What Makes A Mother Great?

A sense of humor, the ability to listen, patience and endurance. And making time to talk over a cup of tea helps too, according to these moms.


I think, overall, I've been a pretty good mother. But I always wished I had been a better one. I always wished that perhaps I had a little bit more equanimity, had been a little less serious and had a little more fun with it.

And so, this Mother's Day, I was wondering what other mothers thought was important, what they thought they did right, and what they thought maybe they could have done a little bit better. So I headed over to Savvy Tea in Madison, where they were having a Mother's Day Tea Saturday, the day before Mother's Day.

Michelle Kachmarck, from North Haven, said she agrees that being a mother can be hard work. She says that's why it's also important to take time out to enjoy your children.

"I try to make sure I take time to enjoy my children and the job of being a mother," she said. "Yes it can be hard work, but you have to make time to be together, even with the distance in between us."

Her daughter, Nicole Kachmarck, agrees. She traveled from her home in Boston to take her mother, who is from North Haven, to her mother's favorite place to have tea in Madison.

"It's important to spend valuable time together," Nicole said. "The older you get, the more you appreciate that."

Across the room, Marie Leonte agreed. She was there with her two small daughters, Charlotte and Lily, and her parents, father Jean Saint-Marcoux and mother Marie Joseph Saint-Marcoux, who traveled to Marie's home in Madison from where they live in the township of Eygurande in the Limousin region of France.

Marie said she brings her parents to Savvy Tea because they too love to talk over a cup of tea.

Emily Coppola, of Guilford, was at Savvy Tea Saturday afternoon with her daughter Noelle Boone of Middletown.

"Patience and endurance," said Emily, when asked what she thought makes a mother great.

"Listening and trying to see things from the child's perspective," said Noelle, who buys her mother a corsage and takes her out every Mother's Day. "My daughter has an interesting perspective," she added, and laughed.

Emily looked at her daughter Noelle and smiled.

"There's one more thing," Emily said. "A good sense of humor is important. That's something I always wished I had more of. I was always very serious. Noelle has a really great sense of humor."

I thought that was a funny thing for Emily to say. I've known her for years. She taught my daughter how to play piano. She always displayed enormous patience, sufficient endurance, and a wonderful sense of humor. She was often my role model when it came equanimity as well.

Over all the years, during many lessons, she never lost her patience, she never pushed too hard, and was always ready to lead my daughter in the right direction, but never got too far ahead of her. She was always ready with a smile and generous with her laughter. I saw that when she was teaching my daughter and I saw that when she was with her children, since she sometimes gave us lessons at her home.

So as we think about what makes a great mother this Mother's Day, let's be glad for the things we did well and not worry too much about the things we could have done better. Let's be thankful for the time we have with our daughters, our sons, our mothers and our grandmothers, if we're lucky enough to spend time with them. If we're not able to be with them, let's be thankful for the people in our life who love us like our mothers might if they could.

Happy Mother's Day.


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