Parenting in the modern world is an overwhelming concept. It seems to divide everyone from psychologists and politicians to scientists and salesmen, leaving the parents themselves with a terrible headache as a result. How can anyone live up to such expansive and conflicting expectations? As Zoe Williams explores, the madness begins before the baby has even arrived: hysteria is rife surrounding everything from drinking alcohol and eating cheese to using a new frying pan. And it only gets worse. The list of things you need to consider (as well as the things you never realised you needed to consider) is ever-increasing, and questions of breastfeeding, buggies, staying at home, schooling – and what your mother-in-law thinks you're doing wrong – take over completely. The task of raising a child has been turned into a circus of ludicrous proportions. Combining laugh-out-loud tales of parenthood with myth-busting facts and figures, Zoe provides the antithesis of all parenting discussions to date. After all, parents managed perfectly well for centuries before this modern madness, so why do today's mothers and fathers make such an almighty fuss about everything?