Help in the suburbs – LB

I’m a diamond plus a few months. February has presented new Circumstances. Started a teaching credential program . Have been sick for 2 weeks, diagnosed with pneumonia Sat. Canceled a trip to see my mother in NC cause I’m sick. Lots of thoughts about all of this!!! But interesting to me in addition to thoughts about those circumstances I’m reengaged with thoughts I’ve had about my house and my ability to home decorate and to entertain. I suspect behind these particular thoughts is a meta thought . But not there yet. So here we go. Background quickly: quirky fun (ADD and unique too) husband, three wonderful kids: elementary school and middle, oldest headed to HS next year. Going to a top performing HS. Area we live in is top 14th wealthiest zip codes in nation. My husband and I grew up in middle class to lower middle class areas in different states, neither come from affluent background. Home decorating and entertaining is prevalent here. My husband has little interest in home decor. I am trying. I have gotten some help, but we don’t chose to invest the money it would take to make our home look like so many of the homes my kids go to (outdoor entertaining centers, ethan allen decorated spaces, new cars with in car viewing centers.) If we want to save for college and pay the current bills, the money is not there – AND my husband is not very interested in it. So I feel I’m carrying the responsibility if something needs to be done. And I feel like to be worthy and fit in here I have to improve the house we live in and our image. And that, with all the Cs above, feels overwhelming. But I make up all kinds of meaning for my fear of entertaining and fear of being judged. I feel like the ugly stepchild. I get embarrassed my child’s new friends parents (from the “richer of the rich side of town”) will come in and judge me. So I avoid much social entertaining at home.I judge others. I don’t know what to do. Sometimes I blame the rich ladies here who have it all handled, and say I should move to any area where people care more about the real important things, but that feels like a cop out. Then I think I should just admit this is the choice we have made, but that doesn’t feel good either. I’d like help.

UM 1
C: House
T: We look like the hill-billy neighbors.
F: Shame
A: Avoid contact, socializing, make apologies, try too hard, criticize myself and my husband
R: Continue cycle of avoidance (how does this prove T?- maybe acting like we are “second class?”.

UM 2.
C: House
T: I try and decorate and it just looks wrong and awkward.
F: less than
A: Try and act like I’m enough, posture, get out of touch with me and life
R: I feel wrong and awkward.

I’ve actually felt “wrong and awkward” on and off throughout my life.. so I suspect this is not just about the house.

Thank you for insight and some IM to rock my thinking.
With gratitude