I've been having weird dreams in the short spans of hours that I sleep at night. I've had weird dreams fora while, since before KC came along--probably starting in my second trimester. They've continued since, often with some reoccurring themes. (A tunnel space created by trees and plants? At least I'm not dreaming about my teeth falling out again.)
Sunday night, however, I had one of those dreams that was so incredibly real and vivid that it's stuck with me all week in its entirety.
I dreamed I was at my mom and dad's house, and I came around the corner from the hallway to stop in front of the front door, because standing there was my Mamaw Ree. It was a full stop, an almost jolting one, because all I could stammer was, "But you're dead."
Mamaw just shrugged and said she had to see that baby. So we settled her in to the chair in the front room, and I pulled up the piano bench to sit next to her, and she held KC and made over her and loved on her, and KC smiled and babbled at her.
Finally, Mamaw gave KC back to me, and told me that she had to go, and I began to cry, because I knew what it meant. She was going, and it really was the last time I would see her.
And then I woke up, not because KC was making noise, but because the dream was over. KC was asleep in her basinette next to me, and I looked up at the ceiling, but instead of wanting to cry, I felt an almost overwhelming sense of peace.
I don't believe in ghosts or astral projection or any of that nonsense, but if there ever was someone stubborn enough to bend time and space and dimensions to get to visit their great-great-granddaughter, Mamaw would be the one.
I may not have cried then, but I've felt like it now and then since, thinking about it, but I have a very firm picture in my mind now of Mamaw--as I remember her from when I was a kid--holding KC and calling her a piss-ant (just like she did me).
I did update this blog last week, but as I finished it up, KC began fussing, so I never managed to put a link to it on Facebook. This week has had its ups and downs, like any other week. I go into my office tomorrow to meet with my substitutes and do my return to work paperwork, and I will be back in the classroom on Monday.
I am not suited to be a stay-at-home mom. I know that. And in academia, I couldn't take ten years to be a stay-at-home mom and then return to the field. It doesn't work like that, even if I wanted it to. So here I am, getting ready to go back to work...and I so desperately don't want to. The Modern Mother Guilt Cycle (TM) strikes again. It's not just that I feel like I need to be home and won't be. It's that I know good and well that I would go nuts if I was, and therefore, feel guilty over that.
Already, I know that the idea of 'having it all' is a myth. You can have a lot, but something will always get missed through the cracks--and it's probably sleep or health or social life or something like that. I'm seriously terrified of trying to figure out this work-life balance thing. Balance? What's that? Even on maternity leave, I've been constantly checking my work email--and been right to do so, as things would have slipped by me. (Crap, I've got to get my book order for spring in tomorrow.)
The last year, I've always worked really hard not to have to take work home. That meant more time in the office, but what time I spent at home, I was able to spend at home with Dear Husband and actually be more than just physically present. I'm not going to be able to do that now. And that means that I'm going to be working a lot from home, and I worry about KC growing up to find her mama always with her nose buried in her laptop, grading and working. (I worry about KC growing up with her mama and her daddy having their noses buried in their phones, too, but that's something we're actively working on.)
I know I'm not going through anything any other mother hasn't gone through. And hopefully, others will be able to read this and say "Hey, it's not just me!" But for right now, the fear and anxiety are still kind of at the forefront, but I suppose I'll eventually figure it out.