The parenting manuals to make you feel like a shit parent

UNSURE how this whole parenting thing is done and looking for reassurance? These parenting manuals will each undermine your confidence in a different way:

The continental earth mother

Relax, learn to put your child’s needs first, breastfeed them until they’re six and spend hundreds of euros on educational wooden toys from a sophisticated nation like France, Germany or Norway. Never stop your child from making a foul mess with paint, mud or your hopes and dreams.

The know-it-all psychotherapist

Investing in a manual by a qualified medical professional, backed up by scientific research, means you can be fully confident in the knowledge that you are f**king up your child no matter what you do. It’s all your fault for not having infinite time and patience.

The ‘real mummy’

No qualifications, no theories, simply an enthusiastic and kind stay-at-home Mummy who just happens to be a talented cook, keen crafter, and abundant fountain of energy and joy. One day of trying to parent like her and you’ll feel so bad about your failings you’ll stick your head in the Little Tikes oven.

The working woman who’s never had kids

If you want to be told it’s definitely ok to put yourself first, this is the book for you. But you’ll need to switch off all empathy to leave your kid crying and screaming until they calm, and once it’s off you may never care about any other person ever again like she clearly doesn’t.

The witty pisshead

Reads less like a parenting manual and more like an overly honest account of a frolicsome piss-artist’s descent into alcoholism and despair. But by God is Boozy Mumsy a good laugh! Here’s hoping nobody calls social services on her because those outrageous anecdotes are comedy gold!

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Have you got Seasonal Affective Disorder or is this the worst winter ever?

GREY days and long nights making you blue? You might be suffering from SAD, or this might just be the worst f**king winter of any of our lives. Find out: 

You’re listless, depressed and it seems like there’s no point to anything. How long have you been feeling this way? 

A) Since around the end of September
B) Since around the beginning of March

What’s getting you down the most?

A) The short days, the long nights and the lack of natural light
B) The lockdown, being unable to see family or friends, unable to go the pub, impending financial ruin, the certain knowledge it will all go on for much longer than it has to because the government can’t do anything right, and it being a bit dark I guess

Have you become less sociable?

A) Yes, because the nights are drawing in
B) Yes, because it’s illegal

Have you struggled to concentrate at work?

A) Yes, it can be hard to focus on invoices when the weather’s so miserable
B) Yes, it can be hard to focus on invoices when there’s a plague racking up hundreds of deaths a day

When do you think you’ll feel better?

A) Probably when it starts brightening up in spring
B) When everyone’s had the vaccine, there’s a decent Brexit deal, Boris goes, billions in government debt gets forgiven and I can hug my mum again


Mostly As: This sounds like a classic case of Seasonal Affective Disorder, so get yourself an SAD lamp and order some vitamin D supplements from Holland & Barrett.

Mostly Bs: The good news is you haven’t got SAD, but the bad news is you’re right and everything is f**ked. Get yourself an SAD lamp and use it to grow weed.