Father of 2
Long Beach, California
I have been in consulting for the past 18 years. Prior to that, I was in the Army for 5 years. Due to the nature of my work, I usually travel from 50 to 80% of the year.
When my kids were younger, I would call them consistently every night, right before bedtime and read them a bedtime story. I would travel with more than enough stories for the time I would be gone (plus a day or two because travel is unpredictable).
As they got older, I found different ways to communicate with my wife and kids. Nowadays I like to have at least one video call with them per trip that I am on. It makes me feel closer to them and almost like I was at home. My daughter is an avid Snapchat user, so I joined as well. At one point, we had over 200 messages.
When I am home, I try to live in the moment and put work away so that we can have family time. Family time could mean going to an amusement park, watching a movie, camping, or supporting the local community theatre. I also spend individual time with each member of my family. For my son, this means playing video games. For my daughter, this means going to art galleries or museums. For my wife, it means date night or just going to the grocery store together.
Being a father and husband is a long, tough, unending road, but believe me, it's worth it.
You have to put in the time and be in the moment to make the memories last.