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.
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 bug and couldn’t stand up... What would we have done without her? This feels like the least we can do.
We’re sleeping in the room you call ‘our bedroom’, falling into some old routines. I struggle to put things in the right places when I unpack the dishwasher, you play in the garden, I throw you in the lovely big bath after a messy accident, I enjoy the solitude as I hang out small clothes to dry in the sun, podcasts playing in my ears. I sit in the chair where I spent so many hours breastfeeding and chat to Granny with you curled up on my lap. I wish I could recapture the same sense of calm I felt in that year. The year where I allowed myself to let go of expectations and responsibilities beyond our small family, and slow my life to a pace where every detail, every sound, smell, smile, touch was magnified by the lack of static.
You’re six weeks old. We have daily routines set by your changing rhythms. Sleep, nappy changes, feeding, tummy time. A bath for you, a shower for me, with you in sight, laundry. Lots of laundry. Tiny clothes pegged out with you strapped to my chest. Coffee in the sun, you bare bottomed to help the nappy rash. Back inside, I’m making my way through my mother’s CD collection. You lie on your back and move your body to the music.
For this year, I resolve to have low expectations of myself other than caring for you, to rest when I can, to do simple things for me. This is so different to the chaotic work life I’ve left behind in Denmark. I don’t let myself think too much about whether we’ll go back. I’m sure it will become clear with time.
This production is made by me, Sophie Harper, in partnership with Wondery. I’m supported by generous listeners and the Australian Cultural Fund.
Thanks to my family, my friends, my daughter for allowing me to record and for all your support.
Thank you for the reviews, messages, and donations! iTunes reviews help the series find more listeners, so I’d be very grateful if you feel inclined to leave a review.
Music from freemusicarchive.org - CC NC License:
Tomie’s Bubbles, Starting Over and Goodmorning by Candlegravity; Blown Out by Broke For Free.
Ad music from freemusicarchive.org - CC Commercial License:
Drop of Water in the Ocean by Broke For Free.
US listeners, support the series and eat well. Hello Fresh Has signed on to support me for 2017! Sign up at www.hellofresh.com and use the promo code 'noaccident35' to get $35 off your first delivery. Everybody wins!
Go to www.notbyaccident.net to find out more about the series or to get in touch.
I’ll be back in about two weeks to start getting ready for another big change.
Get well soon Granny.
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