Feeling awkward around Hubby's family (celebrating my MIL's 80th bday)

This weekend we went to Columbus to my sister-in-laws house to celebrate my Mother-in-law's 80th birthday. It was a nice evening, even though both hubby and I were on edge.

My sister-in-law and brother-in-law are in a different social class than us. They make a LOT more money than we do and the live in a rich, upper class area, and we actually have very little in common. It is usually awkward when we go over there in conversation, etc. I don't want to sound petty, but they just live a very different lifestyle than Bill and I do.

Sunday night was no different. While it was nice to see them, it was awkward and I didn't realize until we were on our way home how tense I was the whole time.

My sister-in-law cooked a very elegant dinner....beef tenderloin, with a special sauce to go on top, sauteed green beans and asparagus (fresh from their CSA), bread, salad, and homemade cheesy potatoes. She did make chicken tenders for my kids and had apples and grapes for them as well, as she said she knew they probably wouldn't eat the beef or veggies. She did try. (As we were driving home, I felt guilty because the last time we had our in-laws over, they brought McDonald's for everyone....a far cry from beef tenderloin!)

We went over because it isn't every day that someone turns 80. And, I believe my mother-in-law had a good time. She was very happy that we brought the kids out to visit and she enjoyed her gifts.

I had the kids paint pictures for her that I framed. And we let Benjamin go to town with markers for the first time, so we gave her that as well.


All in all it was a good evening, even if I felt out of place. I don't know that I will ever feel like we fit in with Bill's family. We have chosen a completely different lifestyle for our family. It just makes family get togethers awkward. But we do what is important. And it was important to acknowledge and show my mother-in-law that her 80th birthday was important to us.


  1. Hi Rachel - thanks for following my blog and adding my blog to your blog roll :) I know what it's like to have "rich" relatives. Just try to be confident in yourself - I think your kids' gifts were perfect and your MIL seems honestly delighted!

    1. Thank you Jane! I do try. And in my everyday life I am mostly okay with how we live and where we are in life. It is just when I get around them and we have nothing in common and I feel like I am beneath them....

  2. Rachel, not making a high income does not put you "beneath" anyone my dear... have confidence, that what's in your bank account does NOT make YOU who you are!!!


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