Not By Accident

36 EpisodesProduced by Sophie Harper

I became a single mother by choice, not by accident. I’ve been recording our lives for seven years to tell this story, about making choices and taking action to live the life you want. If you’re a parent, want to be a parent, or just love good storytelling, this podcast is for you.

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Ep 34: Springtime

September 27th, 2018


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 …

Ep 33: Enough

August 24th, 2018


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 …

Ep 32: And the World is!

July 27th, 2018


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 …

Ep 31: Taking Off

June 18th, 2018


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 …

Ep 30: Going Public

May 18th, 2018


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 …

Ep 29: For Kids

April 18th, 2018


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 …

Ep 28: Consolidation

March 21st, 2018


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 …

Ep 27: Flying Fish

February 20th, 2018


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. …

Ep 26: Equality

January 22nd, 2018


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 …

Ep 25: Farvel

November 24th, 2017


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 …

Ep 24: Health

October 6th, 2017


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 …

Ep 23: Community

August 31st, 2017


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 …

Ep 22: Lessons From Zorba

July 31st, 2017


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 …

Ep 21: My Brother's Wedding

July 14th, 2017


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 …

Season Two Teaser

June 30th, 2017


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 …

Ep 20: The Tunnel

March 5th, 2017


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 …

Ep 19: Turning One

February 14th, 2017


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 …

Ep 18: First Day Back

January 27th, 2017


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 …

Ep 17: Tomorrow Morning

December 24th, 2016


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 …

Ep 16: The Emails

December 14th, 2016


Crossing the world from Australia to Thailand to Denmark, ending my maternity leave, ending 2013. A sense of loss, a sense of anticipation and …

Ep 15: Counting Down

November 24th, 2016


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 …

Ep 14: Long Days, Short Months

November 8th, 2016


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 …

Ep 13: The Irresponsible Option

October 18th, 2016


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 …

Ep 12: Father's Day

September 24th, 2016


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 …

Ep 11: First Hours, First Days

September 12th, 2016


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 …

Ep 10: Birth

August 26th, 2016


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 …

Ep 9: This Strange Period

August 11th, 2016


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 …

Ep 8: Leaving and Arriving

July 16th, 2016


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 …

Ep 7: Dinosaurs and Pancakes

July 2nd, 2016


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 …

Ep 6: Seventeen Calls

June 17th, 2016


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 …

Ep 5: Travels Through the First Trimester

May 27th, 2016


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 …

Ep 4: My Love Life

May 12th, 2016


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, …

Ep 3: Donor Deliberations

April 28th, 2016


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 …

Ep 2: Your Grandparents

April 14th, 2016


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 …

Ep 1: Insemination Story

March 30th, 2016


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 …

Ep 0 - Not By Accident Teaser

March 22nd, 2016


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. …

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