As a child, if you asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up, I would tell you that I wanted to help people. My “dream job” was digging wells in a third world country, trying to make it easier on the women who spent their days walking back and forth to the river for their only clean water.
So that probably explains why, post-college, I started questioning the civil engineering job I had chosen. I was working in consulting in downtown Houston, and I wasn’t happy.
I only lasted three years before I called it quits. I told most of my friends that my husband and I were planning to have kids, and I was ready to stay home or look for something part-time, but the truth was that I didn’t feel like I was making a difference and every day I walked into my office feeling a bit lost.
I got my real estate license to bring in some income in the meantime, and soon after, we welcomed a sweet baby girl into this world.
On the day I became “mom,” I was also maintaining my role as wife, chef, home organizer, chauffeur and Realtor®, and I was quickly burned out with trying to juggle all these various roles with a newborn. I was sleep-deprived and stressed, trying to preserve my identity in the workplace while also fully embracing my new identity as a mother.
I know lots of moms who spent some time in the professional world, had kids, and now feel like they have no clear direction on what’s next. And I was right there with them.
I could see good things and hard things both ways. Would I feel lost if I stayed at home? Should I go back to work to help support my family? What if I miss all of the milestones of my sweet child? But would I just be spending the rest of my days with a toddler social club? How could I best serve my family?
This tug-of-war of sorts is where I’ve spent the last 3 years since my daughter was born. I decided that the right thing for our family was for me to stay put, which I have done, as we welcomed a son into our family as well.
With two children in the home and my responsibilities increasing, my prayer remained for God to reveal if I was truly meant to be at stay-at-home-mom or if I should be looking for another full-time job. I didn’t feel like He was responding and I was starting to question if He was even listening.
But then, a few months ago, I saw something on social media about the opportunity to buy a local children’s museum. I mentioned it to my husband and we laughed it off. We were in no position, time-wise or financially, to buy a business. We had so much planned for the summer already, and all but forgot about it with our travels and other commitments.
Then God did something incredible and he answered that prayer I had been praying since I quit my job as a civil engineer and became a mom.
We were approaching the end of the summer, when one of my husband’s family members decided to move in with us as she pursued her career — and she’d be an extra set of hands around our house, too. Both of my kids were ready to start their fall school programs, my husband’s job was getting busier, and the children’s museum popped into my mind again.
It was almost like God whispered, “You have help now, family with experience, and your kids can be integrated into this new business. Go. Do. Trust in Me.”
I pictured my kids getting out of school to visit me at work, all the while learning that work can be lots of fun. I pictured their future birthday parties with friends, how amazing it could be to own their very own playhouse. My imagination was running wild and I knew that it could only be from my God, who had been listening to me all along.
This time I looked into it a little more seriously, and it turns out that the current owner had slowly been letting it fail, leading to a very affordable sale price — and, we discovered that if we could run it as an owner-operated center, it could make more money, which is exactly what we wanted to do. It seemed like everything had fallen into place for us to actually pursue this.
So we did it: we are now the proud owners of Play Street Museum, Las Colinas. I feel like this is where God wanted us all along and finally I can take a breath.
I never dreamed that God would answer my prayers in this way. I always figured that if I wanted to be fulfilled I’d have to compromise, and choose my kids or my work. But really what God was trying to tell me was, “Wait, be patient, and see the marvelous thing I have planned for you and your family.”
So to you, mama, who might be feeling overwhelmed and unsure of your path and your calling even in the middle of the most important calling of raising a family: I know it’s hard, but be steadfast in your prayer and be patient.
It might be that God is calling you to stay home full-time, or that He wants you to go back to work full-time, or that He has something in between in mind for you, but whatever it is, know that He knows what is best for your family and will give you the answer that will best help you all grow, if only you just keep listening.
If you find yourself in the Dallas area with little ones, Kate and her family would love to welcome you to Play Street Museum of Las Colinas, a small-format children’s museum for kids aged 1-8 to escape screens and electronics and use their imaginations. Play Street also offers special events and birthday parties on the weekends. You can learn more at https://www.playstreetmuseum.com/.