Life in Laos through the lens of a diplomatic wife raising twin toddlers.


Sometimes viewing the backstage of events can be interesting, too, or maybe I’m just seeking some comfort from missing out on main events due to my family life which dictates certain needs not necessarily in line with my own. Hmmm, this sounds a lot like a close metaphor for my recent decision to not take a three-week course in Development Management because the time commitment didn’t jive with caring for the kids and getting the whole family ready for packing out to Laos in late June. Of course it would have been possible to do it, but all of us would have been stressed-out and miserable going into a big move, never mind the long journey. Instead I’ve decided to postpone my Lao exam next week and continue classes for another six weeks to take advantage of the opportunity while we’re still here. I’m OK with the decision but it really does make me think that I will have to re-frame my desire to go back to work in the field of development, that it may not be possible for me to travel to remote villages for weeks or months at a time like I used to. Instead, I ought to look for lower profile work that keeps me intellectually “in the field” but closer to home like writing or handling communications for INGO’s. It wouldn’t be as exciting as direct program implementation, but can still be quite interesting.

The cherry blossom parade was too loud for two tired toddlers.

All of this occurred to me over the weekend when we went into DC and could only see bits of the Cherry Blossom Festival parade because the kids were scared of the noise. We had to sit on the grass behind the crowd and only watch the tops of floats and listen to the bands that went by. Luckily, there were a few balloons high enough for us to see from our picnic blanket. Then afterwards, the kids weren’t up for walking through the Japanese Street Festival celebrating the 100th year of gifting the cherry blossom trees to the US and showcasing Japanese culture, so we just got a glimpse of the performers backstage. I managed to snap a few photos while hauling a very tired little girl and trying to catch up to my husband who was hauling an even more tired and cranky little boy. We didn’t get to see the main show, but seeing these people backstage was interesting, too. And I’m OK with that.

A cherry blossom balloon passes by.

Japanese performers backstage.

Younger performers backstage.

Some very nice ninjas packing up their equipment.

Musicians after their performance.

How have you re-framed your careers because of your family life?

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7 comments on “Backstage

  1. allthingsboys
    April 19, 2012

    Oh, I so remember those days! It won’t be long before their dragging YOU around! Seems like it happens in the blink of an eye. Still sounds like a successful day, and great pictures!

    • Wanderlustress
      April 19, 2012

      Thank you. It was fun and it’s more important to me that we enjoy our time together whether front row or behind the scenes.

  2. Hiking Mama
    April 19, 2012

    After my sons came home, I started teaching college classes so that I could have more flexibility and more time at home. It has worked out great for me and I truly love what I do. If it weren’t for my kids, I’m not sure I would have ever made the leap to teaching.

  3. travelladywithbaby
    April 18, 2012

    This could take a while in my case! It is always difficult to rethink your current career and move onto another one. I think everyone should wake up feeling passionate about what they do, if you can find that, then you have done really well.

    • Wanderlustress
      April 18, 2012

      I agree. There’s a part of me that thinks I would jump an an opportunity and make everything work out if my passion was (still) there. So maybe I’m finding out that it’s not, or that it might be something else. I feel lucky that I have the space to figure it out rather than be forced into a situation that would make me unhappy. Counting my blessings.

  4. mamacravings
    April 18, 2012

    2 years ago when my son was born, I was a full time teacher and grad student. After I finished grad school. I started looking for jobs that would allow me to be home more and to be working less while at home.

    I now am a caseworker with true school hours as my working hours. I still teach, but it is online. I work like a mad woman during the day and late at night so that I can spend the evening hours with my son. It is a change of pace, but it has been very, very worth it.

    • Wanderlustress
      April 18, 2012

      It’s terrific that you enjoy what you do and that you found a way to make it work. I’m trying not to think of my mothering instincts as an excuse not to be as driven as I used to be. I think that pull is very authentic and in the long run what is good for my family.

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