Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Woman Struggles Striking Balance Between Kids and Career

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a single mother of two beautiful girls who are 6 and 7 years old. I am also an owner of a successful promotions company with multiple clients. At the height of any promotional campaign, I can travel four to six days a week, leaving little time to spend with my girls. I get to travel the United States, and I make a lot of money. I love my girls, but I am almost ashamed to say this: I love the life I have created for myself as a businesswoman. How do I balance the two worlds that I have created? -- Feeling Guilty, Memphis, Tenn.

DEAR FEELING GUILTY: Whenever you are in town, make sure that you build in quality time for your girls. When you are away, schedule time to speak to them each day to review their day. Use new technology to support your experience. You can Skype so that you can see each other as you speak. With the additional income that you are accumulating, be creative. Schedule a vacation with your daughters that everyone will enjoy.

Whenever possible, invite your daughters to come to work with you so that they can see you in action. You can demonstrate to them that it can be rewarding to have your own business. Your example may serve as inspiration when you share it with them.

Finally, know that striking a balance is a lifelong goal. Some days you will give more to work than to your girls, but if you remain conscious of your actions and in touch with them, you will know when you need to scale back and put your full focus on them.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am 18 months away from obtaining my bachelor's degree in business management, and I plan to go to graduate school to get my master's degree in sports management. However, the university I attend does not have a master's program in sports management, so I will have to find a university that does. I am thinking about this now because I want to make sure I have my transcripts and paperwork in order to make a smooth transition into graduate school. Eighteen months is so close, but it is so far away. Do you think it is too early start thinking about graduate school? -- Staying Ahead of the Game, Queens, N.Y.

DEAR STAYING AHEAD OF THE GAME: It is wise to plan your future. In addition to ensuring that you have your paperwork in order, be proactive by speaking to an adviser at your school about your advanced degree choices. Ask for recommendations for schools that offer the master's degree that you are seeking.

In addition, reach beyond your school and go to professional events hosted by businesses in your area of interest. Do your best to secure an internship at a sports management company so that you can get experience before you get to graduate school. Research and reach out to leaders in the industry who may be able to give you advice on developing your career.