I don’t know about you, but as soon as we enter the last quarter of the year, I become quite reflective and start looking back at the year that has passed and make plans for the year that lies ahead. In the past, my thought process at this time of the year went something like this “Great year, lots of fun, but yet again you haven’t managed to lose weight or exercise regularly. Don’t worry though! You’ve tried, it hasn’t worked, but there’s always next year.”
I never manage to stick to diets or get into an exercise routine, but this year I won’t be bothered by all this, because this year was different. 2014 was a year that completely threw me. If you had asked me on New Year’s Eve how I thought this year would end, I would have told you that we’d be happy and healthy, enjoying a family Christmas and making plans for the coming months. Never in a million years would I have expected my relationship of five years to end. Never in a million years could I have predicted the changes in our family life and ending up as a family of two.
I won’t go into details or tell you about the reason for our break-up, but despite obvious signs and struggles over the last year, I thought we’d make it through a pretty tough year in one piece – as a family of three. There are always two sides to a story and telling you just my side wouldn’t be fair on Ben, but despite the shock over the end of our relationship, the tears, the questions in my head and the many many conversations with friends and family, I think that I have done the right thing for both me and Amy.
Being a single mum, holding down a job and looking after an entire household is not easy. If I’m being completely honest, it’s utterly draining and challenging at times, but it’s also incredibly rewarding because I now know that Amy is living in a happy household. My patience might be a little shorter than usual at times and undoubtedly, I’m not always giving Amy 100% of my attention when I should, but being responsible for her on my own and doing all the other things I have to do to keep a roof over our heads is a juggling act.
Six years ago, I move to Bristol wanting to be independent from my family, who were always there for me whenever I needed them – and even when I thought I didn’t. It was overwhelming and sometimes I just wanted to do things on my own: I wanted to make my own decisions and mistakes. I wanted to have my own household, my own responsibilities and with that I mean responsibilities that go further than cleaning my room and leaving the house on time. Now that it’s just Amy and me, I crave the nest of my family home: the warmth, the knowledge that there will always be someone there for me when I need help, support or just someone to look after Amy for 30 minutes while I get a smear test done without her investigating my nether region.
And because that sense of security is something that we both need in our lives right now, I have made the decision to go back to Germany with Amy. I’m not taking her away from her dad, she will still see him regularly and we’ll be in close contact via Skype, but being in an environment that gives us stability and love is something that will do us the world of good and I think it will help me to re-discover the girl/woman that I once was.
The last two or three years have been incredibly draining for me. I’ve lost confidence in myself and my abilities. I’ve put myself back when I should have been pushing forward and I’ve allowed other people to make decisions that didn’t make me happy.
2015 will be all about creating a new future for Amy and I and getting back to my old self: the Carolin that’s fierce and confident, the mum that provides a happy and safe environment for her child, the daughter that spends time with her family and the friend that laughs with you until you start hyperventilating. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it!
What will you do for yourself in 2015?
Disclosure: I was given a voucher to help plan our new future in return for writing this post.