Finishing dinner while you put the little one to bed. Inviting your family out to eat and not picking up the tab. Sending an age-inappropriate gift for your toddler. Sound familiar? Dealing with rude in-laws is frustrating, hurtful and sometimes baffling. But don't allow them to defeat you! You're a born multi-tasker, able to change your son's dirty diaper while helping your daughter on the potty and at the same time pulling your hair back in a ponytail: You can handle this.
Confront a rude comment or you'll boil over like an unwatched pot of macaroni and cheese. After the kids go to bed, tell your sister-in-law you are upset she called your daughter "difficult." While you can't control how your sister-in-law reacts, you can attempt to nip hurtful words in the bud.
Focus on the positive contribution from grandparents. Think about the time your father-in-law taught your daughter a funny song or the family history your mother-in-law shares with your son. Your kids' relationships with their grandparents are more important than your frustration with the lack of help from your mother-in-law in preparing dinner last night.
Identify what a great prent your in-laws raised. You know -- that spouse of yours, who is giving your little princess a bath right now so you can watch the news? Even if a relationship with your in-laws seems irredeemable, they did raise the person with whom you are parenting your children.
Give your kids room to have their own relationships with their grandparents. Even when upset, don't say anything negative about your in-laws in front of the kids. Grandparent relationships provide stability and continuity for children. Your little ones learn to have a positive association with aging and gain a rich sense of family tradition through grandma and grandpa. Allow your kids to enjoy time with their grandparents, even if you do not.