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state mother of the year
Heather Kucharski, 2024 Wisconsin Mother of the Year.

Heather Kucharski

February 13, 2024



Heather was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the proud daughter of a former realtor and Marine Corps veteran. She attended Marquette University earning a degree in Information Technology, starting her career with a regional bank. She married her college sweetheart and settled in Delavan, WI. Upon welcoming their first child she unexpectedly transitioned to a stay-at-home mom managing her daughter’s complex medical needs and helping her to thrive. A few years later their second daughter was born, bringing a new experience of parenting. Heather took on the role of teacher when COVID and her children’s health needs required her to homeschool. Heather loves her family, leans on her faith, and is thankful every day for the community that supports her and her family. She passionately supports children’s hospitals, including families needing organ transplants, those on the autism spectrum, patient advocacy, and participating in parent support groups. Nothing brings her peace quite like being near a lake and a good iced tea!

Parenting Philosophy

I’m not a perfect parent but our family motto is, “Kucharskis never quit,” which means adapting to what comes your way and learning on the job through the help of family, friends, and my faith. When things are hard we get through it with laughter… and sometimes a few tears! In the end all you need is a loving approach. I’ve learned that works for one child does not necessarily work for the other. Apologizing when I make parenting mistakes, patience, investing time, pushing comfort zones, positive reinforcement, and working to build resiliency.

Motherhood and Community

In my early years of motherhood, I was very involved through my church, children’s school, children’s hospitals, and community. I currently find myself in the “sandwich generation” of caring for my children, one with special needs, and also needing to support aging parents. I had to reprioritize during this season in my life. I find that many of the activities I have done and currently do involve building community, which in reflection, is very interesting as I consider myself to be very introverted. I love to be able to help in the classroom, field trips, teacher appreciation days, and special school events. It gives me the opportunity to connect with teachers, students, and other parents. When possible, I enjoy attending my state’s annual “Women of Christ” conference which gathers Catholic women for a day of enrichment, prayer, and fellowship. Participating in parent support groups has been tremendously valuable and is something I enjoy. I currently participate in a virtual parent group for parents whose children share complex medical challenges. I also participate in a local parent support group for parents whose children are neurodivergent. We vent, share information, encourage each other, and come away knowing there are people just like me who “get it.” I always feel understood and am able to be a better parent from the support of others. In my earlier years of motherhood, I joined Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS). I volunteered as the treasurer and later a care team leader gathering together with other Moms and supporting each other through the ups and downs of motherhood. Connecting with other moms proved to be a lifeline and to this day has given me some of the closest friendships in my adulthood.