Ahhh parenting. Most people would say it’s one of the most challenging roles that one can take on in this world.
It’s me. I’m most people. Especially in the time of corona.
That said, it’s never boring. And, unlike most everything else, you can’t really train for it. Sure, you can try to prepare for it but you know what is said about best laid plans. Every pregnancy and child is different. I have a close friend with four children and each and every one of them have their own personality. Which means each one requires a different type of parenting.
Even though you can’t really prepare for parenting, there are some parenting books that try to help out along the way. Most mamas will get at least one copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting at their baby shower. However, you may be looking for funny parenting books that are a bit more humorous and a little less clinical.
Below you’ll find a list of funny books that touch on the most humorous aspects of parenthood. From pregnancy to the toddler age, to blended families, each one presents a unique perspective on this change in life. Most of this list is nonfiction; but there’s a few fictional novels thrown in there to try to balance it out.
That said, there is also a substantial lack of pregnancy and parenting books aimed towards mothers of color. This was highlighted in this Washington Post article. While it specifies Black mothers, the lack of diversity for anyone non-white is painfully noticeable. As such, this list may not be as diverse as I normally like. And I love a good mother story. Sometimes what gets me through the day is knowing that I’m not in this alone. If you know of any please be sure to let us know over on social media.
Funny Pregnancy Books
Pregnancy is an amazing thing. But even with all the doctors, midwives, or other birth plans one can have it is still scary. It’s nice to have a guide to help you know what to expect. It’s reassuring to know that whatever challenges you encounter, there is someone out there who shares your story.
The Mocha Manual to a Fabulous Pregnancy by Kimberly Seals-Allers
This book is a frank yet funny discussion about all the health issues that may concern a Black mother. Allers discusses things ranging from high blood-pressure to sickle-cell disease that may affect Black mamas. She also talks about how to deal with things such as changes to hair texture, which I personally had a lot of issues with, and meltdowns of a hormonal nature. I wish this book had been around when I had my son because I’m sure I could have been better prepared for a lot of the pregnancy and postpartum challenges I faced.
Misconceptions by Blue Daniels
Shortly after breaking up with someone only referred to as “Bad Habit,” Alexandria Stone finds herself in New York jobless, homeless, penniless, and pregnant with quadruplets. The only logical solution for her? To move to Atlanta and make Bad Habit fall in love with her. What follows is a nine-month journey as Alexandria hilariously tries in vain to set up her “perfect” life with the hand of cards she wasn’t expecting to get dealt. Fair warning: this is the first in a series so you will need to read more to have a resolution to the overall story.
The Brown Mama Mindset by Muffy Mendoza
I’m including this one because, even though it may not be as funny as some of the others on the list, I feel that the overall message is important for women. This is more about all the plates that women are still expected to balance when it comes to being a mom. Mindfulness plays a lot into this so if that is not your jam this may not be the book for you. But I still think that having this type of guide that helps you to intentionally work on centering yourself and then working to help your home and family is the type of time-out that all moms need.
Funny Parenting Books
These books highlight what comes after birth. Mommy groups, playdates, clamoring for just five minutes alone so you can pee in peace…we’ve all been there. And despite what Hollywood may tell you, that doesn’t necessarily end when the child hits 5 years old. In my personal observation and opinion, that is a struggle that you will have until they move out.
Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner
A story centered around four very different women with one thing in common: new motherhood. This story is one of Weiner’s most poignant as it really touches on the expectations that society and family members can have of women when they become mothers. It also shows how stressful this aspect of life can be especially when we have such high and unrealistic expectations of ourselves. Told in Weiner’s frank, charming, and humorous tone, this one is sure to both tickle your funny bone and bring a tear to your eye.
I Just Want to Pee Alone by Jen of People I Want to Punch in the Throat and Others
This originally started as one book and has been expanded into a series of seven funny parenting books. Chock full of essays from a variety of mothers from different backgrounds, these books are sure to ring true to a lot of moms and tickle your funny bone. The contributors are also well known for their humor, so this collection is sure to make you laugh so much you will need to pee, and hopefully are able to do it by yourself.
Being a Dad is Weird by Ben Falcone
Better known as the writer and director husband to Melissa McCarthy, this memoir is about Ben learning how to be a good dad to his two daughters. As he grapples with the fact that he is fast becoming more of a dad, he thinks back on the lessons that his own dad, Steve, taught him. While Steve’s approaches to life, and employment, may have been unconventional, growing up with him was never dull. I think all of us have felt that being a parent is weird and thought about our own upbringing and what eccentricities from our own parents we are passing along to our own children.
Bad Mother by Ayelet Waldman
I’m sure all of us parents have felt like a bad parent at one time or another in our lives. I know I have too many times to count. However, as mentioned earlier, not every child is the same. The same is true for every mother. It is our own insecurities and preconceptions that we have of what motherhood should be that enable us to allow ourselves and society to paint us in this light. It seems no matter what you do now, you’re a bad mom. Waldman breaks down those misconceptions with honesty and humor on what it takes to be a mother in this modern day and age and how, even if society, family, and friends think we’re “bad moms,” we need to have more grace for ourselves and realize that we are all doing the best we can.
I’ll preface this by saying that I am not a step parent. However, step-parenting is just as important as regular parenting, and that is a hill I will gladly die on. Most fairytales will have us believe that all stepmothers are evil and stepdads are lecherous. However, this is not an all encompassing truth. Being a step parent doesn’t make one evil as these funny parenting books serve to show.
Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby
Following up her first hit collection, We Are Never Meeting in Real Life, this collection of Irby’s essays are just refreshing and hilarious. This one centers on adjusting as a Black woman to her new role as a wife and stepmother in a small, white, Republican town in Michigan. She proudly claims the stepmother role and a good portion of the essays in this collection are about being a stepmother and the adjustment that can take. While the book may not be focused solely on that, the other challenges mentioned are something that almost everyone can commiserate with.
The Package Deal by Izzy Rose
Izzy Rose was a television producer happy with her singleton life in San Francisco until she fell in love. After saying “I do” she is whisked from San Fran to Austin, Texas, to learn how to juggle being a wife and stepmom on top of the fabulous career woman she already was. A funny and poignant memoir about these types of changes, this story is sure to resonate with anyone who has ever found themselves trying to balance multiple new roles.
The Not-So-Wicked Stepparent by Sherrie Mackelprang
A collection of personal experiences, this one stands out because Sherrie is speaking from experiences both as a stepchild and a stepparent. Both can be hard roles to undertake, especially as they both come with preconceived notions. Using humorous stories as well as uplifting quotes, Sherrie’s book is a good guide to help those who are about to step into the shoes of a stepparent.
Hopefully, one of these funny parenting books will help to make your journey down the parental path lighter and full of laughter. Because sometimes, in life and in parenting, that’s all you can do.