Being a good dad: trying to get it right

Last night I had my first opportunity of the week to sit down and talk to my boss. Both the company I work for as well as my boss are based in San Francisco, so I only have one-on-one face-to-face opportunities 2 or 3 times a year. After a week of business updates, strategy sessions, and sales training, our conversation turned towards non-work topics.

She's in her first year of marriage and working through many of the same work/life issues that I've already faced. One of the comments that amused/surprised her was my statement that I'm a better Dad than I am a husband. Being a good husband is hard. I'm ESTJ while my wife is INFJ, so the source of any conflict in our marriage revolves around communication (she's a feeler while I'm more transactional). I've gotten much better at knowing how to communicate so that she hears what I'm trying to say, but I'm still trying to get it right. My wife also sees my warts, weaknesses, and failures. She knows I'm human.

Fortunately my daughters see me as this larger than life person. My two year old believes that, in my boss' words, I've hung the moon. I strive to be a good Dad, while if I'm honest, I'm sometimes lazy in my role as husband. I know that as they grow up, my daughters will see me as being more and more human, but I don't believe I have a more important job than being the best Dad I can possibly be.

I work in the travel business, and my job responsibilities require me to travel a lot. I don't like being away from my family, but I accept overnight travel as one of the few negatives of my job. When I'm on the road, however, I never want my daughters to believe that they're ever out of my thoughts. And a tradition or habit I incorporated into my business travels ever since my toddler was born is to write postcards letting them know that they are on my mind and how very much I miss them. It's such a small thing, but I think it's something they'll appreciate once they're older. Regardless, it gives me a sense of connection.