Oh, boy, taking care of kids can really wear you out. They’re amazing, with minds full of wonder – minds often happily stimulated by comic books. But to avoid becoming Deadpool’s annoying yellow-box commentators and sounding endlessly droll, it’s important to take some time out from the little ones and relax to keep yourself happy and – at the very least – mentally healthy.
Firstly, actually schedule the time! One of the reasons I find I don’t actually relax or find time to do anything I want to do is because I’m not actually keeping track of when and where I’m supposed to be at any one time. When it comes to other people, or kids, organization is far more straightforward, because you’re responsible for being there for someone else. But when it’s just time for you, it’s so easy to lose track of time and find you’ve lost your spare hours to just sitting around or doing other things!
That’s not to say you can’t be flexible, but it’s nice to carve out some time on a regular basis, even if it isn’t as rigid as “every second Friday from six to eleven at night.” One of the things I carve time out for is gaming, because I find it’s a really efficient way for the comic fan in me to get in some time as a super powered hero and really unwind by defeating the forces of evil and racking up some fake internet points for various achievements as I go.
Choose your game carefully
Most comic book writers say little about how their characters relax, but in the modern world we can be sure they’ll probably be playing computer games. Some people really like hardcore arcade games like OlliOlli, and you can imagine the super-intense Batman playing that. But not all superheroes are so highly strung! Wonder Woman is laid back in comparison, so she’s more likely to want to de-stress through the occasional game of bingo – perhaps dipping in and out of Cheekybingo.com which features its very own purple haired cartoon femme fatale.
Micro-adventures with a good café
All superheroes need to have real adventures away from the screen. Especially if you have you have some little villains of your own, getting out their and entertaining the little ones is made much easier if they are taken care of for a bit and you can sit in the café and have a cup of tea while enjoying the newspaper. Just don’t let it turn into that bit in Superman III, where Supey is drunk in some New York bar and super-flicking peanuts into beer bottles which then explode.
Most of us get into comics when we’re young, but it’s also a matter of finding the right comics. This is a good thing as most parents will find it very comforting to know that your child is sitting reading a comic book. They are safe, quiet and expanding their love of the written word and appreciation of the power of the image. It’s also quite comforting to know that you and your progeny share a love of such a subtle, enjoyable and versatile art form.