Not By Accident
About This Show
A documentary podcast series about choosing to become a single mother and coping with being one.
Series launch 31 March 2016.
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(Search terms: single mother by choice, choice mom, pregnant, parent, donor baby, rainbow baby.)
Most Recent Episode
Ep 13: The Irresponsible Option
7 days ago
Episode 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