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  • The word 'mother' can be problematic. One letter away from 'smother', it conjures at worst images of matronly busts, fussing and sensible shoes. But the day I become a mother, others pinned the badge on and I knew I had to make that word my own.

    The turning point came one sunny spring afternoon when I left my daughter - five months old - alone for the first time with a neighbour. As the taxi pulled away, the panic set in. Heartbeats thumped the inside of my chest. Thoughts raced. What was I afraid of? The neighbour was a kind person, caring for my baby in the comfort of my own home. She had everything she needed and my phone was on in case of emergency. Even so, my anguish was real. And it came to me. As a mother, I feel my baby's pain as if it were my own. She is my flesh and blood. I hurt when she hurts. And because I am her mother, my job is to bring her joy enough to make any sadness disappear into thin air.
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