The next time you're having one of those days caring for your motley crew, reach for one of these hilarious parenting books to take the edge off.

By Kristen Kemp
December 09, 2013
woman reading
Credit: OJO Images/ Getty

It's not fun to take parenting too seriously. Luckily, you don't have to. It was hard to pick just 10 of the funniest parenting books. I mean, I had to read -- and laugh -- a lot. But I did it. From Jenny Lawson to the veteran Vicki Iovine, here are the shoot-milk-out-your-nose hilarious books that you can buy for all of your pregnant friends. Or -- let's be honest -- just get them for yourself.

Let's Pretend This Never Happenedby Jenny Lawson

I'm just going to start with my favorite mommy book ever, from the achingly, sadistically clever creator of The Bloggess. Lawson doesn't always write about the daughter she had so much trouble carrying; a lot of the book is about Lawson's crazy childhood in Texas, where she once stuck her hand in a cow's vagina at school, and there's more to love when she mentions her tumultuous, long-term relationship with her ever-suffering husband, Victor. Lawson, potty-mouthed and obsessed with the zombie apocalypse, helps you see the warps of the world and the question mark of parenthood. This is for irreverent moms with a wacky sense of humor -- and maybe anxiety issues like Lawson's. "I'm the Wizard of Oz of housewives," she writes," in that I am both "Great and Terrible" and sometimes I hide behind the curtains."

Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnayby Stefanie Wilder-Taylor

In 2006, when the genre of mom-oirs (memoirs by moms) was fairly new, and the first mommy blogs were popping up, Wilder-Taylor, a comedian and TV producer, wrote this seminal, straight-up-hilarious book about parenting. She writes about sex and "lactivists" and baby classes: "Your baby doesn't need to be making friends at three months old -- you do! But not with the people you'll meet at Mommy and Me." Give this to your wryest, most cynical, and unwillingly sober pregnant friends. And check out Wilder-Taylor's new video show, Parental Discretion.

Confessions of a Slacker Momby Muffy Mead-Ferro

Fed up with the pregnant women who are already plotting their child's way into Harvard? Do you so not care if your baby gets into the Gifted and Talented program in middle school? This book is for you. The author grew up on a ranch in Wyoming, where parenting was hands-off -- and she believes that make-do moms are the sanest. Plus, she's wickedly funny: "I ended up choosing her preschool partly based on the fact that it was the closest to our house and would cause me the least amount of inconvenience when dropping her off and picking her up. I'm a busy person, what with all the laundry."

Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Picturesby Amber Dusick

Dusik's blog, Crappy Pictures, was named one of Parents magazine's funniest in 2012. She gets every messed-up aspect of parenting right. She shares several relatable stories about her kids' poop, her boobs, and family vacations gone wrong. Yes, the pictures are very crappy -- but they'll also make you laugh out loud. Dusick understands the power of seeing the silly side on those terribly long and difficult days we all have with young children.

Sh*tty Mom: The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Usby Laurie Kilmartin, Karen Moline, Alicia Ybarbo and Mary Ann Zoellner

Four moms who are TV writers and comedians take on the craziest parts of parenting. With chapters such as "The Tradition Must Die: Thank you Notes" and "Should You Stop Texting if Another Mom Yells at Your Kid?" they offer a wide breadth of real information presented in a light but surprisingly helpful way. This is for the mom who enjoys foul language and doesn't give a flip about political correctness.

Go the F**ck to SleepBy Adam Mansback

This bedtime book for adults (do not read it to the kids!) hit number-one on the best-seller lists right after it came out, and for good reason. You'll see so much of yourself in that you won't believe you didn't write it. Buy it now for pages such as, "All the kids from daycare are in dreamland. The froggy has made his last leap. Hell no you can't go to the bathroom. You know where you can go? The f**ck to sleep."

Daddy Needs a Drink: An Irreverent Look at Parenting From a Dad Who Truly Loves His Kids--Even When They're Driving Him Nutsby Robert Wilder

Sometimes, you can use the man's perspective. Wilder proudly and self-deprecatingly tells tales of life with his artist wife and their two kids. His love of fatherhood is infectious -- and humorous. He'll make you laugh while he imparts advice on topics including potty training, discipline, and his son's "phallic fiddling."

The Girlfriend's Guide to Surviving the First Year of Motherhoodby Vicki Iovine

Though written in 1997, this was the funniest and most reassuring motherhood book I read when I was pregnant in 2007. During pregnancy and when the baby arrives, there's so much advice that's baby-centered; this book all about what moms -- and our friends -- go through. Iovine makes you feel better about the problems you heard about but didn't think you'd have, like postpartum depression and difficult intercourse. This book is like therapy--with a large dose of humor--for just $12.

Confessions of a Scary Mommy: An Honest and Irreverent Look at Motherhood--The Good, The Bad and The Scaryby Jill Smokler

When this book came out, Smokler came to my town for an intimate and amusing party. She's just as wry and witty in person as she is in her writing and on her popular website, Scary Mommy. She's all about the confessions--everyone does things as a parent that she wouldn't want her grandmother to find out. Read about real moms who let their kids fall asleep in front of the TV and who do their son's homework. Have you questioned any of your parenting tactics? This book will make you feel better. Smokler writes, "Being a mom is dirty and scary and beautiful and hard and miraculous and exhausting and thankless and joyful and frustrating all at once. It's everything."


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