The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:
I’m a female in my late teens. I’m very worried about my mother, who is very busy with her work.
About four years ago, she changed jobs and rejoined the bank where she used to work until I was born. She has a rewarding job, and her salary has increased. Initially, I thought everything was going well, but she has started coming home very late since being promoted to a regular employee about a year ago.
Probably because of fatigue from work, she complains of palpitations and headaches almost every day. She has increasingly lacked energy, even when talking to me and my younger sister.
Also, she appears to wake up often in the middle of the night, probably because she worries about her work so much. She can’t get enough rest on her days off because she is continuously thinking about her job.
I have no work experience, and I don’t know what precisely she does at work. I have no idea what to say to her.
However busy she is, she makes lunches for the whole family every morning. I love my mother and I’m very worried about her. Could you tell me how I should help her?
I, Osaka Prefecture
Dear Ms. I:
You asked me how you can help her. But can you do it everyday? There’s something simple you can do.
It’s easy. You wake up in the morning and prepare bento lunches for your family. That’s it. And you continue every day.
If your mother wakes up to find out in surprise, you tell her that she can count on you to make lunch from now on. And give her kind words — say you want her to rest her body as much as possible. You mother will be moved.
Words are not enough to comfort a person. Unless you act for that person, it is not true sympathy.
Please think carefully about what you can do for her. Understanding what your mother does at work won’t necessarily enable you to help her. But you can help her with housework, can’t you?
No matter how inexperienced you may be, your feeling will be well conveyed to her through your acts. There is no need for an explanation.