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 13: The Irresponsible Option

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 me. We sit and I breastfeed to settle you. Thankfully, you attach easily, barely allowing a glimpse, restoring my modesty with your little head, looking like you're sleeping in my arms. I can block out the world and find my centre again.

Charlotte is in her last weeks of maternity leave. The thought of being away from you actually hurts and I'm grateful that I won’t have to face this for a long time. I haven't decided if I'll return to Denmark when my year is up . I don’t know what will be best for us. The decisions I'll have to make will be both practical and emotional.

You already know we did go back. When you were 10 months old, the two of us moved back to Denmark, to full time work for me and full time childcare for you. In my mind it is an 18 month commitment. I don't want you to be away from your family for any longer than this. When things are good it’s workable, but if you get sick I have no options. I have to stay home and then my students have no teacher. Even when we are both well, I can't put in the hours I did before. I feel I'm not being the teacher or the mother I want to be. I'm always letting somebody down. I don't want to live like this.

As we left Denmark a year ago, I could see three paths: to find another ambitious job in Australia, to study again, or to stop searching for outside options and commit. To put paid work and institutional security on hold for creative work. This is the financially irresponsible option. For me, the bravest and riskiest option. It's also the one that allows flexibility so I can be available for you when you needed me, guilt free. This is what I want to try, but I have to fight hard against my instinct to seek security, structure, and the validation that comes with working for a great institution.

I start the podcast. The pressure of responsibility has a way of keeping me focused. I'm getting traction. We are on TV, we're on the radio, in print, at home and abroad. It's not always good, but mostly people receive what I'm doing in the spirit in which I'm doing it. There are no geographical boundaries, which is exactly what I'd hoped. People are listening, it's resonating, they're donating money to help me continue. Audio makers reach out, and I'm welcomed in.

A network, Wondery! I’m not alone anymore. I'm part of something bigger! And with that, sponsorship! An income! It's modest, but it's an income! I'll be able to service my car, go to the dentist, buy new pants to replace the ones that suddenly only reach the top of your socks. Throw out my maternity bras! I'm on the way to making a living again, but this time working for me.

This production is made by me, Sophie Harper, in partnership with Wondery! I'm supported by generous listeners and the Australian Cultural Fund.
Music by Dexter Britain, Broke for Free, Chris Zabriskie and Versus Shade Collapse.
Thanks to my family, my friends, my daughter, and to Dan Lizette, Lea Thau, Jon Cohen, Michelle Webster, Cathy Gray, Kate Montague, Koren Helbig, Hernan Lopez, and to listeners and friends who believe in what I'm doing and have encouraged and supported me to keep doing it.
Thank you for the iTunes reviews and for the messages, and donations! I feel very blessed.
I'll be back in two weeks to tell you about the gentle and happy routines of early motherhood.

Granny's (Diana Lampe's) poppy seed cake recipe for Astrid:

ABC Double J with Myf Warhurst and Ian Walker
The Podcast Digest (episode 95) with Dan Lizette
SRSLY podcast, New Statesman #43 with Caroline Crampton and Anna Leszkiewicz
Strangers with Lea Thau (Not By Accident episode)
SBS TV The Feed: Sperm Tourism

Music by permission from the artist: I'm Going to Die by Versus Shade Collapse.
Music from - CC NC License:
Candlepower by Chris Zabriskie; Happy Together by Dexter Britain; A Year and The Great by Broke For Free.
Ad music from - 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 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.

Educational emoji reaction


Interesting emoji reaction


Funny emoji reaction


Agree emoji reaction


Love emoji reaction


Wow emoji reaction


Are you the creator of this podcast?

Verify your account

and pick the featured episodes for your show.

Listen to Not By Accident


A free podcast app for iPhone and Android

  • User-created playlists and collections
  • Download episodes while on WiFi to listen without using mobile data
  • Stream podcast episodes without waiting for a download
  • Queue episodes to create a personal continuous playlist
RadioPublic on iOS and Android
Or by RSS
RSS feed

Connect with listeners

Podcasters use the RadioPublic listener relationship platform to build lasting connections with fans

Yes, let's begin connecting
Browser window

Find new listeners

  • A dedicated website for your podcast
  • Web embed players designed to convert visitors to listeners in the RadioPublic apps for iPhone and Android
Clicking mouse cursor

Understand your audience

  • Capture listener activity with affinity scores
  • Measure your promotional campaigns and integrate with Google and Facebook analytics
Graph of increasing value

Engage your fanbase

  • Deliver timely Calls To Action, including email acquistion for your mailing list
  • Share exactly the right moment in an episode via text, email, and social media
Icon of cellphone with money

Make money

  • Tip and transfer funds directly to podcastsers
  • Earn money for qualified plays in the RadioPublic apps with Paid Listens