HAVING a child is a pivotal moment in any woman’s life.

But this milestone can be hard for those who have lost their own mothers.

 Becoming a first-time mum can be difficult for any woman, but it can be made even harder when you don't have your own mother to turn to for guidance

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Becoming a first-time mum can be difficult for any woman, but it can be made even harder when you don’t have your own mother to turn to for guidanceCredit: Getty

Naturally, most women will seek advice from someone who has done it before, particularly when it comes to raising their first child.

Breastfeeding, sleeping, dealing with illness and even just getting out of the house can develop into major challenges for first-time parents.

What is it like to be a mum when the person most women look to for guidance isn’t there to show you the ropes?

Here, three women tell Nikki Watkins and Jessica Brown how they navigated this huge life change without having their own mums to lean on.

Fran, 36, mum died year after giving birth

PROJECT manager Fran Jones, from Northampton, was heavily pregnant with her first child when she found out her mum, Angie Lord, was battling lung cancer. Angie died 11 months later.

Fran, who lives with firefighter husband Paul, 39, and her daughters Ella, 11, and Poppy, three, says: “My mum was diagnosed with stage-four lung cancer eight months into my pregnancy with Ella and she was very ill during my early days of motherhood.

 Fran Jones found out her mum Angie was battling lung cancer when she was heavily pregnant with her first child

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Fran Jones found out her mum Angie was battling lung cancer when she was heavily pregnant with her first childCredit: Olivia West Commissioned by the Sun

Four days before Mum died, I took Ella to visit her. She was only ten months old.

Mum was in a nursing home. She was 51. After she passed away, I had to make the best of a horrible situation.

My first husband was very unsupportive. I had to deal with everything myself. Mum would’ve been a great help with childcare and advice.

I felt like I needed Ella as much as she needed me. Having a child means you have to get on with things.

 Angie died less than a year after Fran gave birth, so Fran turned to a friend to find some much-needed support

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Angie died less than a year after Fran gave birth, so Fran turned to a friend to find some much-needed support

Luckily, I met a new-mum friend, Louisa, who’s now 41, during an aqua natal class. She was so lovely and is now one of my best friends.

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We spoke a lot about Mum. She knew how I felt in my marriage and what I was struggling with.

The first year as a mum is so hard without having to deal with the grief of losing your own mum.

Although Paul didn’t come into my life until after Mum passed, he has been a rock. He is amazing and my best friend. He’s such a huge support.

 Fran says it's sad seeing her daughters Ella and Poppy grow up without their grandma but the family now have a good support system and will always remember Angie fondly

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Fran says it’s sad seeing her daughters Ella and Poppy grow up without their grandma but the family now have a good support system and will always remember Angie fondly

It’s sad Mum will miss seeing Ella and Poppy grow up but I make sure they know all about this special woman.

She will always be a part of their lives.”

Danielle, 34, estranged from mum for 10 years

DANIELLE Slowley, from Harrow in North London, has been estranged from her mother for more than a decade.

She lives with partner Tony, 37, son Eco, three, and daughter Fleur, 19 months. She cut ties with her mum to bring up her kids in a more positive atmosphere.

 Danielle Slowley cut ties with her mum ten years ago, so raising her two kids without her mum around was initially difficult

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Danielle Slowley cut ties with her mum ten years ago, so raising her two kids without her mum around was initially difficultCredit: Olivia West Commissioned by the Sun

The full-time mum says: “I haven’t been in contact with my mum for well over ten years and she hasn’t met either of my children.

We didn’t have a great relationship when I was a teenager. We had stark differences of opinions and clashed about everything.

I have three siblings but always felt like the odd one out. I couldn’t do anything right to please my mum. I left home at 19 because of the constant arguments.

It wasn’t good for me or her, so I packed and left. I went to the charity Centrepoint, which took me in until I could rent a place of my own.

We didn’t have a great relationship when I was a teenager. We had stark differences of opinions and clashed about everything.

Danielle Slowley

I met Tony in 2002 at college. He was my first love.

When I became pregnant, I had to consider if my mother would play an active role in my children’s life. I decided against it.

During the early days of motherhood, I questioned if I had done the right thing by keeping their grandmother out of their lives.

But being around constant arguments and negativity isn’t healthy. So I did what I thought was best for my children and cut all ties.

 Danielle says it was for the best that Eco and Fleur aren't around constant negativity - she says it's not an ideal world but she's learned to accept it

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Danielle says it was for the best that Eco and Fleur aren’t around constant negativity – she says it’s not an ideal world but she’s learned to accept itCredit: Alexcetera Photography

Of course it would be nice to have the love and support of my mum during tough moments, when you doubt yourself.

But it isn’t an ideal world. I’ve learnt to accept that. She doesn’t want to force a relationship and keeps a respectful distance.

Tony’s mum Sheila, who’s 54, gives great advice and the children adore her.”

Jessica, 38, was only 14 when her mum died

JESSICA Davies, from Cardiff, was 14 when she lost her mum Deidre to breast cancer.

The shop assistant, 38, found early motherhood very hard and soon realised the importance of a support network.

 Jessica Davies, who lost her mum when she was 14, found early motherhood very hard and soon realised the importance of a support network

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Jessica Davies, who lost her mum when she was 14, found early motherhood very hard and soon realised the importance of a support networkCredit: Olivia West Commissioned by the Sun

She says: “My mum and I had an extremely close relationship when I was growing up. She was a stay-at-home mum who was nurturing and loving.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was just 12. She was 44. She had a particularly aggressive cancer and went through chemotherapy, radiotherapy and a mastectomy.

When I was 14, she passed away. I suffered from depression from that moment, as it affected me so badly.

I didn’t deal with my depression very well. I’d go out drinking with friends and do anything to take my mind off feeling down. But it doesn’t solve anything.

 After her mum passed away Jessica struggled with depression and it wasn't until her twenties that she started to focus on her health

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After her mum passed away Jessica struggled with depression and it wasn’t until her twenties that she started to focus on her health

It wasn’t until my twenties when I started to feel a bit better. I started doing yoga, eating healthier and my faith helped me a lot.

I met Thomas in November 2015 and got pregnant in 2017, although we have since separated.

Having Hugo – who’s now 21 months – highlighted the fact my mum was missing. It was very hard to start with.

My dad Haydn, who’s 70, and step-mum Owena, who’s 69, would visit once a week. They were so supportive.

 Having Hugo highlighted the fact her mum was missing and she says she often felt lonely, but luckily she had friends and family to rely on

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Having Hugo highlighted the fact her mum was missing and she says she often felt lonely, but luckily she had friends and family to rely on

So was my best friend Enfys Roberts, who’s 40, but I still felt lonely. I had moments of anger towards my mother for dying.

When you lose your mum so young, that grief doesn’t necessarily stop. You learn to deal with it but from time to time it crops up.

Emotions come and go like waves and are exaggerated even more with the hormones of giving birth and breastfeeding.

I realised the importance of leaning on others. Enfys has been wonderful. She kept me sane during the first weeks of Hugo’s life.

Nobody can replace your own mum. She was so loving and supportive. But I’ve now got the confidence to go with my instincts.

I hope her mothering has passed on to me in the way I raise my son.”

Win a spa stay for a fab mum

DO you know a mum who deserves some extra recognition?

Whether she has overcome adversity, dedicates her life to help children in need, works long hours to support her family or is just an all-round supermum, we want to hear your stories.

Nominate her for our Fabulous Mum Of The Year award and she could win an overnight stay for two at a Champneys spa of her choice, complete with a Bronze treatment package, which includes a full-body exfoliation and cocoon wrap.

Two runners-up will take home goodie bags worth hundreds of pounds including an afternoon tea with bubbles thanks to Buyagift.

Plus all three will have a makeover and appear in a gorgeous shoot for Fabulous magazine.

Meanwhile, you could win a Samsung TV worth £499 or fashion vouchers for £100 or £50 from Next, Marks & Spencer, F&F at Tesco and George at Asda simply for nominating her.

To take part, head to thesun.co.uk/fabulousmumoftheyear, upload a photo of your nominee and explain why they deserve to win.

The deadline for entries is Sunday, February 23. The winner and two runners-up will be announced on Sunday, March 22.

Good luck . . . we can’t wait to hear from you!

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