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

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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."

296 pages, Hardcover

First published May 8, 2014

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About the author

Jerry Mahoney

9 books18 followers
Jerry Mahoney loves books ― reading them, writing them, and especially ruining them. He has written for and ruined television shows, newspapers, magazines, and the Internet. He is excited to finally be ruining something as beloved as fairy tales. He lives in Los Angeles with his husband, Drew, and their very silly children.

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5 stars
73 (47%)
4 stars
56 (36%)
3 stars
18 (11%)
2 stars
7 (4%)
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0 (0%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 31 reviews
18 reviews2 followers
May 6, 2014

I know, I know -- I'm a biased reviewer since I am lucky enough to be married to the guy who wrote this book -- and I'm, perhaps, a little-too-close-to-the-subject-matter, but I'm also relieved because it just saved me years from having to try (on my own) to recount the story of how we decided to become parents relying on my dim-witted brain. (Jerry is a much more reliable witness to the process.)

I think what Jerry has done was turn a very personal story and elevated it to a big, funny, messy, hilarious roller-coaster ride (which is saying something because I don't usually like roller coasters!).

Even though I knew the outcome all-too-well, the book felt suspenseful, nerve-wracking, emotional and uplifting (and I like 'uplifting' about as much as I like 'roller coasters').

It's a fast, conversational read that reminded me of the best elements of Augusten Burroughs, David Sedaris, David Leavitt and Sidney Sheldon. And I mean that Sidney Sheldon piece as a compliment.

(And to the other goodreads reviewer who thought I came off like a 'psychopath,' watch your back -- your suspicions may be right. And my first target: goodreads reviewers!)

Profile Image for Melissa Klug.
94 reviews1 follower
March 30, 2014
Sometimes you get the major win of "the right book at the right time," and for me, this is that book. As I'm currently in the middle of my own surrogacy adventure, this book was perfect for me--BUT I think it's a great read for a wide variety of audiences, and will find fans in people who have no direct ties to a situation like theirs. It is a charming, sweet, and funny story of two dads and their quest to have a family via a surrogate. Mahoney is a great writer, and he manages to find the humor in even the most difficult and dark times of this complicated journey to parenthood. While I'm typically not a crier while reading a book, I found myself tearing up several times while reading--although I'm admittedly not at the top of my game right now from a hormonal balance perspective, I think that's a testament to the way Mahoney manages to tell his family's story.
Profile Image for Laona.
12 reviews1 follower
April 2, 2014

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

This book was 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 will be purchasing this book for our collection, but I will be recommending it to as many people as I can.
Profile Image for Gregory James.
1 review1 follower
May 7, 2014
I read this book in two days, and while that may be common for you voracious readers, I usually take two months but I could not put this book down. Somehow Jerry Mahoney manages to balance LOL scenes with tender moments with ease. It really is unlike anything I've read before. Cannot recommend highly enough, and you can thank me after you read for yourself.
March 26, 2015
I can’t remember the last time that I read a book in two days. I felt a compelling stake in the story since two of its key players are connected to a community that I have spent the last twenty years serving. But this Jerry guy was all new to me. I had been following his hilarious blog “Mommy Man” and could identify with his parenting ups and downs. But in the book, the reader is invited to get to know him on a much more personal level: growing up with him as a teen, seeing him come out of the closet as a gay man, and finally falling in love with his super hero husband Drew. Jerry’s laugh out loud humor is tempered with poignant life lessons such as, “Don’t prank about anything you dream about because you are then left with the realization that your dreams are a joke.”
We quickly learn that Jerry and Drew are “awesome” as are the monumentally valuable players that help construct the backstory of their precious children. Through the selfless love of Drew’s sister Susie and their amazing surrogate Tiffany, what one originally thought would be a forever complicated situation, melted into a natural, familiar and beautiful bond within this unique, new family. Some of my favorite supporting characters were the very human and somewhat conflicted friend Bernie and the SLAP IN THE FACE baby shower planner Jessica. I was laughing out loud when the “industrial supply fashion model fell in love with his “curled up lump of dough, mushy and under baked” son Bennett. Jerry is a fine story teller and I loved sharing this beautiful snapshot into his life.
Profile Image for Louise.
925 reviews286 followers
February 2, 2014
The title of this book is a bit of a misnomer because it's mostly about how the author's early gay life from coming-out to meeting his current boyfriend to meeting his surrogate and then finally meeting his children. When I read the title, I thought it would be more about the childcare part, but maybe I was wrong.

On a whole, this was an entertaining and enjoyable read. Mahoney has a way with describing people and awkward situations that made me chuckle. Unfortunately, maybe because I'm such a cynic, but I had a hard time believing that Drew and his sister were really all that wonderful and generous. Especially after reading the Psychopath Test, I couldn't stop wondering if Drew was maybe a psychopath if everyone found him so charming.

The book had a couple of touching parts that made me tear up now that I'm also a parent. It definitely opened my eyes to the difficulties of adopting when you're part of a gay pair -- something that didn't really occur to me before. It made me frustrated about how many children needed adopting but how close minded some countries or agencies were about it.

After I finished the book, I couldn't help but imagine how awkward it would be if you were one of the people who were portrayed in a negative light in this book.
Profile Image for Jennifer Lavoie.
Author 4 books59 followers
February 24, 2014
This book was simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking. There were moments I was laughing out loud, and then five sentences later bawling my eyes out. In this absolutely unforgettable book, Jerry Mahoney documents the trials and tribulations he and his partner Drew face when they decide to have children. It's more than that, though. Jerry tells readers briefly about growing up and coming out as gay, meeting Drew, and their journey together. So really, it's a love story. It's a love story between two fantastic men and how their love goes beyond them to the children they want. It's heartbreaking because of the difficulties they face in getting pregnant, and then the joy when they finally have their children.

All I can really say is read this. You will not find a funnier or more heartbreaking story of two people putting together a family.
Profile Image for Alina.
Author 5 books2 followers
May 9, 2014
If you thought you knew what it takes to have a child, think again! In his new book, Mommy Man: How I Went from Mild-Mannered Geek to Gay Superdad, Jerry Mahoney takes readers inside the lives of modern couples and their struggles to start a family in this day and age. Humorous, yet chock-full of in-depth information, Mommy Man is the must-read for parents-to-be, and for those trying their chance at parenthood. For the intended audience, Mommy Man is the perfect gift for Mother's Day, and any other day of the year.
Profile Image for Kari.
696 reviews26 followers
May 12, 2014
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.
Profile Image for Melissa.
54 reviews
September 4, 2016
Full disclosure: I know these people. I like these people. My daughter adores the children whose conception and birth story is told in this book. All that said, I loved this memoir. From Jerry's no-fireworks coming out story, to dating failures, to meeting and falling for Drew, and finally bringing Sutton and Bennett into the world, the book is incredibly sweet, funny, and candid. I wiped off tears many times. Families come in all shapes and sizes, and they come together in all sorts of different ways. I loved reading this particular family's story.
Profile Image for Kalen.
578 reviews80 followers
February 7, 2014
You'll laugh, you'll cry.

I knew how it ended and still, I couldn't put it down, wondering what was going to happen next. Jerry is a great writer and I really enjoyed reading his family's story.

(And as always, I don't give star ratings to books I'm working on.)
Profile Image for Debby.
86 reviews3 followers
January 2, 2015
I won this book through Goodreads First Reads program, however, the review is all me.

Jerry Mahoney tells a very serious story, in a not so serious way. While it may have been hard at the time he was living it, he retells the journey he and his partner took in having a child with humor. I've never really wanted children so it was hard for to relate to their yearning, but I enjoyed the book all the same, and it really got me thinking. I pondered the idea of donating eggs after this, to help another gay couple ( or straight couple with difficulties conceiving) make their dream come true. The tale was a bit long, but it wasn't a straightforward quick story either. There were a lot of bumps in the road and I like how he shares his emotions but, puts that spin on it, so it never gets too serious.
Profile Image for Amber.
50 reviews
June 3, 2014
I received a copy of Mommy Man: How I Went from Mild-Mannered Geek to Gay Superdad as a part of the LibraryThing Early Reviewers club.

Let me just start by saying I loved this book. It was really fabulous, incredibly funny in some places, incredibly heart-warming in other places.

This is the story of Jerry’s life. It includes small sections on growing up, finding himself, and how he met his partner, Drew. It goes on to include how they decided to become parents, and going through finding a surrogate and an egg-donor, and generally through the whole process.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good laugh and enjoys a great, quick read. I read this book in less than a day!
Profile Image for Lisa.
4 reviews
June 2, 2014
First: I received this book for free through Goodread First Reads

Second: I was excited when I won this book because I am a fan of the author's blog and was really looking forward to reading this story. Having read the blog and knowing there was a (spoiler alert) happy ending helped with some of the more tense nail-biter scenes. Not that you have to have any prior knowledge to enjoy this book! All you need to know is that this book will make you laugh one minute and cry the next. At least thats what I experienced. I found it to be a beautiful story, wonderfully written, that left me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.
Profile Image for Tommy Paige.
1 review
May 24, 2014
It was around 11am when I started reading it... A little over 12 hours later and I had finished. I couldn't put it down. I read so obsessively my son kept sighing in the background. I cried, hyperventilated, felt that pit in your stomach with the bad news, and felt relief with the good news. I laughed so hard I scared my daughter. I went back and reread chapter one out loud to my husband and had him spellbound. Jerry is a fantastic writer with a spellbinding story of love and loss, setbacks and follow through.
Profile Image for Ashley Jonas.
39 reviews3 followers
October 22, 2014
This book was adorable! I read it in less than a day. I sometimes like to choose books that are a little out of my usual reads (yoga, personal development, happiness, etc) and this was a great pick. It was a great escape from my regular routine. To be honest, I picked this book off the new shelf at the library because I thought the cover was cute. Kudos to the illustrator! The author did a great job illustrating the difficulties of same-sex parenting, but at the same time keeping it light-hearted and silly.
Profile Image for Debbie Manning.
52 reviews5 followers
June 17, 2014
I really enjoyed this book. I was very lucky to win it. The story draws you in, and really makes you care about Jerry and what happens to him. Like everyone else, he has plenty of ups and downs in his life, but what's really special, is the way he handles them. It's a story about a man and his relationships with some very interesting people. His dating stories made me laugh out loud. This really was a "good read".
Profile Image for Jo.
360 reviews8 followers
September 1, 2015
Mommy Man: How I Went from Mild-Mannered Geek to Gay Superdad is a story that is becoming more common each year as two same-sex partners seek parenthood options. The humor expressed in the book makes it a funny one and one I enjoyed.

My thanks to Jerry Mahoney & Goodreads First Reads Giveaway for my copy of Mommy Man: How I Went from Mild-Mannered Geek to Gay Superday.
9 reviews
April 3, 2016
I loved it!

I started this book at 5pm and finished at midnight, it's that good. It's an awesome and amazing story of a family happening. I laughed through most of it then it was like I was living it. There's nothing more incredible than parenthood and I was delighted to read the story of Jerry and Drew and their children.
July 6, 2014
This book is awesome and hilarious. A true testament to what family is all about, unconditional LOVE. I haven't read a book that pays tribute to the bond of family as much as this since Mario Puzo's, The Godfather.
Profile Image for Jeny Quine.
2 reviews1 follower
July 13, 2014
A wonderful book for anyone who has taken the crazy journey to parenthood, no matter what path you chose - traditional or non-traditional. Funny and touching!
Profile Image for Turi Becker.
408 reviews24 followers
July 17, 2014
Absolutely five stars. Hilarious and heartwarming. Made me laugh and choked me up. And Jerry, if you're reading this - all-caps Jessica completely cracked me up. Brilliant.
Profile Image for Sarah.
164 reviews3 followers
August 18, 2014
Such a heartwarming and hilarious book. I probably cried through the last 50 pages. A must read.
850 reviews9 followers
January 1, 2015
An excellent book for anyone who wants to laugh and cry along with the author's journey through surrogacy. Jerry and his partner Drew had some detours and difficulties on their way to having the children they had never dreamed of as young gay men, but *spoiler alert* they ended up with an adorable set of fraternal twins. The road wasn't easy but Jerry looks back on it with humour and thankfulness.

I highly recommend this book even if you don't have children.
Profile Image for Bryan.
821 reviews6 followers
December 2, 2015
This story was lovely enough for me to overlook the fact that I never quite clicked with the author's sweet yet dorky sense of humor. A fast, touching read. (I had to deduct a star for that "practical joke" at the beginning though-- it was actually pretty offensive and I didn't care for the fact that that went unacknowledged)
832 reviews
February 5, 2016
When Dave and Jerry's biological clocks start ticking, they investigate various methods to make their dream of family come true. They choose gestational surrogacy often witty, the trails of the process become very clear.
When Dave and Jerry's biological clocks start ticking, after investigating various methods, they choose gestational surrogacy to make their dream of family come true.
Profile Image for Tienyin.
51 reviews1 follower
July 12, 2014
A cute book in the theme of Dan Savage's "the kid" and BD Wong's "following foo". Ultimately not as funny as Savage or as heartrending as Wong, but still a really good read and an interesting account of yet another way families are made.
Profile Image for Lindsey.
714 reviews1 follower
February 20, 2016
3.5 stars. Pretty good, but got pretty long. I really thought more would be about after the kids were born.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 31 reviews

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