Don’t Take Mom as a Guest
Afew days ago, I invited my mother to stay with us for a short period. I tidied up her room and prepared her favorite meals every day. When I was available, I would try to keep her company, chatting and going shopping with her. Whenever she managed to help me with house chores, I would ask her not to bother herself. She was somewhat annoyed by my words and said: “You are already busy at work. I can help with washing and cooking. Just let me do it.”
But my mom has worked hard throughout her entire life, and I just wanted her to enjoy an easy and relaxed life while she was staying with me. I didn’t want her to tire herself out with such housework. So I tried to do everything for her— even wash the apple before giving it to her. I thought I was being considerate, yet after a few days she insisted on returning her home.
Not knowing what had gone wrong, I felt confused and sullen. Having heard my story, my good friend Mei smiled and said: “Come to my house and check it out yourself.”
Mei’s mother is turning eighty years old, yet still physically healthy and fit. She often comes to stay with Mei’s family. When I arrived at her house, the old lady had already cooked hot delicious meals for us. Mei sat down and began to eat while I felt a little uneasy and whispered, “Is it proper to let your mom do the cooking at her age, and we just sit down and eat?”
Mei smiled and said: “If I asked her to sit at home and wait for me to come back and cook, she would be upset. She’d rather go out for grocery shopping and have a chat with neighbors, which make her feel less lonely and bored. She not only cooks, but also does her own laundry. With an automatic washing machine, the only thing she needs to do is toss in the laundry and press a few buttons. Yet she feels happy and proud about it, considering herself a master of high technology. I certainly will not let her do heavy manual chores, but I’m happy to let her get her hands on some easy things whenever she wants, which helps her get used to the life with us, feeling at home here, instead of feeling like a guest in her daughter’s house.”
Only then had I figured it out. Reflecting upon my own deeds, I was indeed treating my mother as a guest, doing everything for her and looking after her like a baby. No wonder she felt uncomfortable and uneasy. Similarly, why did I always feel relaxed when I went back to my mom’s house? Because I knew I was not a guest there, but at my home.
It takes skills and techniques to make a good sweet daughter. I decided to invite my mom to come over again a few days later, but this time I didn’t treat her as a guest.
(From YinchuanEveningNews .
Translation: Lu Qiongyao)