Friday, April 03, 2009

Being Mama

...isn't all fun and games. As it were.

I have a regular weekly D&D night. A bunch of us get together down at the local game store and rent the private room so that we don't have try to compete with the anime club that meets there the same night. I have been bringing the Infanta and letting her crawl around and whatnot, but it's been requiring more and more attention from everyone in the group to keep her out of trouble - like, not letting her chew on everyone's laptop cords. It's really not fair to ask everyone to help me babysit, but I've been trying to ignore that so that I can get a little gaming in.

I've also been realizing recently that she's starting to turn into a toddler. I looked at her face the other day, and she's looking older, and not like even an older baby anymore, even though she's not quite walking (although cruising just fine, thankyouverymuch). She's also getting past the 8-9 month sleep regression, and wanting to be in bed by much earlier in the evening.

So near the end of last evening, after everyone's concerted efforts to keep my little teething cord maniac wrangled, I had to come to the conclusion that I'm going to have to quit going to D&D night. Although there were some noises made about bringing one of the games (we have two campaigns going) to our house so that I can continue to play, I'm not counting on that happening. I'm not very happy about this.

There are two main reasons I'm not happy:

1) I won't get to flex my gaming muscles. I've been a gamer for as long as I can remember; it's as much a part of my identity as being a knitter has become, and it kills me to not be able to have that part of my life active. It's especially bad when my husband gets to go and I don't! And no, I won't ask him to quit - that wouldn't be fair to him. For one thing, he needs to have things to do without me; I don't want to be one of those controlling spouses that never lets her partner do anything solo!

2) I'll be stuck home alone with the baby. But, you say, you're already a SAHM, what's a few hours more? Well, that's just the thing. I am home alone with the baby all day every day (unless I manage to drag us out somewhere - not that easy when I'm dependent on buses or rides from other people). By the evening, I'm tired and needing time for myself; whether it's to cook, shower, sew, or just do nothing, I need some non-baby time. If Daddy's not home, I don't get it. I actually managed to get a shower today while Daddy wasn't home for the first time in ten months!!! But that was only because I decided that the Infanta could be more or less trusted to play independently in the bathroom... and I only got about half my shower business done because she was done before I was.

I love my baby, and in the grand scheme of things, I'm willing to give up this particular adult activity while my children are little. For one thing, they won't be little forever; for another, I'll be able to pick up again when they're older. This doesn't mean I have to like it! But I think I understand better now why the gaming nights when I was a kid were always at our house.


Mama Nirvana said...

Not that you asked for any advice -- but are you and hubby willing to trade nights? Mike and I are always looking at keeping things as even as possible between us, although I think I usually get more evening time than he does, mostly because I have more hobbies. Being the mom, you will always have to sacrifice more. It's just a fact of life, and it sucks. Sorry about your loss.


Katie said...

Oh, yes - Josh will get to watch her while I'm off knitting (and other such things, like doula meetings). He's very well aware that I need time without her, especially now that she's old enough that she doesn't *need* me to be immediately on hand all the time.

I've always known, at least in theory, that mom always gets the short end of the stick. It's just getting me in reality now, and I'm grateful to have this space to process it in!

Anonymous said...

We were also the ones who had a little room. . . Everyone else got a lot more gaming in than your mom did, but then just about everyone else was more interested. i don't think I could have stood gaming as much as some people did. On the other hand, there were such precious times as when Tom, at three years old, named his first character - HIJK. or when I realized that Peter, at eight, could hold his own with you guys and you friends, at least at home, and that you were willing to accept him as part of the group because he did not act like a "little kid". was he born grown up? But you're right. I remember the first big mass game after D&D came out. We all sat around the walls in a big empty room, I think it was at Trudy Butler's, with Tom in a basket or something. You know I don't do floors, and it was clear that baby and crowd wanting order did not mix. It was a great occasion, though. Everyone was there, and I'm glad I didn't miss it. Perrin was there, Richard and Frog, possibly Henderson, Janet and Clint, I can't even remember all of them, although Anders probably could, but it was the beginning of a new era. The next game I remember was at our house, when we asked Richard to help us learn the game. That's when he killed my character out of hand when I asked him a question. Richard can be a real SOB, but it also showed me the absolute power of the GM.
I didn't make it to very many games outside the house after that, for the same reasons you cite.

On the other hand, you have a beautiful, growing, healthy little girl and the privilege to take care of her yourself. It's impossible to overestimate the importance of that. Do what you can for now, and get your gaming in around the edges. Your attitude about Josh and his rights is spot on. Be generous, and you will never regret it.

Gotta go now, the garbage disposal is stopped up.

your loving, mom

Lamentation said...

It's frustrating to me because Alex just wiggled some room in her life to make it to one of the games and now you might have to stop all together for a while.

I'm doing my best to generate edges to game in :)

@mom That was a wonderful post,I really look forward to helping to teach Lina about gameing, like her grandparents (well, the cool ones (ducks and runs!) anyway) did for us.

Mister Tom

Batty said...

Heh, I know -- one of my D&D buddies had her second daughter a few months ago. Her first baby was such a happy quiet girl -- we could just put her on the floor on her back with some toys dangling over her, and she'd be happy and quiet and we'd play. The second one... not so much. But things will get better!