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Not By Accident

36 EpisodesProduced by Sophie HarperWebsite

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.


Ep 18: First Day Back

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 do my job well enough that I'm not letting everybody down. I do know it's going to be really hard.

I hadn't understood before you arrived how painful it would feel to be away from you. I hadn't understood that I couldn't leave you with just anybody. That you'd be a defenseless baby, just starting to crawl, when I went back to work after a generous year of maternity leave. I wish we had a few more months. Suddenly I have to be away from you for 8 hours a day, starting today, after having spent only hours away from you in your whole life until now. It physically hurts.
I know I'm spoilt, I'm privileged. Thank you Denmark, I am forever grateful for the generous paid leave. I was only just starting to feel ready to leave the house at the point most women have to go back to work! It's been the best and most rewarding year of my life and I don't want it to end.

To top it off, on Monday, it's my birthday. I'm 40.

This production is made by me, Sophie Harper, in partnership with Wondery. I'm supported by generous listeners and the Australian Cultural Fund.

Music from - CC NC License:
'Simple Hop' and 'Caught in the Beat' by Broke For Free; 'Out of the Skies, Under the Earth' by Chris Zabriskie; 'Don’t Say Goodbye' by Candlegravity.

Ad music from - CC Commercial License:
'Drop of Water in the Ocean' by Broke For Free.

Thanks to my family, my friends and my daughter for your willingness to be part of the story. To Tally Abacissis who’s podcast series 'First Day Back' inspired more than the title of this episode. Finally, thanks, Michael for the coffee, and thank you, Jenny for the cake.

US listeners, support the series and eat well. Hello Fresh Has signed on to support me for 2017! Sign up at and use the promo code 'noaccident35' to get $35 off your first delivery. Everybody wins!

Go to to find out more about the series or to get in touch.

I’ll be back, at work, in two weeks.

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