This is very common and I have struggled with various levels of it.
Could it be Male PND?
It depends on how severe you feel it. Is it a "numb" feeling or a "bored" feeling. Roughly 6 months after my Son was born I became more withdrawn from my family, I didn't laugh/smile...feel when my son giggled (kid laughter is infectious to me now). I was 'a dick' in a lot of respects, depression causes you to sort of self destruct your life, I was pushing my wife away, i was often thinking of leaving in some form or another, I would even have violent / dark thoughts towards my family. Note: some of this is from my wife's perspective as I was not present enough to notice.
I think its well worth going to your GP and asking for the CBT depression form. It's a quick form you fill in to gauge your mental state, like a mental check up, I borrowed one of my wife's, who was recovering from female PND and I got a very bad score which was a surprise to me (but not my wife). Men CAN get PND and depression is very common in SW developers & creatives (I notice your both, I consider myself both too).
Is it trouble being present, in general
I realised after CBT and getting into mindfulness that I was often 'somewhere else' even before my PND. The only place I was ever truly present was with my computer, in a 'semi-meditative' coding state. Many people find themselves happier in work because we can reach a form of mediation (totally focused on a task). But this would overflow into my personal life; my mind would 'escape' to work constantly, including time with the kids, dog walks, car drives, I was always wondering what I would be doing 'later'. In contradiction at work I could easily get distracted by FB/Twitter etc.
This is still something I struggle with but after listening to various podcasts that mention it and reading various books (e.g. Waking Up by Sam Harris), I have been determined to take Meditation more seriously. As real meditation / mindfulness is all about training your brain to pay attention to the present. Making yourself happier through enjoying the present moment more fully. For this I can highly recommend Headspace and other meditation apps. Especially with kids it can be hard to spend time trying to be mindful, having an app/allotted time can be invaluable. You will fall out of the habit a lot but the core lesson is to equip yourself with the tools to recognise when you are getting distracted :)
Are kids just boring sometimes?
This is the most common thing a parent will experience, and I bet even the most experienced mediator will think this sometimes. It can be hard to understand how its possible to play "making tea" for hours. You can write this off as normal, and you would probably be in the majority. But personally I am increasingly seeing this as a trapping of modern life. With Music players, books, social media, apps, games, phones, etc. We are not used to doing very little and this comes back to the stuff above. I have uninstalled SM on my phone and I try harder to "not look for distractions" this has helped a lot, but to really enjoy the moments I have two suggestions:
- Really throw yourself into their game. Either be the creator of the game, or just really commit to being "tea receiver". This can be impossible for some people, for others, like me, its a binary choice, if i dont go all in, I can barely participate at all
- Really notice them (basically mindfulness), take the time to appreciate how utterly amazed they are by something as simple as a puddle/grass/tea-set. It can be sort of meditative in itself to just sort of wonder what its like to see the world with new eyes, wonder how playing with water and cups can enthral a conscious mind for hours. Wonder what they are learning etc.
It can be easy to read that and think I really have it cracked lol but believe me I look back retrospectively and see someone who was not present vs someone who was more often. But its an important step to notice. And if you follow the path you will end up more content by noticing it and querying it.
Try and work on it, I am definitely happier from starting this journey even though I know I will never complete it or even travel it as far as others I am trying to emulate :p
Finally whether you feel it is depression or not, this is well worth a read, I found it quite eye opening: