Sunday 31 March 2013

353 The Difficulties of Finding Hobby Time

This is a serious (albeit somewhat rambling and inconclusive) post. No pics, as I'm not at home, and the connection is rather limited...

I'm delighted to share my life with an amazing wife, two beautiful young daughters (one 3 years old, the other 4 months) and a rather venerable corgi.

I also have a job - I'm a high school English teacher - which means that I work all day, then usually have to sqeeze in an average of two or three hours of work each weekday evening. Work also obliges me to work Sundays, with more planning and marking...and naurally I do my share of housework chores etc.

In what my own father calls 'the years BC' (Before Children), Mrs Drax and I could occasionally find time to do nice things; I could do my homework more-or-less as or when I pleased and this left me whatever time I could spare to pursue my hobby,

Now, by the time the girls are in bed, I've finished my chores and Mrs D has settled it's usually pushing 2130. By the time I've finished my's usually around midnight.

When am I ever supposed to paint little men?!

From time-to-time Mrs Drax might go out with the girls...but when that happens it's always so that I can get some work done. Occasionally I might get an hour whilst No. 1 Daughter is having a nap, but during those snatched hours I quite like to spend time with Mrs D and maybe even No. 2 Daughter!

So where is Drax in all this?

Well, I'm trying to look after my family, keep the home vaguely shipshape, run my beaten-up old car and get enough work done to save me getting fired.

And at some point amidst all this, I keep trying to find some time to paint some models. The Flames of War bits are logistically easier for me to unpack and stow again, so they're getting more love at the moment for that simple reason. Gaming has been an absolute no-go since late September....which is a pain because I have now completely forgotten everything I initially learned about 40K Sixth Edition. Sheesh.

The Emperor Protects, eh?

- Drax.


  1. First, they won't always be this young. You may pine for the days of naps in years to come, but eventually they will start having their own interests, etc.

    Second, I remember during this time getting more interested in skirmish wargaming, just because it would allow me to get 7-8 figures painted up and I could play.

  2. Thank you, mate: reassuring stuff!

    And yes, small-scale skirmish games could be in interesting way forward in due course...


  3. I'm totally with you Drax, with a 4-year-old and a 20-month-old, I'm in exactly the same boat. I have been looking forward to the new Tau releases for a long time--now that they're just about here...I don't really care. I just don't have enough time to be "into" 40k right now. Someday the situation will improve...but right now I just don't see it.

  4. I feel your Pain! My daughter is almost 2.5 yrs, and between the wife, squirt, job and life, there's not much time for other things.

    I still paint though but I have resigned myself to "Long Term" Projects, like finishing a 10-man Squad before summer. Or a new Russ before the end of the year. ;)

    Additionally the we made a deal where I get one Friday in the month to head over to the local club. Of course it all depends on work and life, but the option is there.

  5. Lately ive been finding tournaments a way to get my gaming buzz in. Booking a full day in advance is easier then trying to find a few hours on a weekday night.

  6. If you can't do what you enjoy(ed), just enjoy what you do.

    Simples, as the merekats would say.

  7. Blimey. Well, every moral support from me (if that helps); I've struggled with hobby time a little recently for much less serious reasons, but at least it makes you prioritise your time a bit better and work on what you really like. All the best mate, and continuing good luck to you.

  8. I can imagine that's one heck of a challenge. I struggle to find time, and don't have any of those pressures so I feel for you. WQRobb's suggestion seems sound, but the thing I've had to take on board since I lost a lot of hobby time is to accept that I can't get back what I had, but to try and enjoy the little time I have, and have also gone in search of other avenues such as the fiction surrounding 40K and have even dabbled in writing my own fiction as an outlet for my creative juices. Perhaps the penal legionnaires could receive some back story or a chronicle of their achievements?

    The rest of us bloggers will be around to lend a hand no matter how you proceed, so you'll always have the network around you.

  9. Cheers for the moral boost, gang!

    Oh, and please excuse the sloppy proofing: those of you who are regular readers will know that I'm usually a lot more careful with my expression, but I was shattered last night when I wrote this, and the keyboard on thisnew laptop is (a) unfamiliar and (b) 2" too far to the left.

    > Dan: I feel exactly that way about the Tau myself. I'm not even vaguely abreast of the new stuff! On the plus-side, I do have a shedload of Tau which I plan to ebay ASAP now...

    > Argos: Yup. Since when did a single tank become 'long-term', eh?! I hear you.

    > Zzzzzz: You are - as ever - completely right. Never let it be said that I don't love every lst minute I spend with my girls!

    > Scipio: Yup. Priorities are the important things in this case...and I guess that's what matters!

  10. > Firewasp: It's a great suggestion, and sund in theory, but sadly (a) I only like the more 'non-competitive' (!) events and they're fewer and further between, and (b) the one campaign day I did sign up to I had to cancel as my wife was unwell and - understandably - needed my help. Typical!

    > Andy: Cheers for the vote of confidence! And you know I always appreciate the blogsupport, chaps.

    Maybe youre right. I need to get creative with how I get creative.

    I think its time to design something again...


  11. I don't need to tell you that I've had my hobby ups and downs. What I can say is these things work themselves out, it won't be long until the summer holidays mate!

    In the meantime, just do what you can do and don't feel bad about it, it's not a chore, it's your hobby!

  12. Hobby chin up, Stick with it Drax, even a little progress is progress... yesterday I painted a roll mat for a scout bike... that's it. 1cm by 5mm of camouflage. Period. Zip. But, it was progress... i now have only 45 more bits/arms/weapons to go... should have the 5 scout bikes done in say, middle of May?! Lol ;)

  13. I feel your pain and also am stuck with obstacles to my hobby. Wife (who certainly has no sympathy for "toy soldiers") 4 kids (10, 8, 3 & 1), dog, cat, chickens, goldfish. My job involves 12 hour shifts, day or night, as a paramedic. At one point I could use the quiet time at work during the wee small hours to do some painting or assembling but that is a thing of the past. Now I'll be lucky to squeeze in half an hour before bed, the stacks of unpainted and unassembled models in my hobby room are testament to this.

  14. Struck a chord with me too Drax, having read this post (at O'My God it's Early) a week ago whilst holding our 4 week old & desperately hoping that she'd stay asleep to the end.

    I've only now had a chance too reply (not mastered one handed typing with the iPad yet).

    Service to the Crown meant that my Hobby time was already punctuated with long periods of stasis (made worse by a change to the shift pattern from hell a year or so back). But our lil Bambino now takes up almost every minute of downtime. I seem to remember there was a 6th Edition of 40k, I have a book about it somewhere ;)

    Obviously I don't begrudge her or my Wife the time, Family always come first. But it can be tough to see that bit of 'ME' time shrink into almost oblivion.

    I try to turn it around as others have suggested here and I find that the promise,no matter how distant, of some hobby time be it a mere half hour; gets me through those 4am nappy changes a treat. :)

    All the best.

  15. It's a hobby for your spare time. If spare time doesn't come about too often, then it'll be all the more special to find yourself with that time. Blogging on top of that.... is not necessary when you have to choose between the two. We will be here when you have, spare time. :)


Thanks for taking the time to comment!