Cover art for podcast Not By Accident

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 22: Lessons From Zorba

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 of the ear infection. I can barely get it together to brush my teeth, let alone to take real responsibility. I want to dig deep, to be as capable and strong as before, to prove something for the sake of all women. But for now I am weak.

Your eardrum bursts. No more crying in pain through the night. Within days I’m stronger, better, more capable. I’m aware of the options being explored, of others being considered to lead until a new Principal is in place. But all of a sudden, I suppose thanks to who I was at work before motherhood, they decide it’s me! Thank god I’ve slept.

I sit in the Principal’s office and feel like I’m in a dream. A bit like a kid wearing their parent’s clothes, a tiny bit of imposter syndrome. But mostly I feel taller, lighter, completely capable and utterly relieved to find motherhood hasn’t erased that. I can still do my job. I can step up. Because of the summer pace, I can stay on top of it and shift to part time for some weeks to spend time with you. For this moment, it almost seems I can have it all.

We need a little summer break too. Time is short, work looms. I book four nights in Crete. A perfect holiday, for just you and me.

This production is made by me, Sophie Harper, in partnership with Wondery. Edited by Michelle Webster. I’m supported by generous listeners.

Thanks to my family, my friends and my daughter for being part of the story.

Music from - CC NC License:

Libertad by Iriate and Pesoa and Other Sources by Candlegravity.


Zorba the Greek by Mikis Theodorakis (invoking Fair Use).

Ad music from - CC Commercial License:

Drop of Water in the Ocean by Broke For Free.

I’m now on Patreon. If you’d like join the kind people who are already supporting me to produce each new episode, go to

Thanks so much to Margaret P. Jones, Kasey Tomkins, Dianne Firth, Anne Staude, Laura Cherry, Bethany White, Paul S Mitchell and Mariele Thadani for your support.

To everyone who’s written to share your stories and to support me in continuing, thank you. I’m very behind with my replies, but want you to know each message means so much.

Go to to find out more about the series, join the e-newsletter or to get in touch.

We’ll be back with the next installment in about 2 weeks.

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