pokemon. What she means is the pokedex app on the 3DS. It's nice for her to mess around with because it's not a real game where she has to accomplish a goal or anything, but she can still clearly see that when she presses buttons there's a result on screen. I like to think of it as a primer. For reference, she just turned two.

    Etch on
  • SyphyreSyphyre A Dangerous Pastime Registered User regular
    Though I didn't start it, thank you all for your responses on this thread. Seeing as I will be a father in about four months, this helps me say that yes, I made the choice rightly, and yes, my life is going to change, but yes, it's all worth it.

    Steam ID - Syphyreal --- 3DS Friend Code: 2723-9387-1002
  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Austin, TXRegistered User regular
    I still game about as much as I used to. The only real hard thing is playing multiplayer games since I might have to get up and pull him down off of the bookshelf at any moment. I pretty much don't play those before he goes to bed.

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  • testsubject23testsubject23 King of No Sleep ZzzzzzzRegistered User regular
    My daughter's about 15 months old now. We've been through enough of the highs and lows with her that I'm able to delude myself into thinking I can handle this. :)
    Imriaylde wrote:
    1. Why did you decide to have kids, if it's a decision you actually chose?
    We had kicked the idea around for a few years, and eventually we got to the point where it seemed like a bad idea to wait any longer. Both mid-thirties, and we were as well established as we were likely to get. My wife decided she definitely wanted kids, and I was pretty much take-it-or-leave-it. I'd probably have been a bit more leave-it if I'd known how much of a trial it'd turn out to be, but I don't regret it at all. I agree with the rest that there's no such thing as "ready" for kids - you just take the plunge and do your best.
    Imriaylde wrote:
    2. Are you able to juggle your games/hobbies/etc while taking care of kids? How do you manage this?
    Yes and no. The way I play has changed, along with the amount of time I'm able to throw into it, and my own motivation to do so. I've come to appreciate games with a "save anywhere" feature a lot more. I've been prone to leave things paused for a few hours at a time. And the depth of game I'm interested in has changed. I don't have the time to invest in learning massive new control schemes and game mechanics, or to waste playing games that don't really grab me. I trend toward the titles that I can play for 30 minutes here and there and still get a measurable sense of fun and progress from.
    But yes, I still do get to play. Mostly when I should be sleeping instead. :)
    Imriaylde wrote:
    3. What is the worst thing about raising children?
    The near total dissipation of my social life. Having a child to care for is a LOT of work. More work than I've ever sunk into anything else I've ever done. It eats up your spare time like nothing else. It changes everything, including your priorities - the baby becomes your focus. When I told them I was having kids, some of my friends made the joke "See you in ten years!". It's hyperbole, obviously, but there's a grain of truth there... We just don't get out the way we once did, and it can be isolating.
    There are other bad parts, too, but you get used to those. Diapers... crying (so much crying; yours and the baby's)... teething... temper tantrums. You may also never finish another hot meal or be able to watch a movie from start to finish ever again. :)
    Imriaylde wrote:
    4. What is the best thing about raising children?
    The fact that despite ALL the bad stuff, it's still (and somewhat inexplicably) absolutely worth it. When I come home from work she comes to meet me at the door, her face lit up like a Christmas tree, and she makes a noise like a baby dinosaur winning the lottery. She's the most adorable thing I've ever seen. Watching her learn and grown and turn from a squalling ball of flesh and need into a tiny little person has been singularly incredible, and I look delightedly forward to seeing what comes next. It's a wild ride - the lows are pretty low, but the highs more than make up for them.
    Imriaylde wrote:
    5. Do you think your life is better with your children in it than it was before you had them?
    It's hard to call it better or worse, because the two are so different. Each has it's own set of positives, and like any major life change I find myself occasionally longing nostalgically for the past. I miss having close friends. And going to restaurants. But if I had it to do over again I would, unhesitatingly.

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  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    1. It seems to me that most people have a strong aversion to having kids or they don't. If they don't it's just a matter of having them in the "right circumstances" (e.g. in wedlock, while employed, after you've bought a house, with health insurance, etc.). I'd say the only real requirement is that you're both on board and you don't plan to move around often (not saying you cannot move every year, but it's going to be harder on everyone).

    2. Yes. I go out with my friends less and I play games and watch my shows after the kids are asleep. I play more games than I used to, but that's probably more due to cutting the cable. The key for us is communication between parents, and both sides understanding that the other needs his/her personal time (even if that means just taking a bath while someone else watches the kids, or going out and reading at a coffee shop for an hour or 2). Sometimes that means taking the kid and sleeping on the couch when one parent hasn't had enough sleep, or standing/pacing holding the kid for hours cause he wakes up and cries when you try to sit/lay down.

    3. Worry, and getting bodily waste\fluids on your clothing on a regular basis. Also getting irritated at stupider shit than relationship crap, like whether or not he'll eat anything other than goldfish and mac & cheese.

    4. The kids themselves of course, I don't think there's any upshot outside of them given that they are massive time/resource sinks. Granted, I probably have more perspective and patience now, and I feel that I share some perspective with my parents and other child-rearers, though that's hard to quantify. When they aren't terrible they're cute and say hilarious things. Xmas was never a thing for me, until I had kids to buy stuff for. I can't believe how excited they can get about stuff.

    5. Mostly. I've less personal freedom, but I've got more reason to be around. I'd say they've given me more focus to do/be better as an example and cause I need to support them.

    My guys are just toddlers, I'm sure there are aspects of parenthood I've yet to enjoy/suffer.

  • SeñorAmorSeñorAmor Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    Imriaylde wrote:
    He's on the fence, having images of losing all of his free time forever and being surrounded by snot-nosed poop-factories that break everything.

    While the former is true, the latter can largely be prevented simply by using forethought and common sense. The few things you'll miss (and you will miss things) or think, "There's no way he can reach that" (which you will be proven wrong quite often), will merely lead to you bettering your reflexes and reaction time.

    Kids are snot-nosed poop factories but they're our snot-nosed poop factories and having one (or more!) is likely the single-greatest thing you will ever do.

    1. Why did you decide to have kids, if it's a decision you actually chose?

    My wife and I chose, and by that I mean I was slightly pressured into it. I knew I wanted to have kids, but I was on the fence about it. I was 30 when my son was born (he's now 18 months old), and I realized that it was simply the time for me to take the next step. Not once have I regretted my decision. It's a tough decision to make and I'd bet most guys hem and haw about it at first, just like I did. Number 2 is in the oven, and that decision was infinitely easier to make. We only plan on having 2, so once she's born, I'm getting snipped.
    2. Are you able to juggle your games/hobbies/etc while taking care of kids? How do you manage this?

    I used to play WoW, and then Rift, and while I wasn't a hardcore endgame raider, I played quite often. I knew going in that there'd be changes I'd need to make, and I wasn't looking forward to making them. Had I known then what I know now, I would have had a completely different attitude. With kids, you learn how to better organize your time. I probably get 75% of the computer time I got before my son was born. I play when he sleeps or when he and mom are out running errands. My computer time is actually dwindling, not because I have less time, but I have less desire to be on my computer.
    3. What is the worst thing about raising children?

    I'd say it's being responsible for someone else's life. That's not to say it's all that bad, but when you're not used to it, it gets annoying quickly. On the flip side of the coin, you get used to it even more quickly. Waking up every 2 hours to feed/change a newborn sucks at first, but you adapt and -- if you're like me -- grow to like it and even miss it when your child starts sleeping through the night.
    4. What is the best thing about raising children?

    Everything.

    No hyperbole.

    Having a kid is great. It's difficult to put into words what having a child is like. For every poopy diaper, there are 10 smiles that melt your heart. For every late night feeding, there's a little you cradled in your arms. The good outweigh the bad by a staggering amount.
    5. Do you think your life is better with your children in it than it was before you had them?

    I struggle to think of what my life was before my son was born, and that was a short 18 months ago, but I can't think of a single time when I wasn't glad I wasn't a parent.

    SeñorAmor on
  • XArchangelXXArchangelX Registered User regular
    Treating the decision to have kids without emotion means you're missing the actual payoff. All the best parts of having a kid, the ROI, is emotional. All the physical hard work and cost is front-loaded. They get a lot easier to handle as you get them potty trained, as they learn to dress themselves. Eventually they'll be big enough to actually help around the house. My favorite joke is that I needed some people who could farm in WoW for me while I was at work, hence babies!

    Eve Online is a terrible game, but I used to play, for the lulz!
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  • RiboflavinRiboflavin Registered User regular
    Not Even sure I've ever posted before but I like this topic:

    1)Planned on one , had twins.

    2)The first two years killed my gaming. I was exhausted,grumpy and only wanted sleep when I had free time. Now as I have more sleep I play when they go to bed. Most of my hobbies have suffered about a 50% time loss.

    3)The worst thing is losing much of your "you" time. I don't hang out with my friends nearly as much and don't have as much time to be a hermit which is how I recharge my emotional battery.

    4) The best thing is hard to describe. You have a child who gives you unconditional love and looks to you for everything. Watching them develop into little people is wonderful.

    5) Yes, my routine/life has changed drastically. It was hard to go through that change because I was so set in my ways but my kids bring me a sense of happiness that a videogame or night out with my buddies never could. Does that mean I don't wish for time alone every now and then? No, but having kids was a good decision for us.

  • Lindsey LohanLindsey Lohan Registered User regular
    Treating the decision to have kids without emotion means you're missing the actual payoff. All the best parts of having a kid, the ROI, is emotional. All the physical hard work and cost is front-loaded. They get a lot easier to handle as you get them potty trained, as they learn to dress themselves. Eventually they'll be big enough to actually help around the house. My favorite joke is that I needed some people who could farm in WoW for me while I was at work, hence babies!

    They definitely get easier as they get older. The first trip we took to my parents without a diaper bag in tow was a huge deal to us. The decision itself to have kids can be a very emotional one and it can be a hard discussion simply because putting into words why someone does or doesn't want children can be very difficult to do.

    My son is now 7 and is very self-sufficient. Give him a DS or box of Lego or his scooter and he can entertain himself for hours. He also loves gaming with me, and just likes sitting back and watching as I play. It's very hard to describe how amazing it is to share hobbies and interests with your own child - it's something I hope I never stop appreciating. I'm taking him to PAXEast this year for a day (I'm going all 3 days, my wife and him are joining me Sunday) and the wait is killing me as I just can't wait to see his reaction to an entire convention of games.

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  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    We just had our first at the end of september. i am not a super hardcore gamer but i did not play as much as i used to when he was first born, now that he stays asleep when we put him to bed i am playing more like normal at night before i go to bed, though i don't really play on the weekends anymore.

    the trick is to find games you can play with one hand. I played a lot fo Shogun 2 at first since i could hold him in one arm and use the mouse with my other hand

    We are taking our first big trip with him over christmas break that has me stressed. its only a 6-7 hr car ride but that is the longest he will be in the car for.

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  • SeñorAmorSeñorAmor Registered User regular
    My favorite joke is that I needed some people who could farm in WoW for me while I was at work, hence babies!

    I always joke that the only reason I had kids was so I didn't have to mow the lawn or do the dishes anymore.

  • XArchangelXXArchangelX Registered User regular
    SeñorAmor wrote:
    My favorite joke is that I needed some people who could farm in WoW for me while I was at work, hence babies!

    I always joke that the only reason I had kids was so I didn't have to mow the lawn or do the dishes anymore.

    That's what I use on family and co-workers who have no idea wtf "farming in WoW" even means.

    Eve Online is a terrible game, but I used to play, for the lulz!
    Steam
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  • ImriayldeImriaylde Registered User regular
    Thank you all so much for the responses, they've been really, really helpful :)

  • celandinecelandine Registered User regular
    Yeah, this is a concern of mine too.

    My boyfriend and I are probably in it for the long haul. He wants kids; I think I'd rather die. But it's not socially okay to be a permanently childless woman if you're straight...

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  • NoquarNoquar Registered User regular
    Riboflavin wrote:
    Not Even sure I've ever posted before but I like this topic:

    1)Planned on one , had twins.

    2)The first two years killed my gaming. I was exhausted,grumpy and only wanted sleep when I had free time. Now as I have more sleep I play when they go to bed. Most of my hobbies have suffered about a 50% time loss.

    3)The worst thing is losing much of your "you" time. I don't hang out with my friends nearly as much and don't have as much time to be a hermit which is how I recharge my emotional battery.

    4) The best thing is hard to describe. You have a child who gives you unconditional love and looks to you for everything. Watching them develop into little people is wonderful.

    5) Yes, my routine/life has changed drastically. It was hard to go through that change because I was so set in my ways but my kids bring me a sense of happiness that a videogame or night out with my buddies never could. Does that mean I don't wish for time alone every now and then? No, but having kids was a good decision for us.

    See this up there? Keep that in mind. It might just end up being more than one if you go for it. You might end up with multiples. We ended up with identical twin boys. They are two now. These first two years gaming didn't exist unless I wanted less sleep than I was already getting, and that's saying something since they are really good sleepers.

    My experience is different than many. I chose to agree with my wife to have kids only because I knew it would make her happy and it was what she really wanted. She would hesitantly say she would be okay not having children, but it was obvious that was not the case. She did not know until after we had them that that was how I felt. However, the blow of that reveal was softened because there is no way I would go back if I had the chance. Even though I didn't want them for me, I was going to give them all the love I could - and I have. I am a stay at home dad now and wouldn't trade it for anything.

    Worst - time and supervision. You can't take your eyes off them.

    Best - When they learn new things, new words, new sentences, skills, all the cute things they do.

    PSN & STEAM: Noquar
  • acidlacedpenguinacidlacedpenguin Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    As a not parent I've sort of idealized purchasing a child from either a local child store or one of those fancy Chinese daughter import stores. Ideally they'd be ripened to at least the age of 3.
    I figure this would cut out the sleep deprivation, the snotty poop factories, and the "I'm going to break shit and cause trouble because I've figured out how to control my parents" phases. Obviously raising a child is going to be a crazy time-sink no matter what but from all of my co-workers that I've talked to they seem to agree that those hell years fucking suck. Nearly all of them had to quit having fun permanently.

    acidlacedpenguin on
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  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Austin, TXRegistered User regular
    Noquar wrote:
    Best - When they learn new things, new words, new sentences, skills, all the cute things they do.

    The first time your child picks up your DS and starts playing it is pretty magical.

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