Well, here it is. MMOs & Motherhood Part Three. I would love to say this was a success story, but I can’t. It’s been two months since World of Warcraft: Dragonflight launched, and I’ve barely made it past level 62. But I have good news, no one cares. No one but me. It turns out a lot of that pressure I felt was put on myself. Am I behind a good chunk of the player base? Absolutely. Does that mean I’m not a real gamer? Not for a second.
I think somewhere down the line, I thought that I would lose my gaming identity, so to speak, the more time I took to raise my children. As someone who has gamed her whole life, I felt like I would be losing a big part of myself. I spend a lot of time in this column talking about guilt, time management, or feeling like you can’t have your own identity while parenting. What I’m learning now is that I don’t have to lose who I am, but I might have to adapt a little.
MMOs and motherhood definitely don’t go hand in hand, but I have found some workarounds. I’m not 23 anymore, and I don’t have the spare time I did then. Maybe in a few years, when my daughter is older and a little more independent, I will have more free time. I won’t need to worry about the kids waking up to interrupt my raids! But for now, I’m doing what I can.
My time in WoW has definitely not been as speedy as I’d like (I’m pretty sure I ran out of game time), but I have started taking joy in playing at my leisure rather than trying to be competitive. I’ve been able to sit down and do a few quests here and there while my son sat with me and asked questions. I was able to share something I love with him, and since I was taking my time with World of Warcraft, I could take my time with him. I could teach him.
“MMOs and motherhood definitely don’t go hand in hand, but I have found some workarounds…”
My daughter is another story. She is still too young for World of Warcraft or much of anything, but she loves the idea of taking control and being involved. With her, I sit, and we sort through my mounts. She has sat on my lap on plenty of occasions while we switched from the Reins of the Twilight Drake to the Obsidian Nightwing to the Red Flying Cloud. We would whip through Orgrimmar-often directly into the wall- and she would laugh and laugh. We found happy moments in something I thought I’d lost.
In those moments, I realized that there is still plenty I can do in WoW without raiding or running constant dungeons. In any other game, I’ve always been a completionist. World of Warcraft has plenty to do outside of timely group content. For instance, farming for mounts in WoW has always been a popular pastime. I also have an incredible hoarding problem when it comes to my games, so farming materials and gold is right up my alley.
I’ve spent so much of my time avoiding MMOs because of motherhood, diving head-first into farming sims and cozy games. But really, what am I doing there? Collecting materials. Making money. Checking off boxes in my collections (I have chests full of everything I could find in Disney Dreamlight Valley, just in case). Better yet, I can gather new transmogs while I perfect my rotation-which will no doubt change in the next expansion or even patch.
So no, MMOs might not be the ideal type of game for me…right now…but that doesn’t mean I have to completely give up hope for World of Warcraft: Dragonflight, Elder Scrolls Online: Necrom, or Lost Ark. I just need to adapt. Adapt to who I am today. Adapt to my circumstances. Adapt to what I am able to give to my hobbies, myself, and my kids. Maybe I can’t be a competitive MMO player at this point in my life, but I can be a mom who shares her hobbies with her kids. A gamer who is gearing up for her future in raiding. Just an MMO player who wants to have some fun.