Mommy Man

Mommy Man : How I Went from Mild-Mannered Geek to Gay Superdad

4.26 (151 ratings by Goodreads)
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As a teenager growing up in the 1980s, all Jerry Mahoney wanted was a nice, normal sham marriage: 2.5 kids and a frustrated, dissatisfied wife living in denial of her husband's sexuality. Hey, why not? It seemed much more attainable and fulfilling than the alternative-coming out of the closet and making peace with the fact that he'd never have a family at all.

Twenty years later, Jerry is living with his long-term boyfriend, Drew, and they're ready to take the plunge into parenthood. But how? Adoption? Foster parenting? Kidnapping? What they want most of all is a great story to tell their future kid about where he or she came from.

Their search leads them to gestational surrogacy, a road less traveled where they'll be borrowing a stranger's ladyparts for nine months. Thus begins Jerry and Drew's hilarious and unexpected journey to daddyhood.

From then on, they're in uncharted waters. They're forced to face down homophobic baby store clerks, a hospital that doesn't know what to do with them, even members of their own family who think what they're doing is a little nutty. One thing's for sure. If this all works out, they're going to have an incredible birth story to tell their kid.

With honesty, emotion, and laugh-out-loud humor, Jerry Mahoney ponders what it means to become a Mommy Man . . . and discovers that the answer is as varied and beautiful as the concept of family itself.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 296 pages
  • 164 x 238 x 27mm | 562g
  • Lanham, United States
  • English
  • 1589799224
  • 9781589799226
  • 2,168,953

Review quote

Comedy writer Mahoney, author of the Mommy Man blog, answers the question, "Just how do two gay men become dads?" in this uproarious look at the world of surrogacy. Mahoney's prologue is written in the form of a letter to his future child explaining that the circumstances of the child's birth sound like a veritable "adventure story." He recalls his closeted teen years in the 1980s, when "being a gay teen, like totally sucked, dude." Later, his coming out proves to be painless, and after a brief period of awkward online dating, he meets his boyfriend Drew, whose conversational skills and generosity help the couple through many difficulties on their path to parenthood. Once they choose surrogacy over adoption, Mahoney enters the period he refers to as "the spermification of my life," when "suddenly everyone I knew felt comfortable discussing the flagellating residents of my man junk." Over $100,000 must be collected; Drew's sister agrees to donate her eggs and the couple finds a terrific surrogate. Months of medical miracles and close calls follow, interspersed with humorous asides about Prop 8 and registering for a baby shower. By the end of this touching book, the proud dads feel that they are the luckiest people alive. * Publishers Weekly * Comedy writer Mahoney struggled with his gay identity while growing up and, after settling into his career, stumbled through the process of coming out. He'd long ago conceded that it was unlikely he could ever merge his desire for a life as an openly gay man and having a family life. Then he had the good fortune, after a torturous introduction to gay dating in L.A., to find a loving partner equally interested in being a parent. The couple set about actually trying to have a family and learned of the numerous obstacles facing gay couples. They decided on gestational surrogacy with donated eggs to avoid genetic ties and legal controversy. Thus began a two-year process filled with ups and downs, from being interviewed to determine their suitability to interviewing to find the right egg donor and surrogate, with friends and family on hand to witness every setback and triumph. The roller coaster of drama and comedy ends in the birth of their twins. Mahoney is equally heartfelt and hilarious in this chronicle of modern parenthood. * Booklist * Mommy Man is the story of Jerry and his partner Drew and how they got together and decided they wanted to have kids. They chose surrogacy and I enjoyed the discussion of the fertility issues because I have several friends who have done IUIs and IVF as well as some LGBT friends who have adopted or used sperm donors. The story pretty much ends with the birth, so it's not about parenting as much as it is about becoming parents. I really did laugh and cry while I was reading it. I read this on Mother's Day and it was a perfect reminder of the miracle of life. * Through A Glass, Darkly * Mommy Man: How I Went from Mid-Mannered Geek to Gay Superdad follows the author's life, from his teen years in the 1980s to his marriage to a wife willing to overlook the fact that he was gay. Twenty years later he was living with his long-term boyfriend-and wanting parenthood. How he and his boyfriend made choices that would lead him to become a father makes for an engrossing-and unexpectedly funny-saga that embraces the complexities of surrogacy and parenthood, mixes in a healthy dose of gay perspective, and ultimately succeeds in creating a warm, memorable and personal story recommended for any general interest reader interested in gay parenthood. * Midwest Book Review * It's rare these days that I find the time to read a book, never mind get lost in it, but that's exactly what I did with the hilarious and poignant Mommy Man. Before I knew it, two hours had passed, and I'd completely fallen in love with Jerry and Drew. I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a book so much! -- Jill Smokler, New York Times bestselling author of Confessions of a Scary Mommy and Motherhood Comes Naturally (and Other Vicious Lies) Hilarious, self-deprecating, and honest. Jerry Mahoney makes it easy to laugh and root for him at the same time. -- Karen Alpert, New York Times bestselling author of I Heart My Little A-Holes Jerry first stole my heart with his New York Times 'Modern Love' essay on finding an egg donor to make him a daddy, so I was thrilled to have a chance to read the whole story. This memoir is astounding, hilarious, heartfelt, and everything I was hoping it would be. I finished it in three sittings (and I have three kids)! -- Stefanie Wilder-Taylor, author of Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay and host of Parental Discretion on NickMom Mommy Man is more than just a story about two remarkable men attempting to start a family. It's also a true-life testament to the power of kindness, of doing the right thing in a world that frequently asks you to be indifferent. When these remarkable family members-some bonded by blood, others not-come together and selflessly make choices to help those they love, the result is a moving and ultimately hopeful account. Also, it features the worst April Fool's joke ever conceived in recorded human history. -- Drew Z. Greenberg, writer/producer whose work includes Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He is not the Drew in this book. You must read this book. Jerry Mahoney's gift is not just the surprising, moving and hilarious story he tells, but the voice in which he tells it. Compassionate but biting, funny, warm, and most of all, honest, Mahoney makes you wish he would sit down and tell you stories about every one of his life experiences. Luckily, in this book, he has shared many. As Mahoney takes you on his journey of growing up gay in the eighties, coming out in the nineties, and having a child in the new millennium, you realize-it is so rare to read a voice that is both able to disarm and surprise in a single sentence. His tale captures the bravery and terror of being on the frontier of social conventions, medical advances, and family relations . . . if that story were told by the love child of Woody Allen and David Sedaris, as raised by John Hughes. Regardless of your sexual orientation or the number of children you have (or don't), it is impossible not to get drawn in to this unpredictable, joyful, and hilarious ride to parenthood. The rites of passage seen through Mahoney's lens are so fulfilling, you feel like you're eating your veggies and downing a box of Milk Duds at the same time (but not in a gross way). This is a story you will want to share with everyone you know-they will thank you for making them laugh out loud, and won't even realize, until the end, that they've just read a story about the true meaning of family. -- Victoria Strouse, screenwriter and television writer whose work includes October Road When I reported on Jerry's story for the Today Show, I told him I couldn't wait for the book. Finally, it's here. Mommy Man should be required reading for every parent in America-and, in turn, passed on to their kids. Mahoney paints a touching and hilarious portrait of family, selflessness, and the labor of love. His very modern family is totally unique, yet in many ways, it's every family. This book should be in every home. Next stop, Hollywood. -- Robin Sindler, producer, NBC Today This book reads like a comedic coming of age tale, a harrowing adventure saga, and a romantic love story all at once, but the heart and humor lies in the fact that it's a beautifully and brightly crafted memoir. After reading Mommy Man, I want Mahoney to be my dad, my best friend, and my husband all at once! -- Sascha Rothchild, author of How to Get Divorced by 30 Who says the romantic comedy is dead? Here comes Mommy Man. Jerry Mahoney's search for love and family is hilarious, smart, and in the end-profound. This odyssey to create what most people take for granted-family-is humbling, laugh-out-loud funny, and tear-jerking good. I loved this book. -- Susan E. Isaacs, author of Angry Conversations with God This book [is] absolutely wonderful-it takes an incredibly skilled writer to make us roll on the floor with laughter through the many tense moments along the way to daddy-hood. There are many opportunities to read adoption and surrogacy stories, but this is the first time I wished I could be there with the author and his partner throughout their odyssey. As the Bio/Memoir Collection Development librarian for our library, not only will I be purchasing this book for our collection, but I will be recommending it to as many people as I can. -- Laona Fleischer, librarian, Oak Park, Illinois It'd be impressive enough if Jerry Mahoney had just written a smart, sweet, touching book about building a family, but somehow, he's also written one that's hilariously funny at the same time. Mommy Man belongs on the same shelf with Dan Savage and David Sedaris, unless you're one of those weirdos who sort your books alphabetically. -- Tim Carvell, head writer, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
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About Jerry Mahoney

Jerry Mahoney is an award-winning comedy writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times and Westchester Magazine and on the Lifetime Moms website. He's the author of the popular parenting blog Mommy Man: Adventures of a Gay Superdad, which was named one of the Top 10 Humor Blogs by He lives in New Rochelle, New York with his husband, Drew, and . . . well, the rest is quite a story.
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Rating details

151 ratings
4.26 out of 5 stars
5 47% (71)
4 36% (55)
3 12% (18)
2 5% (7)
1 0% (0)
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