In the heart of family dynamics and unspoken expectations, the Original Poster (OP) finds herself caught between her love for cooking and her in-laws’ entitled demands. Having previously catered for them without receiving gratitude or compensation, tension escalates when a new request emerges. Will OP stand her ground or succumb to family pressure?
A Passion for Cooking
OP, a 28-year-old woman, has been married for eight years and has two children. She is a skilled cook and baker and has previously catered family events. People often show appreciation by giving her money for her hard work.
An Unexpected Request
A week before a joint party for OP’s five-year-old nephew and seven-year-old niece, her in-laws ask her to cater. She’s frustrated by the short notice but agrees. They inform her that 50 guests will attend, expecting a meal, treats, and a birthday cake.
Preparing the Feast
For two days, OP works diligently to prepare the food for the party. Her husband assists her whenever he can outside of his working hours. Together, they ensure everything is ready for the big day.
Day of the Event
Upon arriving at the party venue, OP’s mother-in-law immediately takes charge of the food. She sets up the table without seeking any help from OP. To OP’s surprise, no one thanks or appreciates her for her efforts.
Although OP tries to brush it off, the lack of acknowledgment gets to her. The only remark she receives is a question about the sufficiency of the food. She finds this comment quite disheartening.
A Disturbing Exclusion
OP approaches the table to serve herself, only to be told she must eat the “adult food.” Despite there being ample food, she’s singled out and asked not to take more. This action makes her feel incredibly isolated and mistreated.
To add insult to injury, OP overhears her sister-in-law, the mother of her niece, griping about the food. She claims there isn’t enough and belittles the effort OP put into the preparation. This revelation infuriates OP.
An Early Exit
Unable to bear the ungratefulness and disrespect, OP leaves the party early with her family. She is deeply hurt by her in-laws’ behavior, feeling taken for granted and undervalued. She swears she will never put herself in this position again.
Despite their behavior, OP’s in-laws express their displeasure at her early departure. They’re upset that she didn’t assist with the cleanup. Moreover, they grumble about having to deal with leftovers.
A Firm Resolution
OP makes a personal vow never to cook for her in-laws again. The experience was deeply hurtful and thankless. Her husband supports this decision, recognizing the lack of appreciation she received.
No Monetary Compensation
Adding to the entire ordeal, OP realizes that her in-laws did not compensate her in any way. Despite the time, effort, and personal funds she invested, they failed to acknowledge her work monetarily.
A New Request Arises
Time passes, and now OP’s youngest sister-in-law is expecting a child. With the baby shower on the horizon, the in-laws again approach OP to cater the event. OP firmly declines their request, having not forgotten the past incident.
Standing Her Ground
OP doesn’t want to expose herself to further mistreatment. The in-laws attempt to persuade OP, citing difficulties in finding outside caterers due to the pandemic. They argue that, as a family, she owes them this service.
A Bitter Laugh
OP recalls how, at the last event, she felt more like a servant than a family member. Given their treatment, she finds their current plea for her to act as “family” quite ironic. She firmly stands by her decision.
The Underlying Question
Conflicted and seeking clarity, OP wonders if she’s in the wrong for refusing her in-laws’ request. Their behavior was hurtful, but she contemplates the expectations placed on family members. OP reflects on the importance of appreciation and acknowledgment.
Was The Woman’s Behavior Appropriate?
OP posts her story online for feedback and perspective from the internet community. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter.
One reader said, “Presumably, like many other people, you’re currently having to be financially a bit more careful – just tell them that after the last time, you’re not doing anymore as it was a lot of hassle for no reward.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote, “I would have packed up what was left and dropped it off at a homeless shelter. They treated you like they hired you! I would suggest to them they pay you for the last party.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person stated, “Not really your problem, is it? Forget money. They didn’t even appreciate what you did. No sign of gratitude. Also, they stopped you from eating! How can there be less food but also leftovers? They sound ungrateful!”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another reader commented, “They can do a potluck instead. You were treated horribly, and with the amount of work and money it took – I’m not surprised you refused to do it again. Being family shouldn’t mean people get to take advantage of you.”