One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘how could any mother leave a child to fend for itself?’
take care of oneself, look after oneself, provide for oneself, shift for oneself, manage by oneself, get by alone, get by without help, cope alone, cope unaided, stand on one's own two feet, hold one's own, make it on one's own
informal paddle one's own canoe
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