First of all. Remember, we are living in a bubble. Nappy Valley is a gorgeous place to live, but there's this immense pressure to go to private school, have a side return and a nice big car... You are living in that and then on top of that, you have your in laws who are well off. Maybe, just maybe, you are getting yourself all wound up for all the wrong reasons. You said it yourself, you do extremely well by the national average and it sounds like your family has a good life. First thing, is you are normal, most people in their mid-to-late 30s - who don't have the disposable income they had pre kids- start to feel the pinch and unless you are in an extremely highly paid corporate job, then living in this part of London is expensive and we can't help but compare ourselves especially when we have family who seem to be judging us. If I was you, I wouldn't bother explaining yourself to them. You don't need to. It's your life. The person you need to work on is your husband - let him know that you are happy and the kids are happy. You don't have to justify yourself to anyone else. I went to private schools my whole life (but they weren't as ludicrously expensive as they are now!), my husband went to state schools. We started sending our eldest to a private school and now he's in a state school as is his younger sibling. The point is life changes, expectations change - you have to work hard enough as it is so why worry about your parents in law and their views. In fact, in my case, it was my in laws who were aghast at first when we went down the private school option! For your own peace of mind, let it go. Wandsworth/South West London has amazing schools, parks, and our kids have a fantastic lifestyle. Continue doing what you are doing and don't waste time fretting about private school and what your in-laws think because guaranteed if your kids were at private school, there would be something else that you'd be judged on or worry about and life is way too short for that! You are not inadequate - sounds like you are a mum doing the best for her family. That is far from inadequate!