A guest post from a single parent who plays D&D (image credit: Travis Hanson):
As a single mother who juggles full-time work and managing a home, finding time for yourself is challenging. By the time my child goes to bed, I’m also exhausted and ready for my own. However, I’ve recently committed to allowing myself a few moments a week where I’m no longer ‘mum’. Instead, I’m a water genasi warlock in a game of D&D.
I discovered D&D about three years ago through friends I had made at comic and gaming conventions. Then, over time, I met friends of friends who all play – or have played – D&D. They took their time to help ease me into it (over a prolonged period of time because I had always been too worried to join a group) and I eventually decided to participate in a few one-shots. I grew closer to these friends of mine, joined them at a few gaming bars, and eventually found myself fully immersed and fully able to enjoy myself. I found that when I started getting into gaming, especially D&D, I was finding more of myself again.
Being a single parent, I only know myself as the role of my child’s parent, and no one else. It’s hard to be the person you want to be when you have a very young child who requires your every moment. But, when discovering D&D, I was suddenly able to create new personas: what they looked like, their backstories, their mannerisms, actions and motivations. Creating a whole new person helped me escape from the normality and routine of daily life, and allowed me to become a different person – even for a short while. At first, I created characters that resembled someone who I wanted to be and – I guess – still kind of hope to be.
Over time, I have found more and more people who love this game and have become part of a community. This is now the world I co-live in.
I desperately wanted to play in a regular game, and now, during this lock-down, there isn’t a better time to play! But, I found it hard to find a new group so I eventually took the plunge and posted a few speculative messages to D&D pages; I got so many responses. I messaged a few people, got a group together, and got ourselves a bad-ass DM who keeps us on our toes.
I’m still a parent (obviously ) and always will be, but now I have this whole new world I can explore -and it makes me somewhat of a better parent now. I have time for myself and time for my child.
Please, if you are worried about joining and you’re a single parent, just jump in! I did, and it was the best choice I ever made!