BioWare has officially announced that March 21, 2017 is when you should be taking the day off of work, school, whatever to play Mass Effect Andromeda allllll day long. You might want to take a few consecutive days off. At least this is what I would do if I were not a responsible adult who has a board meeting to deal with that day. That’s right. I know where my priorities lie. I will look totally professional as I take minutes and record motions while wearing my N7 cardigan. I will not respond to the incessant blinking and buzzing of my phone as my friends embark on their new galactic journey and text, tweet, and message me all about it. I will be just fiiiiiine. *Sigh*

My one consolation is that I can get my husband to start the download while I’m working, then, instead of staring at the slowly moving percentage bar, I will be able to come home that evening to a fully loaded, ready to play game. Then I can stay up for the rest of the night, spending hours in character creation, making sure that Penta Ryder’s (yes, I’ve already chosen her name) eyeliner and blush are juuuust right.

But prior to this, I must prepare my children for my extended partial absence from their young lives. Remember how I said I am a responsible adult? Well that obviously translates to the parenting of my two wonderful daughters. They are eight and 11 years old, the perfect ages for them to learn to fly with their own two wings while mommy turns her attention to the colonization of the Andromeda Galaxy and sleeping with aliens for the next few months.

With the countdown set for three months from now, I’m not too worried about me limiting their interaction with me. I specifically had two children so that they could keep each other entertained. As for their basic needs, my husband and I have already been encouraging the kids to do things for themselves. We empower them with cooking lessons and chores and other responsibilities. They aren’t allowed to use the stove on their own, but they can make a mean peanut butter and Nutella sandwich, which is more than enough to keep them going during the coming epic gaming session. I’ll probably get up every now and then to toss some stuff in the slow cooker to add variety to their meals, but really, PB&J with a glass of milk and a carrot stick can go a long way. Or Mr. Noodle. Whatever.

Hmm, maybe we should take some sign language courses so that they can communicate with me while I’m wearing my headphones. Or maybe just buy more note paper. The girls love writing notes. The kids can both read pretty well now, though the younger one still likes me to read to her. Normally, I’d just order the older one to read to her while I game–this is important for sibling bonding–but since I’ll have the new Mass Effect Andromeda books–Nexus Uprising by Jason M. Hough and K.C. Alexander, Annihilation by Catherine M. Valente, and Initiation by N.K. Jemisin to read–I can easily incorporate them into bedtime reading.

I know that my kids will still need cuddles and reassurances of my unconditional love. As long as they are respectful of my gaming and time their needs appropriately, this won’t be a problem. They know better than to demand hugs during a boss fight, but I should better train them to only approach mommy from the left side, so that I can provide one-armed hugs with the hand that is not attached to my Razer Naga mouse.

I won’t entirely exclude them from my gaming. Invariably, they will sidle up to me, wanting to see what I’m up to. Assuming there is no inappropriately awkward flirting going on, I can let them in on some of the galaxy’s secrets. Gaming can provide many teachable moments, as we learned when they sat through some of my Dragon Age Inquisition playthrough and helped me solved some of its darkspawn mysteries. Besides, Andromeda promises that there will be the gathering of materials and the crafting of items, menial tasks that I am not fond of. Good thing I have kids to do these things for me!

As with Dragon Age Inquisition, I expect to spend several months sobbing and squealing and flailing my way through Mass Effect Andromeda and will be documenting my journey right here at WWAC. I know my kids will miss me during much of this time, but they know that there are more important things in life that responding to their every need, every second of the day. And I am confident that we have raised them well enough to be able to handle whatever life might throw at them while I’m paving the way for the new world. And one day, I will proudly watch them do the same.