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How to Survive Your Kids: 10 Semi-Serious Tips

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​Kids are exhausting, y'all. Scratch that. Much like cigarettes and booze, kids'll kill ya. In a sweet, I-wouldn't-trade-it-for-the-world sort of way, of course.

Looking for ways to make it through parenthood? I'm your gal, coming at you with ten semi-serious tips for how to survive your kids.

1. Hide out in the bathroom as often as humanly possible. Some people may call this "neglect," but I like to refer to it as "successfully making it through another day without killing anyone." In all seriousness, though, getting away and enjoying a moment to oneself is critical to surviving parenthood. Make sure you do it at least once a day, even if locking yourself in the loo for five minutes is the only way to accomplish this.

2. Stock up on wine. Or beer. Or thirty-year-old scotch. Whatever gets you through the tough times. Even if booze is not your thing, a nice cup of calming tea or a vitamin-packed fruit smoothie will do the trick as well. As long as it serves to lift your spirits (pun intended), treating yourself once in a while is always a must-do for harried parents.

3. Go get your hair did. If that's not possible, how about getting your makeup done? Your muscles massaged just right? When the stress of keeping kids in line and alive reaches code red, you've got to pamper yourself. Think of the splurge as health insurance -- for yourself and your offspring.

4. Say yes to date night. What is this foreign concept of which I speak? Well, it can be anything, from a romantic dinner for two to an afternoon stroll through Target sans ankle-biters. It doesn't matter where, when, or how; what does matter is taking the time to nurture your partnership with the one who helped you get into this mess in the first place.

5. Hoard all the chocolate. Well, maybe not ALL the chocolate, but some once in a while. It's not considered a comfort food for nothing. Chocolate triggers the release of oxytocin, also known as the feel-good chemical, in the brain. And it's exactly what the doctor ordered for parents nearing the end of their ropes. (Even if they have to sneak in the closet to enjoy it.)

6. Do the sex. I know you're tired, and I know putting on the slow jams sounds about as appealing to someone who hasn't showered in three days as exfoliating one's nipples with a Brillo pad. But like cocoa, it'll also release that oxytocin and make you feel good. Real good. Heck, you could even eat some chocolate while you do it.

7. Exercise. I'm certain you just delivered a virtual slap to my face, but I'm serious. Expending energy will actually help you gain more of it. I don't care if you buy yourself a treadmill or practice twerking in front of the mirror to '90s gangsta rap while the kids nap -- as long as you're doing something, you'll feel infinitely better prepared to tackle whatever those kids throw at you.

8. Get together with other parents to complain. Brunch, lunch, a late-night, backyard bender with the neighbors. Wherever and whenever you have the opportunity, swap war stories with other parents also in the trenches. In addition to the catharsis a good vent provides, knowing you're not alone affords you the strength to get up tomorrow and do this parenting gig all over again.

9. Take up knitting dog sweaters. Or scrapbooking. Same thing. The point is, you've got to get yourself a hobby -- other than the kids. Engaging in something that's just for you is not only important to your mental health, but it's also good for your children to see that you have passions outside of them. It'll inspire them. Or at least help you forget that someone's jamming emery boards in your electrical outlets for an hour each day.

10. Remember to breathe. No, seriously. All that child-rearing can take a toll on the primitive brain. 

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.