Advice needed: Infants and D&D

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Here's the situation...

I am Dm'ing a game that has run for 2 years at my home. My wife is the Wizard of the party. My wife and I recently had a child. During the last trimester of her pregnancy we stopped having sessions (comfort for her did not include sitting around a table). After a couple of months after the birth we tried to have a couple of sessions. Our son was sleeping a lot then but we were still exhausted (we have no family locally to help out so its just the two of us, two dogs, and our first baby). The first session had my wife barely able to do anything as she was tending to our son. The second session one of our players had to bring his one year old along and my wife offered to watch her and our son; she did not do any playing and her character had to be run by committee. These sessions were more stressfull on us as hosts than usual. Finding time to clean the house, prepare the gaming area, and prepping the adventure took a lot more effort than pre-baby. Now our son is taking more of our time since he is awake more during the day and needs stimulation. Our other player with the now 1.5 year old is expecting again. We have basically stopped sessions for the last few months because my wife ends up not having any fun and is burdened with taking care of the kids by herself and it is stressful for me to see her like that while I'm trying to make sure everyone has fun.

So does anyone have any constructive feedback on what can be done?

Thanks!
Play online at night after the kids are asleep. No cleaning up, no driving anywhere, no kids to interrupt playtime... it's win-win all around. If you're gaming specifically for the in-your-face social aspect of it, consider switching to another game that is less reliant on everyone being sat at the table discussing things.

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To be honest, sounds like you and your friends are entering a phase of life in which D&D might not make much sense. But if you want to push through it, my #1 suggestion is to see if someone else can host. If you have a portable playpen to bring along you’ll still be able to do something with your child when sleepy. This should take a lot of pressure off of your wife and if she’s like my wife was she’ll also appreciate getting out of the house.


If you have a babysitter that can watch both your and your friend’s child, you could split the cost. I would also suggest setting your session frequency to a max of 2x per month.


In any case, best of luck and I hope you can work it out.

Your friend was wrong for bringing their kid and letting your wife deal with it. Maybe she said she wanted to or was happy to, but that really was not right of your friend.

Play online at night after the kids are asleep. No cleaning up, no driving anywhere, no kids to interrupt playtime... it's win-win all around. If you're gaming specifically for the in-your-face social aspect of it, consider switching to another game that is less reliant on everyone being sat at the table discussing things.

Hear, hear. Or take a break from gaming for a few months until both you AND your wife are more into the swing of things and have been able to get some sleep.

Have someone else DM, so you can take turns with your wife. Maybe come up with a combined character, so that only one of you plays at a time. DO NOT default to your wife taking care of the baby during games.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Play less frequently. A single day a month or less. Get a sitter (Grandma?) and this can be your no kids night. Its important to try to take these every so often in general. Yours just happens to be used for DND, and involve your friends. Make it clear they can't show up with their kids. 

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Play less frequently. A single day a month or less. Get a sitter (Grandma?) and this can be your no kids night. Its important to try to take these every so often in general. Yours just happens to be used for DND, and involve your friends. Make it clear they can't show up with their kids. 

Right.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Maybe give it a few more months, then try to get a sitter. Even then, it will be hard not to be worried about your kid and to instead let your mind be where you are.

Don't host any more. In all reality, you can't host because, again, being right there with the child means the child will come before game. 

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Is playing at another group member's home or rotating game locations an option to cut down on what you are handling?  Is there another person who can DM so that you'd have less prep to deal with and would be free to help with the baby, or the two of you could take turns with game nights and babysitting?


 
When I started having children (I have three) I ended up taking approximately 4-5 years off from gaming.  It just wasn't practical with children in diapers.  I occasionally got together with old friends to game, but this was really only about once every 3 months or even less.

Sometimes you just need to become the "Daddy Master" for awhile instead of the "Dungeon Master".  Your wife may really need this.

Now as the kids are getting older and in school I am able to have more gaming time away, a regular game night once a week like the old days.
I really recommend you not stress yourself and think long term on this type of thing.  Focus on your child first.  You will never regret doing that.

And Congrats!!
It seems you justifiably have a lot on your plate.  Dming may be too much to tackle with your wife playing as well.  A start may be not dming as well as playing at someone elses place.  So your wife isn't stuck doing all the childcare alone maybe switch off who gets to do the daycare and who gets to play.  It would mean you only get to play half as much but perhaps better than not playing at all
For us, everything kind of stopped after we became parents, there is just no way we could manage to keep doing the things we did before we got kids.
The only thing we managed, once in a while, was to play the D&D board games, they are quick and easy with no preparation, and for a few hours in the evenings after the kids got to bed, and before we fainted in the sofa, we could play these with the members in our playgroup (who also by that time were pretty much in the same situation)
Now, with the kids turning 5 and 6+, we again gather once a month to play D&D they way it was meant to play :-)

And after playing some Lego Heroica with my kids (my 5yo daughter a bit eager to move her character around wherever she wants at times, but hey, you can bend the rules sometimes cant you? ), i am planning on introducing them to the world of D&D by this summer.
My family just went through this, we now have a 14 month old and I will say that we pretty much hung up the gaming until she was at least 6 months old and made a point ot play late at night while she was asleep or play less frequently and get a sitter.

Other then that we would just play pass the baby, it helped that our group at that time was 4/6 female and they all loved our daughter.  Though in our sessions there is plenty of time where ill be carrying the baby or feeding her while everyone else is running the battle mat and rolling my dice for me. 

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With a brand new baby, almost everything is impossible at first.  Especially if it's your first one and you're trying not to bottle feed.  That first year a tiny one is just going to be difficult to work around and you and your wife aren't going to be comfortable enough in your job as parents to juggle entertaing, playing, and parenting.  Even playing at night is tricky if your munchkin doesn't sleep though yet, and you guys are going ot be exhausted.  For my husband and I we took about a 6 month-year break after the birth of our two kids (it was a more difficult adjustment with the first), is just easier and less stressful for everyone.  I know this seems like a long time, but it goes by faster than you think, and I swear it does all click into place eventually .

That being said, once you munchkin can sit in a high chair and start experimenting with solid foods, it's more managable.  Our wee one would hang out with us being entertained with snacks, toys, crayons ect. I (the mama) was not ready to take up DMing again yet, but I could play and supervise the baby.  

Now, a couple years later and it actually goes totally smoothly.  The group I DM is 4 married couples with 4 kids aged 3-7 (we've been doing things this way for a couple years too so don't think you have to wait forever).  For the most part we just turn them loose and let them be kids, the little ones follow the big ones around and the older ones like to tattle so you know right away if intervention is needed.   Our kids actually value this time even more than my husband and I do. 

This kind of depends on your group though, if you're playing with people with kids, everyone is understanding and takes turns helping out to solve problems which get fewer and fewer as the kids get older.  If you're playing with people who hate, fear, or otherwise don't understand children/parenting... You're either going to have to tell them to get over it or get secure a sitter occasionally.  What I would NOT do, is let one or two jerks make you feel bad about having a family.  Children can change the dynamic a little, sessions will be shorter and less intense, but still fun and fulfilling. 

To sum up:
1. Give yourself more of a break and don't feel pressured to start up again until you're comfortable multitasking with baby
2. Take advantage of other player's children
3. Shorter sessions.  (either early in the day when the little one is happy and energetic, or after bedtime)
4. Have a room/area that can be cordoned off, is safe, in eyesight, and entertaining prepared ahead of time
5. Try get a feel for your players expectations so that you can try to anticipate concerns
6. Don't stess out at having to game less often, set a manageable goal.  Twice a month, once a week, and expect to have to cancel occasioanly

Good luck, and Congrats on the new addition!  
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