News Release

Mothers finding joy, even in challenging times

Reflections during COVID-19

Overnight, life changed for families across Europe and globally as one by one, countries put in place lockdown measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Schools and churches closed; parks and playgrounds shut down; weddings were cancelled, memorial services postponed; many employees were asked to work from home; and isolation practices diminished contact with extended family and friends.

At the centre of the home, mothers and fathers help each member of the family grow personally, spiritually and mentally. This month, as the role of mother is honoured in many countries, five mothers from across Europe share their heartfelt concerns and thoughts as they help their families manage in these uncertain times.

They are:

Debra – Springhead, Oldham, England. Mum of four, grandma of three

Emily – Stuttgart, Germany. Mama of a 14-month old daughter

Juliana – Tirana, Albania. Mami of two children, ages seven and four

Dominika – Iași, Romania. Mama of a two-year-old daughter

Renate – Leimuiden, the Netherlands. Moeder of five, four boys and one girl

Concerns and challenges

“Our eldest daughter is a frontline worker with the National Health Service, so every day is a bit of a worry especially as she goes home each day to her family,” Debra said. “My middle daughter and her husband are self-employed . . . staying at home, home-schooling their two children, but not earning an income.” 

She went on to say, “Although life is a challenge at the moment I am at peace. I have a strong testimony that President Nelson [President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] prepared us well for just an occasion as this.”

Emily said, “I have been stretched to limits I didn’t think existed. Although being a mother in such emotionally hard times is exhausting, being a mom makes me the happiest I’ve ever been because [my daughter] makes me feel needed and loved. Because of her I work hard on staying happy because she needs me to be.”

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Emily – Stuttgart, Germany2020 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. Všechna práva vyhrazena.


Juliana said, “. . . it's been hard to experience these changes in such a short period of time. What keeps me going is to know that this situation is going to end. I know that Heavenly Father is aware of the situation. I have felt His hand in our lives during this challenging time.”

“Before all this, we'd run errands together, go to the playground or to the park to get some air and let my daughter use her energy [up],” Dominika said. “Now these things are not an option, and since we live in an apartment we don't have our own backyard to spend our time in, so our daily 30 [minute] walk around the block is all we get.”

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Dominika – Iași, Romania2020 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. Všechna práva vyhrazena.

Making the best of time at home

As the dynamic of home life shifted Juliana said, “. . . our home became a mixture of work, school, and family time. I admit the fact that the first couple of weeks were chaotic [trying] to normalise the daily routine to the unusual situation. So I decided we needed to create a schedule to make the unusual situation feel more normal.”

She said, “Our routine involves exercise, homework, reading, art and lots of playing. I must admit it can be boring, so [every] few days we will try something different like picnic on the balcony of our apartment, making treats, decorating our apartment with crafts for Easter, or Earth day, or movie night with popcorn.”

Renate has three teenagers and two younger children. She said, “We were at home with seven people for a couple of weeks, in a not so big [of a] house . . . it was quite a challenge to keep the noise level low, so my husband could have his meetings from work without too much distraction.”

According to Renate, implementing a “reading hour” has become a favourite time of day for everyone. Also, cooking meals one-on-one helped each child to develop new skills and has resulted in “LOVELY dinners.”

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Renate – Leimuiden, the Netherlands2020 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. Všechna práva vyhrazena.

Debra said, “. . . life has altered considerably.  We have had three family birthdays in the month of April where we have sung happy birthday via Zoom and delivered pieces of birthday cake to family, at a safe distance of course!!  We have family time each Friday evening where we have a catch up and have a family quiz. This has been a wonderful way of keeping in touch.”

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Debra – Springhead, Oldham, England2020 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. Všechna práva vyhrazena.

Lessons Learned

“Spending a lot of time with my family at home has helped me know them more and know their likes and dislikes. Also I have learned to be proactive with my life,” Juliana said. “Even though I can't change the situation around me, I can change my attitude toward the situation. I can be proactive and choose to be happy and stay positive.”


Dominka said, “Of course there are plenty of things we can't do due to the pandemic but I've learned to choose to focus on the things we can do and we get to do because of the pandemic. I deeply believe there is a reason why this is happening and I know God is in control.”

“I’ve learned that, even though Covid-19 is such a tribulation for the entire world, it helped us to have a “little piece of heaven in our home,” Renate said. “Somehow we’re focusing better on the things we really want to accomplish with our family.”

Finding joy

When sharing what she enjoys most about being a mother, Emily said this of her daughter, “She gives me a greater purpose in life than anything ever has and ever will! Seeing her excitement for completely ordinary things (e.g. the sky, a person walking by, a speck of dirt on the ground), makes me see the wonders of this world with different eyes and makes me cherish the little things in life.”

“I think just watching a human being grow and develop right in front of your eyes is something I'm the most in awe [of],” Dominika said. “I get to have a front row seat and I'm very grateful for it. Also, [the] most amazing thing that happened to me as a mom is feeling the purest and most profound love for my child and feeling that love back.”

“It is always difficult to explain a mother’s feeling for her offspring but I’ve heard it said that it is closest to how our Heavenly Father feels about us,” Debra said. “I love the tender moments that I have enjoyed with each of my four children and three grandchildren throughout our lives together . . . and most of all [how] they care about other people.”

Mother’s Day 2020

“Mother’s Day will sure be different this year; usually we visit my mom, but this time we’ll meet her online,” Renate said. “[I am] so grateful that we live in a time that technology allows that we stay in contact with each other . . . and I am so grateful for the whisperings of the Spirit that allows us to feel joy, pure joy in a troubled world.”

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