When the otoosan in Erika's host family (Family K) returns for his monthly visit, the okaasan waits on him, plans special meals, and listens to his stories. A homestay guest might be tempted to see their relationship as being like that of a King catered to by a servant, or a spoiled child being indulged by its mother. And yet, the okaasan in this family "does not seem unhappy or stressed on these week-ends...she seems to enjoy her role."

An okaasan, in general, finds satisfaction in being central to her family's well-being. She takes pride in being competent and may even prefer not to have assistance with her responsibilities if it means things will not be done as well as she would do them. In Christina's family, the mother was willing to virtually work herself to exhaustion in the performance of her role.

For the okaasan to enjoy this satisfaction and pride in what she does, it is necessary that there be someone for her to care for. In her relationship with the members of her family, and with the otoosan in particular, the okaasan demonstrates her skills. The otoosan and okaasan take part in a mutual relationship that defines their actions toward one another.

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