I’ve been a gamer for as long as I could remember. Growing up, I there as the Nintendo 64, the original grey colored PlayStation – remember those memory cards and flip tops where you insert the discs? Oh, sweet nostalgia. In my teens, I played classics like 007, Blast-o, Rolling Thunder, Grand Theft Auto, Need For Speed, and Twisted Metal. By my early twenties, gaming became second nature to me … it’s pretty much ingrained into who I am. Gaming was something that brought me closer to my husband solidifying those early stages of dating; back when he found out how cool I was because, like him, I liked to spend hours entirely indulged with video games. I loved to watch him play through games like Deadspace and God of War all day long … as long as I had tasty snacks to munch, this was the ultimate chill day.
So by now, I’m sure you get it. Gaming is just apart of who we are, even as parents. But oh, how I failed to realize just how much my gaming lifestyle would change once I became a mom. Our immaculate dual-screened gaming set up slowly accumulated stacks of folded laundry and a heap of baby toys. All-night gaming sessions turned into 30-minute sessions or whenever I found downtime throughout the day. Trash-talking on the mic is now non-existent out of the fear that my babies’ sweet little ears will hear mommy’s potty mouth –– not that I miss telling dudes that they’re trash. After all, it gets pretty exhausting continuously defending myself from the misogyny of the gaming world.
Even though I’ve had to make a lot of changes to accommodate my new responsibilities as a parent, gaming is still a hobby that I enjoy. So, when I saw a potential career opportunity with Blizzard Entertainment, I didn’t think twice about whether I’d attend a zoom conference with the developers to discuss the details of their openings. I’m a stay-at-home mom, and I want to from home, and put my freshly earned degree to use. I could have it all, right? One could only dream. Here’s how my overzealous aspirations quickly dwindled into a disastrous experience.
The zoom call was scheduled for 6:00 pm.
5:50 pm: My 4-year-old is running rampant. In the age of COVID-19 and a 106 temp outside, this poor kid has more energy than she can handle. On the other hand, I have my seven month old who’s reached the stage of “mommy can’t leave the room, or my world will end.” Baby anxiety, what a fun stage … not.
6:00 pm: The zoom call starts. I’ve been out of work since 2015, and while it’s no excuse, I totally did NOT prepare to be engaged with other adults in a “professional” setting.
Usually, I spend most days on FaceTime calls with my kids’ grandmother or auntie talking about all sorts of foolishness. My attire usually contains a shirt stained with food or soaked with breast milk. My hair … let’s not get started with that. Let’s just say I’ve been out of the game for a while, ok?
By now, I’ve realized how badly I screwed up. But I decided to stick with it and not abruptly leave the call even though I desperately want just to close my MacBook and walk away. Nope, let’s see where this goes, I thought.
6:30 pm: My kids have morphed into Tasmanian devils. There’s a blur in my background. No, it’s not. It’s just a little human running back and forth as fast as she can while yelling, “zooooom!”.
Meanwhile, I’m trying not to look visibly irritated while plaster a fake yet attentive smile on my face and nod my head to key points during the meeting. I have no idea what they’re talking about at this point.
6:55 pm: Finally, my husband is home and comes to my rescue. The moment he grabs the kids, I feel relieved … but it’s too late. The meeting is wrapping up. I hear, “does anyone have any questions?”. I keep quiet with the same smile stuck on my face as I shake my head to signal, “No, no questions”. Meanwhile, my internal dialogue says, “How much of that did you all see? Does this hurt my chances of joining your team?”
Well, I never found out because I never dared ask. We already know those answers. After my embarrassment finally ended, I walked downstairs to join my family. I couldn’t hide how I felt – defeated. I had made a complete fool of myself. How dare I desire to have it all? Sure. I love being a stay-at-home mom, but is it wrong to want more?
Ultimately, I think there’s a choice that I have to make. Will I devote myself to a career or my children? That’s a no-brainer. However, one direly awkward lesson is not enough for me. Of course, I’m going to continue to strive for more. As my husband likes to tell me, you only miss the shots that you don’t take.
If there are any moms or dads reading this, don’t give up. Push through!