Real Life: The Endless Grind

We are struggling. Really struggling with the game of Real Life. 

5.30 alarm. Up. Feed kids. Dress kids. Shower and dress. Drink cold coffee. Travel to minders. Commute to work. Work. Work. More work. Commute home. Feed kids. Bathe kids. Kids to bed. Work more. Eat. Sleep. 

Usually, we try to fit in an hour of WoW between the eating and the sleeping. This depends, at least for me, on how much work I have to do before the next day or whether the kids go to bed on time… but I’m really struggling with the balance. It feels like I’m grinding endlessly.

I should say here that I love my job, but finding a balance between personal persuits and running the house and spending time with the children AND work is challenging. Coupled with an hour commute and the financial stresses of living with a spouse who is self employed… it’s not easy.

So how do I find that perfect balance? I can’t work less because we need the cash. I can’t be at home more with my babies because I need to work. Teaching is 60% paperwork at home so my evenings are counted for. However, I find I work more efficiently if I have an hour to myself. I play more, I get less work done at home, I have to work more and so the grind goes round.

Perhaps I need to shut up and count my blessings that I have these worries in the first place. Then again, perhaps I need to take up a hobby that is less time consuming. 

Of course, this leads neatly on to the fact that WoW is pretty time-commitment heavy. What I love about the DS or minecraft is that you can play for half hour and turn it off without feeling like you ‘have’ to do something or you’ll miss out. Don’t get me wrong: I know they need the model of MUST-HAVE-THE-BEST-GEAR to survive and have longevity, but for casuals it’s exhausting. In fact, I’m not even trying to catch up now, I’m just pootling along enjoying what I want to do. I had a weak moment last week and mentioned in guild I still haven’t got a legendary. Only to be greeted with: “just run LFR!”. Yes, fine, ok I shouldn’t moan or I should do LFR, but the reality is that ONE wing of LFR plus the queue is my whole day’s game time. I don’t want to do that. But I *should* be doing that because a legendary would be cool.

I need more hours in the day please! 

If you’ve made it this far, well done and thanks for listening. Do you also feel the endless grind, or should I just man up?

11 thoughts on “Real Life: The Endless Grind

  1. It may be about priorities. Some of my colleagues may do extra work at home sometimes, but my boss knows that I won’t be abailable for even a single minute of working tasks outside of my office hours. I learned to value my private time. Not even for extra money – I had those opportunities to earn easy and fast, all rejected.

    As for game, you should just have fun! That’s what the games are for.

    By my experience, the easiest way to obtain legendaries (if you really want them, I find them a nuisance) is emissary caches. Emissary daily 4 quests take 20-30 minutes without flying, and 10-15 minutes with flying. i have 3-5 legendaries on each of my 12 alts, and 80% of them came from emissary chests.

    • Unfortunately, teaching prep has to be done at home… I prioritise as much as I can but the work either gets done or it doesn’t. I wish I could stipulate no work outside office hours 😉

      Yes, this I was told so I’ve been doing lots, still nothing. It’s becoming a chore though, seeming like I’m wasting so much time on something that’s not fun. So I’m fishing for a bit of relief!

  2. *cheerful hug* ❤

    You should not “just woman up”. I have so much I want to say. But on the road right now so typing from phone equals one word per minute or so. 😛 I will get back to you tonight. 😙

    It is not just about priorities.

    Hang in there! You are doing all you can! We’ll find a way. Deep breaths. 🌹 (I wonder if all my smileys work from phone or if this wont make sense at all!)

  3. Even with just one kid… even with a commute that is a fifteen minute walk… even with it being summer and not teaching the summer course this year (I made someone else do it)… I haven’t been able to do much more “work” than keeping up with my campus email during the day. It’s not until after I put baby to bed some time between 7 and 8:30 that I can get any real work done on preparing for next semester (right now, my big project is revising the organic chemistry lab manual). Just thinking about having to enter into exactly the grind you describe once the semester begins in late August makes me feel exhausted, makes me wonder how I’ll manage it. The having a kid thing is a big change from previous years. I brought a lot of work home, too. Although I always tried to get my prep for tomorrow’s lectures done before I left campus each day, I did all my writing exams and all my grading exams and most of my grading lab reports at home. Now, time will have to go to tending the kid before I can tackle the work i’ve brought home. I wonder if I’ll have any time for WoW anymore after school starts…

    • You’ll manage, we must manage. I’m lucky in that my “baby” is nearly 8m so he’s got an easier routine and is sleeping better (mostly), so it is better than it could be. My toddler is a superstar, but never gets to see mummy which is sad 😦

      Honestly, I’d be very impressed with your time management / lack of sleep if you did fit everything in. I tend to save WoW til fri/sat night and have a couple of hours then. Makes me shudder how cost ineffective it works out… £1/hour or something stupid due to how little we play.

      I wish you best of luck back to work – we have 4 weeks left til summer hols!

  4. You have so many different priorities than I do, so I can’t even put myself in your place.

    I can only say that my time for WoW is limited as well. I work from home, and I only play when I’m waiting for clients to get back to me, or for one of my team members to finish their part of the work order. In the evenings I either record a podcast, blog, watch TV (as homework for blogging or podcasting a lot of the time), or read. I also review books, so that’s not just for pleasure either.

    I’m the busiest retired person ever. All I know is that I miss WoW, but sometimes it just *has* to come last. That doesn’t mean you have to stop playing or feel pressure. There are so many things you can do in WoW and have fun. Even in the limited time I play I have a character that kicks pretty good ass, and I enjoy the world quests and setting personal goals.

  5. Ok, I am home! Hello keyboard and easier typing :p
    First, awesome gifs 😀 Spot on.

    As I said, you should not “just woman up”.

    First things first.

    The day _does_ need more hours for parents today.

    It takes a village to raise a child, they once said. It still does.
    Only that village is no more. Gone are the days where grandparents and relatives helped out. They are working, or living far away (or, not alive anymore) It all rests on the shoulders of the mother and father, who, as you experience, has more than enough work, juggling all that the modern world needs us to do today.

    A lot of research has shown that parenting today is a lot harder, than it once was, due to various reasons. I could write a very long reply on that in depth too, but I bet you know.
    Then, with your line of work, that just adds to that feeling, that you never really are “off work”. You tend to other people all day long, at work and at home.

    Having to bring home work, and work from home like that, can be so draining, on top of it all.

    A life as a parent of younger children combined with a game such as WoW, can make it even more difficult, if one is not very careful; since it is time-commitment heavy, as you say. But what I imagine makes WoW, in particular Legion, worse in that matter, is the heavy RNG the game now has, compared to earlier.

    You speak of getting a Legendary. That is not a weak moment, saying in guild chat that you wish you had one!
    The weak moment is when you compare what you feel you “accomplish”, towards those you surround yourself with in game, and what they “accomplish”.

    We do not win this comparison. We cannot. We should not. In fact, the less Legendaries we have, the better parents we are. Because it means, we tend to our sleep and real life before the game, instead of sitting up playing for way too late, getting way too little sleep, function worse, nag at our children, and lose track of what is important. (I know I’m pushing it here, to the extreme, but, you see? I mean no harm, and no insult to anyone, so I hope I am not misunderstood)

    I have more time to play than you do, I know. But I can still easily relate to the little time a day you have. “Do LFR! Just do WQs, they take 20 minutes.”
    Well, yes. They do. But when we have an hour day, 60 minutes? We don’t want to spend it on content that rewards us with a “Maybe you will get something”-reward. But it is not easy to get off the “end game content, I wish I could have just a little bit of what the rest is having”-train.

    In fact, I imagine, it was easier back in the good ol’ days. Oh, gear from Blackwing Lair? Ah, never mind, I’ not raiding.” That was it.

    RNG in WoW today is not for those with little time. And sure, exploring and having a good time is worth it too! But let’s not kid ourselves, everyone wants some kind of “reward” to aim for.

    What one needs to do, in order to keep enjoying the game, with limited time, is to stay clear of that RNG-environment. It’s too demotivating to do. Just as comparing yourself with others in game. Chances are, they are not parents. If they are not parents, this is where the comparison stops for you.

    Up until a month ago or so, I really, really wanted a legendary too, in particular the Velen trinket one. Oh, how sweet it is. But I am done chasing it. Just, done. It does not matter to me in the long run. If it was a trinket I could get by doing one world quest a day for a year, then maybe I would do it! Because it would be a guaranteed one.
    But when it is “do this and that and this and that content, and your legendaries will drop eventually”-crap? Then no thank you. My time is too valuable.

    Find rewards and goals that are in reach. For sure. RNG is awful. Running a LFR in hopes for a drop, and when that item does not drop, it makes you feel as if you wasted precious time leads to no good. But one has to be aware of it.

    I recently ran Timewalked Dungeons, 5 in total, for a quest. Mist of Pandaria. ONLY for the bag reward which might grant me an upgrade (I dislike MoP Raids and Dungeons so visiting them in Timewalk is not a joy).
    But, afterwards, I questioned myself, I really did. Because, why? Why do I need an upgrade? I am not a raider. I do fine with the gear I have. I don’t need better gear. Instead of running those 5 Dungeons I could have just explored, had a good time doing an old school raid, I liked, or something else I find worth doing.

    That’s another thing I now have crossed off my list; I won’t be doing Timewalked MoP Dungeons again. (Other Timewalk Dungeons I might do, since I like the era they are from, but I want to be sure its enjoyable)

    Right now I am working on getting the Mirror-pet-thing-toy. 500 Pet Charms! Long way to go. But it is a safe way. I will get those Charms by doing a daily, and a WQ here and there. Sure, it will take a long time. But it is mine. No RNG. Slowly, I work towards it. And I will get it some day. But I make sure, it’s not the only thing I do every day.

    As for your Legendary; I know everyone says “do LFR and Emmisaries”. But I think that by not having done the Suramar Quest chains, we also have some kind of hidden “barrier” towards obtaining Legendaries. Call me nuts, but it would make sense. They want us to do “end game content”. Suramar is. I think it has something to do with it.

    And something else about those Legendaries. If you had gotten one already, it would need upgrading now. You know what that updating quest requires? Mythic+. Emmisaries. Heroic Dungeons. And the new Raid.
    That is all the ways to obtain it. And you need 50 of those quest items to upgrade a Legendary. Forget it 🙂 Forget the Legendaries, leave them behind. They are meant for another player segment.

    I have written so much! That was not the intention. But you said you were fishing for a bit of relief, here is all the support I can offer 🙂

    You are doing great, as a mother, teacher and casual gamer!

    And we look forward to have you back, even if it’s just for an hour a day 🙂 Small goals, reachable by you, even though you have to stand on your feet in order to be in the picture, when I take a selfie 😉

    • I feel you could write a post of your own on this subject 🙈😂

      It is difficult to find the balance between staying up late / getting up early… but I keep telling myself that it’s not about me, the kids need me to be civil and at the weekend I only get such a short time with them I must put them first.

      I also hate RNG. I don’t entertain it now… I’d rather work towards something, as you say, that I know gives a guaranteed reward. Slowly but surely.

      BOYCOTT MOP DUNGEONS! 😀 I personally am a fan, but if you don’t like them definitely don’t do them!

      Thanks for the support my lovely pal ❤

      • You are probably right about that 🙂 As long as it was helpful, it’s all good!

        And yeah. Its all about asking yourself, which kind of memory would you rather want from today, 10 years from now? 🙂

        I am! /Holds up sign, while chanting “No-More-Dungeons….! – In Mist of Pandaria! No-More-Dungeons….! – In Mist of Pandaria!”

        Always 🙂

  6. As I have mentioned before, I’m retired and there are days when I don’t have enough time to get everything done. Little ones and family always come before game-time. I know, it’s had to admit that there are days I know that I waste away and wish I could figure out a way to give it to you folks. Hang in there!! You can do it – just play for fun and do what you want to do, no rush to reach end-game – WoW never really ends, it just keeps going. 😀

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