BE CON­FI­DENT!

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Even though some of my moth­er­ing skills came nat­u­rally, like re­al­is­ing I could nurse my new­born son, Erato, while walk­ing up the spi­ral stair­case, my con­fi­dence as a new mom was hard-won. I al­ways as­sumed there was a book, or a gad­get, or one of An­gelina Jolie’s nan­nies, who knew how to do ev­ery­thing bet­ter than I could. Worse, I thought my lack of moth­er­ing-nerve was a blem­ish on the im­age of the per­fect mom I wanted to be. (I hadn’t yet re­alised that try­ing to be per­fect was ridicu­lous.) I kept my in­se­cu­ri­ties to my­self and con­tin­ued to shop for stuff I didn’t need and buy tomes that were bet­ter used as stack­ing blocks.

Then I got a card from an older fam­ily friend, and all she wrote was this: “One day you will feel like you know what you’re do­ing.”

Six years, many mis­takes, and an­other baby boy later, I fi­nally do. But that card let me start to trust my­self more ev­ery day. Well, dear reader, con­sider this your own card from an old friend. Con­fi­dence, here you come. LONDIWE MASINGA FROM DUR­BAN

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