Family Balance

Balancing a lifetime-long hobby around family.

One single event two and a half years ago changed everything about how I enjoy video games: The birth of my daughter. Now with our new month-old son added into the mix, I have little time for gaming. However, it is still a part of my life nearly daily. Whereas my wife naps to take a break, I game.

There are simple rules that help balance my life as a husband and father with my hobby. First, the television is never solely mine. As soon as my child wants to watch her favorite princess sing to birds, my games go off. Likewise, when my children are finally asleep at night, I always check with my wife before I turn on a game. If there is something she would like us to do together, that takes priority. Often, we play games together. Stardew Valley and Super Mario Party are two favorites of hers. She also enjoys watching me play story-driven games with a great sense of artistry, like Inside and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. And then there are the nights where my wife wants to sleep early or read a book, giving me the opportunity to catch up on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and the Hitman series.

Video games have helped strengthen the bond I have with my wife, and will someday do the same for me and my kids. I look forward to the day that the four of us sit down on the couch, controllers in hand, joyously competing and cooperating. Until then, I can always return to a video game exactly the way I left it, but I only get one chance to see my children grow up.

By Sean Eppler

Sean Eppler is a professional music educator out of Northeast Ohio who enjoys time with his very supportive wife, two energetic children, and their adorable Havanese dog Adelaide. When he’s not teaching, performing, or parenting, Sean enjoys playing video games, chess, crosswords, reading, listening to podcasts, cheering on the Cleveland Guardians, and visiting zoos and parks with his family. You can interact with him on Twitter @PGamingBot

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