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The Other Mother 'Hysterical important moving wonderful' Sara PascoeI'm Jen Brister stand up comedian middle aged adolescent and recently a mum But not that mum – I'm the other one Confused Let’s back up a bit Two years ago my partner a woman – we're not solicitors gave birth to twins Yes Yes Already there’s a lot to take in here gay mums twins solicitors I know Believe me I’m still reeling myselfLike every new parent I had absolutely no clue what I was doing Add ‘gay’ and ‘non biological’ to the mix and what do you get Not a weird box of detergent but a panicked beige lesbian desperately googling ‘Will my babies love me’ at 3 amStand up comedian Jen Brister takes a very funny very honest look at life as a parent from IVF awfulness to crying over the pages of sleep training manuals As ‘the other mother’ she has the perfect vantage point for us to laugh and cry alongside her This book is the perfect gift any parent who feels they don’t fit the mould of a traditional 24 family

10 thoughts on “The Other Mother

  1. Michael Legge Michael Legge says:

    Shame he dies in the end

  2. Rachel Rachel says:

    I'm very generously giving this three stars I really liked how the book started It got boring and repetitive in the middle I feel like it was less the other mother and this is parenting

  3. Dabarai Dabarai says:

    I first saw Jen Brister performing stand up in the Vauxhall Tavern in the summer where she mentioned her book first I loved her style loved her jokes especially those about family so I thought I would read the book Although Jen Brister's perspective on motherhood is different from mine I totally enjoyed her story of the lows and highs of parenting from broken biscuits the constant boredom of solitary walks and playgrounds to the constant worry that we are somehow not enough this book is funny truthful and full of anecdotes that instantly make you feel better about your attitudes towards parenting and people who give you unsolicited advice and comments Oh and also Perfect Mothers Perfect Mothers of perfect Children who love uinoa and sleep through the night Yup you all know them So if you want to find out what it is like to become a parenting unit who needs to tackle not only the day to day mundane challenges of raising your kids but also needs to deal with loads of other issues see unsolicited advice and comments read this book and instantly feel better

  4. Jade Delafraye Jade Delafraye says:

    Brister’s experience through parenthood is written in a hilarious and catchy way It’s hard to put down once you’ve started An eye opener for those who do not yet have kids and a pioneering non fiction book about a two mother family setup but in the end this book is about parenthood above all else whatever form it comes in

  5. Lauren Jones Lauren Jones says:

    It is important to point out before I start this review that I don't actually have kids but I do a work with children and b enjoy reading so those are my main ualifications for this book reviewThe first thing I'd like to say is that for the full experience of this book you really need to watch some of Jen Brister's comedy first try this one She has such a distinct way with words that once she's in your head she will continue to narrate not only the rest of the book for you but probably the rest of your life You're welcomeI really enjoyed this book From the first few lines everything about it is drenched in the love that Brister so obviously has for her family which is beautiful The way she writes highlights her love for them even when at times things are uite literally shitty and you just can't underestimate how heartwarming and reassuring that is From the perspective of someone who doesn't have children I can't comment on the love between a parent biological or not and their offspring but what I can say is that Brister talks about relationships and forming bonds with people in general in a very candid and accessible way that leaves you feeling less alone whether you are dealing with nappies and NCT groups in your day to day life or not She demonstrates the importance of support the importance of being true to how you feel and of course of finding the humour in any given situation or at least being able to find it a few years down the lineI like the fact that she is so open and honest in what she says and I think that how she writes is completely different to what you will have read before whether that be in non fiction books such as self help books or parenting guides or just listening to her do her stand up There is a new level of honesty that is reached when you talk about your children's shit in black and white printed bound and on sale to the masses And I think that's a testament to her confidence and competence as a parent that she is happy and feels secure enough to be able to talk about that like how aware she is of her own limitations and how she uses not only her weaknesses but also her strengths to make you feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel I can't begin to imagine how hard it must be to raise twins regardless of any other hurdles or added complications that may come with anyone's personal situation whether that be through IVF conception or prematurity or parental disagreements uite frankly this book has given me a deeper appreciation for not only the parents that I work with but also of literally any parent that I see pushing a pram down the high street Also there are definitely elements of this book that will work in a contraceptive capacity for many teens out there So definitely bear that in mind as a secondary use for this frankly hilarious take on what it means to be a parent in the 21st century

  6. Tony Tony says:

    Didn't know a lot about Jen Bristow before listening to this book Knew she was funny and am fairly sure I knew she had at least one son having caught part of a set she did on Live At The Apollo For what this is worth also knew she was part of a group of comedians I instinctively like a pal of Sara Pascoe Sarah Millican Suzi Ruffel and Jessica Fostekew This book explains a lot about her life than I knew Yes she's a mother of as it happens twin sons now around 4 or 5 years old but the meaning of the title is that she's a lesbian in a committed relationship whose girlfriend was the bio carrier of the boys so Brister has always seen herself as their 'other' motherFrom that premise Jen Brister gives a lot in this book a lot of honesty a lot of laughter some of it fairly dark a lot of appraisal both of herself and her girlfriend Chloe the process of IVF the whole tedious conversation about the family dynamic initiated by cishet folk on a monotonous and regular basis about the myths the truths the bullshit woo pressures of being a parent to two kids simultaneously and about doing it a slightly later on the human energy curve than might be ideal she was 40 when the kids were born and is strikingly honest about the energy sapping reality of that and b while struggling to turn herself from a barely self supporting circuit comic and responsibility repellant into a savings possessor known name in comedy and responsibily facer upperBottom line it's a book which in no way sets out to make her especially likeable but through which her likeability seeps anyway almost against her will It's a book of laughter logic and love which gives the hearty finger to pretentiousness and guff which frankly feels like just the right mood with which to scream towards 2020 Recommended this one If you're a parent some of it will strike shivers of remembrance or cameraderie fown your spine If you're not you'll still enjoy it while feeling slightly smug Have a dip into Jen Brister's life of motherhood it'll make your life better

  7. Hannah England Hannah England says:

    Stand up comedian Jen Brister’s first novel focuses on her experience of entering motherhood with her partner Chloe Once Jen and Chloe have agreed that they would like to start a family they begin making the hundreds of decisions every parent to be faces with a few extras thrown in for being a gay couple One of these decisions was that Chloe would undergo fertility treatment and when their twins are conceived Jen finds herself launched into the role of ‘the other mother’ Not the birth mother not the biological mother not the adoptive mother but something otherBeginning with the couple’s early days together and ending as their boys hit four The Other Mother is an honest thought provoking read From sperm shopping to the sleepless nights from hell from the frustration of weaning to the mess of potty training Brister writes about her experiences in a way that made me laugh out loud The difference between this book and other parenting books peppered with comedy is that Brister talks openly about navigating the added complexities of parenthood when you are ‘other’ Within the hilarity believe me there are some absolute corkers there is an important message about the fears we have as parents however we may have become one The blurb on the back cover says Brister has desperately Googled ‘will my babies love me?’ at 3am; and I think many parents whether they fit the mould or not will be able to relate to Brister’s own hopes and fears A fantastic read and one I’ll go back to again and again

  8. Joanna Pearl Joanna Pearl says:

    Comedian Jen Brister is having a baby but she's not pregnant she's the other motherThis light and humorous book take us through Jen and partner Chloe deciding to get pregnant and their lives until their offspring turn four I won't give too much away but life throws Chloe and Jen a bit of an extra surprise and as a child free person I was amused by her 'no shit' approach to well shitI do have to say I might avoid this if you're pregnantThere's also a serious side to this autobiography What is your role as the other mother not the one who gave birth and how do you reconcile your own choices with the opinions of a pretty conservative world?Jen Brister writes amusingly and this is a gentle read I picked it up and put it down over a week and it was an amusing bedtime diversion into very different livesPs I particularly liked the description of holidays I now appreciate their true worth without kids

  9. Lesley Lickley Lesley Lickley says:

        If anything that you read in the media is anything to go by a family that consists of two mums or two dads is not something that we should be telling young children is normal I urge anyone with these views to pick up and read this hilarious touching and realistic book Jen Brister is a stand up comedian who lives with her partner Chloe in Brighton As they both approach forty they decide to start a family Anyone who has had children will recognise so many scenarios in this book I loved the time Jen changed a nappy in a cubicle when her son had pooed up his back We've all been there well not actually THERE in that particular cubicle but you know what I mean I would recommend this book to all mums dads mums and mums or dads and dads It's hilarious but at the same time so true to life it brought back memories of things that happened to me when my son was born and that can't be a bad thing

  10. Michelle B Michelle B says:

    The Other Mother is an absolutely wonderful book about Jen’s experience of motherhood through the ups and downs of IVF and then the first four years of the twins lives Jen’s absolute pure love for her twin boys shines through on every page The behaviour exhibited by the twins in the first 18 months of their lives; it is amazing that Jen can tolerate them let alone adore them in the way that she does But seriously the honesty with which Jen writes is absolutely refreshing She does not hold back at all about her feelings and the ups and downs of parenting and all that it entailsJen’s honesty when writing is just superb and it is that which makes this book so uniue and with her wonderful humour it is such a brilliant readThanks to NetGalley for a Kindle copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

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