It has been a stressful year after I started staying home to look after my kids. The decision was partially I wanted to “be there” when my kids are growing up. To teach them to do the right things, proper discipline and to be a better human.
In order to achieve this, my wife and I have to find a balance between this transition in exchange for more time with the kids. We had to handle the loss of income from my end. We adjusted our expenses, we spent lesser, we bring the kids to cheaper places to hang out. Like parks, beach, playgrounds. It’s not a bad change, we get to workout more often. And we hang out at our Town hub, which set up bouncy castles every now and then. (It’s so much cheaper than amusement parks!)
And there was once we got old Legos from my wife’s colleague and scrubbed clean each block with an old toothbrush. We saved some money, and we got to teach the kids that they can “refurbish” their own toys if the conditions are still good.
To cover the expenses, I worked on clients’ jobs to provide some bonus income for the family. But with my son at home after 2 pm, it is not an easy task to stay focus. Imagine yourself trying to debug a code, or write an email while he is constantly trying to get your attention. I started to create Job sheets for my son, so he can work on designs while I am working on the same job.
I often tell my son stories about working with clients, and how he needs to grow up and become a better team player, a better designer, a better storyteller etc. It is probably hard to be my son because, at the age of 7, I already taught him to take critics and use them to improve his works. At a glance, even my wife told me that I am brutal when it comes to commenting on his works. But what they don’t see is that my son actually worked hard to improve his work, and when I commented that he had done a great job improving his previous work, he had a bigger sense of achievement.
I don’t know whether I am doing the right thing. Some kids therapist may come to me and tell me that they are still young, I need to educate with love, blah blah. Because I love my kids, that’s why I spend my time trying to make them stronger, more resilient.
And right now, my wife was telling me that I should focus on my own games instead of doing clients’ jobs. I am grateful that she believed in me, and we planned out a schedule to start our games development journey. This is a new beginning for me, finally making the game that I always wanted with my wife and kids. (Yes, I will be getting them to do some work! Muahahahaha!)