Not By Accident

Not By Accident

www.notbyaccident.net
Choosing to become a single mother and coping with being one.
34: Springtime
Sep 27, 2018 • 40 min
We have a great start to 2018. Fireworks on New Year’s Eve. You and me, and thousands of Canberrans by the lake on a perfect summer’s evening. Life is in control. I have a grant to write a book, Wondery wants the podcast to continue, advertisers are keen,…
33: Enough
Aug 24, 2018 • 20 min
I never thought it was ideal being a two person family. There’s not somebody obvious for you to turn to when I let you down. It’s a lot of pressure, for both of us, forever I suppose. If I keep being single as I age and you grow up, I’m afraid you’ll feel…
32: And the World is!
Jul 27, 2018 • 29 min
We’re watching Mimi’s bridal waltz, lit by the sunset’s golden glow in a retro-opulent ballroom, filled with love. I have a huge lump in my throat. I can’t quite believe we’re here, for this moment, for Michael and Antonia, young lovers who lost touch for…
31: Taking Off
Jun 18, 2018 • 25 min
It’s May 2016. The podcast is taking off. Astrid’s new cousin is due next month! And I can’t decide if we should ignore the fact that we are broke and somehow find a way to go to New York for Mimi’s wedding, for a reunion with our friends from Denmark one…
30: Going Public
May 18, 2018 • 21 min
I get to work on too many ideas. I’m going to work for myself. That’s decided. I register as a business, open a bank account, brainstorm plans, buy three web domains. There are a lot of things I want to do. I’ll be a freelancer, teaching, video…
29: For Kids
Apr 18, 2018 • 25 min
A special episode of Not By Accident for kids! It’s a child- appropriate recap of Astrid’s story, at her request and with her involvement. The first part is about when she was little. The second part is about life now that she’s big. This production is…
28: Consolidation
Mar 21, 2018 • 20 min
We’re trying to create a home, but I have things to sort out. The detritus of my life is in storage units and suburban garages. The belongings I packed away as one life stage ended and a new one began; they’re spread around. It makes me feel uneasy.…
27: Flying Fish
Feb 20, 2018 • 26 min
It’s August 2015. We’ve just moved back to Australia from Denmark and it’s strange. You’re ultra-sensitive, fearful, clingy, easily brought to tears. I probably am too. It’s been like this for months with all the change and uncertainty. I’ve hardly told…
26: Equality
Jan 22, 2018 • 25 min
It’s September 2017. I’ve been feeling recently that it’s important for you understand more of who I am. You see me as a mother, a daughter, an aunt, a friend, a podcaster, a writer. But I’m also a lesbian. You’ve always known, I’ve always told you that…
25: Farvel
Nov 24, 2017 • 25 min
It’s Spring, 2015. Half your life ago. My six years teaching at the European Film College begin the limp to an anti-climactic end. I try to stay focused. But my main focus is you. The upheaval I’m causing. The reasons for doing it. You’re two and a half.…
24: Health
Oct 6, 2017 • 38 min
I get the feared call from pre-school on the last day of term. You’ve hit your head, badly. I keep a close watch on you for signs of concussion and thankfully, there are none. I feel shattered from the worry and the shock. I give up on work and pamper you…
23: Community
Aug 31, 2017 • 30 min
The school year is away like a fast-moving train. In the past I’d have lost myself in the momentum. Not so much this year though. This year I have you to force me to go home, to switch off, to be still, to be present. But the school is about 50 metres…
22: Lessons From Zorba
Jul 31, 2017 • 22 min
The Principal, my boss, has a job offer and decides to take it. The question of leadership opens up. While the Board search for a new Head, somebody will act. Most likely not me, though I’m Vice Principal. We’re living through the worst sleepless nights…
21: My Brother’s Wedding
Jul 14, 2017 • 18 min
Nick called to tell me the news just before New Year’s, only weeks after we got back to Denmark. He proposed, and she said yes. I’m happy for them, of course, really happy. Nick has found the person he wants to share the rest of his life with! Selfishly…
Season Two Teaser
Jun 30, 2017 • 5 min
When I reflect on my childhood, I think of things I had that you don’t: two parents, a brother, a sister, a big house and garden, a dog, private schooling, beach and ski holidays, no money worries… and I wonder. I wonder if I’m making the right choices.…
20: The Tunnel
Mar 5, 2017 • 18 min
Sometimes the grind of life can get you down. That’s where I am as we reach spring 2014. The birds are singing again, the walks between childcare and home become a lovely opportunity to be together. Each day a little brighter than the last. But I’m tired.…
19: Turning One
Feb 14, 2017 • 20 min
Episode 19: Turning One The shock of being back at work is becoming routine. Even the pre-sunrise race to childcare. I feel sorry for myself, and can’t quite believe I made life choices that led us to this, as I force your pram through snow drifts, scarf…
18: First Day Back
Jan 27, 2017 • 17 min
I still don’t know if I can do this. I start work tomorrow, after a whole year off, with sleep deprivation still affecting my memory and my ability to cope, with my emotions always close to the surface. I don’t know if I can be the mother I want to be and…
17: Tomorrow Morning
Dec 24, 2016 • 16 min
I’ve been thinking a lot about the expectation of an exchange: you help me move house, I’ll buy you pizza and beer; you babysit, I’ll do the same for you another day. I had thought it rare that people do things for others without expecting anything in…
16: The Emails
Dec 14, 2016 • 32 min
Crossing the world from Australia to Thailand to Denmark, ending my maternity leave, ending 2013. A sense of loss, a sense of anticipation and anxiety, a reminder of and reliance on great friendships, and a wonderful holiday. The emails tell the story,…
15: Counting Down
Nov 24, 2016 • 22 min
Happy 4th birthday Alex! We have a party in Granny’s garden to celebrate. An opportunity to try out my new recording gear. Your donations have gone to good use, thank you. I’ve caught up with myself. Here’s Alex’s first birthday! You sit together at the…
14: Long Days, Short Months
Nov 8, 2016 • 28 min
We’re staying at Granny’s this week. She fell and fractured her kneecap. Considering everything she’s done for me during my life, and at the start of yours, taking us in, feeding me, caring for you when I reached my limit, when I got that 24 hour vomiting…
13: The Irresponsible Option
Oct 18, 2016 • 29 min
As my health improves and I feel more secure with my baby care skills, we begin to venture out. We meet my sister Charlotte, who looks so relaxed and confident out here in public. I can’t even imagine feeling that way again, but I try to let it rub off on…
12: Father’s Day
Sep 24, 2016 • 26 min
You’re six days old. I apprehensively pack my things and prepare to be discharged. It’s been a surprisingly idyllic little sanctuary, this hospital room. I’m not sure I’m ready to leave yet, but we have to start our real life together sooner or later. And…
11: First Hours, First Days
Sep 12, 2016 • 23 min
With you suckling at my chest and our family here to celebrate your birth, I feel elated, and sure it must be over. But it isn’t quite over yet. The family are ushered out for the doctors to begin stitching me up. I’m on my back, feet in stirrups, trying…
10: Birth
Aug 25, 2016 • 33 min
It’s going to get messy, so if that’s a problem for you, you might want to skip this episode, or you can fairly safely listen to the first 9 and the last 4 minutes. I’m 6 days overdue. I can’t imagine it’s possible to be any bigger! I’m so uncomfortable…
9: This Strange Period
Aug 11, 2016 • 31 min
My brother’s baby is due this week. I’m feeling jumpy every time the phone rings. I sit down with my sister Charlotte for a not-so-quiet talk about birth, and the end of my pregnancy. I’d thought once I was home, I could start to focus on getting…
8: Leaving and Arriving
Jul 16, 2016 • 29 min
After my maternity leave, in 2014, we did move back to Denmark, just for 18 months. I did make it work, mostly, as a single mother with a demanding job, thanks to my incredible friends and colleagues. It was painful when we left them, your second family,…
7: Dinosaurs and Pancakes
Jul 2, 2016 • 33 min
It’s September 2012. There is a nervous excitement in the building and everybody feels it, from the chefs, to the finance department, and certainly us teachers. 115 students arrive on this Monday afternoon from around the world, about 25 different…
6: Seventeen Calls
Jun 17, 2016 • 32 min
It’s the end of August in 2012. You have reached a milestone. 13 weeks. The second trimester. For me, it’s a turning point. On Thursday, the day before my first scan, the first time I’ll see you, I put on a baggy shirt and go to meet with my boss, my…
5: Travels Through the First Trimester
May 27, 2016 • 26 min
My body has seriously never looked better naked. Everything is soft, plump and trim in all the right places. My breasts are growing. I curse the fact that nobody but me will see, but feel fortunate I don’t have to negotiate a physical relationship. They…
4: My Love Life
May 12, 2016 • 25 min
I had morning sickness and was trying hard to look after myself, now about 5 weeks pregnant, but it was a struggle with the lack of structure in my life over the summer, and all this travel. Today though, back to work, just for a week. I was feeling…
3: Donor Deliberations
Apr 28, 2016 • 25 min
One day, soon after I left school, my mother told me that she wanted me to have a baby one day and she didn’t care how I did it, even if I did it alone, as long as I did it. I was a bit taken aback. Of course I’d have a baby one day. I’d always known I…
2: Your Grandparents
Apr 13, 2016 • 21 min
In 2012 I went home to Australia for Christmas. I had three weeks off from my job teaching documentary filmmaking in Denmark, just enough time to make the trip worthwhile. I wanted to ground myself after a recent break-up and as I came to terms with the…
1: Insemination Story
Mar 30, 2016 • 16 min
One morning in May my ovulation test showed as positive, and it was time to stop thinking about it and actually do it! I was living and working in Denmark when I reached the age of 38, the cut-off I’d settled on to try to have a baby alone before it was…
0 - Not By Accident Teaser
Mar 21, 2016 • 1 min
This is the teaser for Not By Accident, an audio documentary series about choosing to become a single mother and coping with being one, made by me, Sophie Harper. Subscribe, rate, review wherever you listen to podcasts. Go to notbyaccident.net to sign up…