Instant Mom Info

Want to find out why is it important to have a good relationship with parents? Or simply how to improve your relationship? Check out our top books reviews for Family Relationships, Parenting, Family Activities,Special Needs and so much more. Find answers about Instant Mom by Nia Vardalos and only download it when you feel like it. Read&Download Instant Mom by Nia Vardalos Online


In Instant Mom, Nia Vardalos, writer and star of
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
, tells her hilarious and poignant
road-to-parenting story that eventually leads to her daughter and
prompts her to become a major advocate for adoption.
 
/>Moments after Nia Vardalos finds out she has been nominated for an
Oscar for the screenplay for My Big Fat Greek Wedding, she is
alone and en route to a fertility clinic, trying yet again for a chance
at motherhood.
 
Vardalos chronicles her attempts to have
a baby, and how she tries everything—from drinking jugs of green
mud tea, to acupuncture, to working with two surrogates. Finally, she
and her husband, actor Ian Gomez, decide to try adoption and discover a
free service: Foster Family Agencies. Then one day, the social workers
"match" her with an almost-three-year-old girl, who she knows,
instantly, is her daughter.
 
With her signature wit and
candor, Nia Vardalos reveals what really came next—the truth of
how she and her husband transitioned a preschooler into their home.
Vardalos opens up about the bawling-tears and belly-laughter that all
make up what it means to be...a parent.


Average Ratings and Reviews
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4.12

3708 Ratings

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Ratings and Reviews From Market


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Reviews for Instant Mom:

5

Mar 06, 2013

I wish I could say a personal thank you to Nia Vardalos for this book. Normally I would rather not meet any authors because I will just embarrass the both of us, but I'd risk it here because really, I would like to shake her hand and buy her a drink. She has done so much for foster care with this book. Instead of retreating into silence after an excruciating personal path to motherhood, Vardalos realized the boost her public position could provide for foster care, and she boosted.

With our first I wish I could say a personal thank you to Nia Vardalos for this book. Normally I would rather not meet any authors because I will just embarrass the both of us, but I'd risk it here because really, I would like to shake her hand and buy her a drink. She has done so much for foster care with this book. Instead of retreating into silence after an excruciating personal path to motherhood, Vardalos realized the boost her public position could provide for foster care, and she boosted.

With our first homestudy visit this week I devoured the book, highlighting like crazy and sending blocks of quotes to my poor, long-suffering (and non-mom) friend. It’s just an amazing book about motherhood, period. Vardalos’ description of the nights after her 3 year old daughter came home were so reminiscent of bringing our infant son home. You don’t know their eating patterns, their sleeping patterns, their routines, or what their amazingly varied cries mean. You feel like you cannot possibly be fit to be a mother when you don’t instinctually know these things, yet somehow you both work it out.

I was reassured by the similarities in our fost-adopt journeys. Vardalos frequently mentions the sense that her child is already out there, a powerful (and for me, new-agey AKA slightly unsettling) feeling that I’ve been experiencing. I know the time that is going into this is time that is needed to make sure that we are matched with our child, who I can sense out there the same way I sensed a baby in my womb.

I also really appreciated her treatment of the fostercare stigma in this book. One of the worst things for us about being open about our fost-adopt journey has been the “you’re so brave” comments, or worse, the “I could never do that” and/or “are you sure you know what you’re getting into?” comments. People vary from nominating us for sainthood (we’re not saints. This stems from an inherently selfish desire to expand our family), to pre-memorializing us for when we are inevitably murdered in our sleep. Vardalos rebuts, with her trademark humor:

“I’m wondering why as a society some of us are afraid of what an adopted child might do to us, when it was the Menendez brothers who shot and killed their biological parents. Not adopted. Shot their parents while they slept. Shot them. Sleep tight, everyone.”

When talking about the “issues” adopted children are supposed to have, Vardalos points out that there’s no reason to think a child will have issues because they are adopted. They will have issues because people do. Vardalos did. You did. And I did. I would like to add to her point that while all children have issues not all parents have the support system of therapists, advocates, case workers, and doctors behind them that foster parents do. I’m better equipped to be a parent now after putting in all the training required than I was from merely giving birth.

And their first meeting with their daughter. Oh wow.

A powerful, funny, beautiful book. Thank you, Ms. Vardalos! ...more
4

Jul 30, 2018

Nia Vardalos, mom and adoption advocate (oh yeah and screenwriter, actress, voiceover artist, etc) tells the story of adopting from the state system. First there is backstory on her career and struggles with infertility, but then the focus is on the process, challenges, and triumphs of the fost-adopt process. What I loved are the little sparks between the child and her new parents, and the funny things they find they have in common. Nia is very honest about the transition period. And how about Nia Vardalos, mom and adoption advocate (oh yeah and screenwriter, actress, voiceover artist, etc) tells the story of adopting from the state system. First there is backstory on her career and struggles with infertility, but then the focus is on the process, challenges, and triumphs of the fost-adopt process. What I loved are the little sparks between the child and her new parents, and the funny things they find they have in common. Nia is very honest about the transition period. And how about this cover! ...more
4

Aug 07, 2014

I picked this up at the library on a whim. I'm not even sure why outside of the fact that I liked 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' and Nia Vardalos seemed to be a nice girl with talent. Oddly enough, I have practically no interest in parenting, adoption or children as I, myself, knew from an early age that I definitely did not want children ever. I look at parenthood as one of life's most thankless tasks. I know I am the exception rather than the rule. I have never regretted not having children. I I picked this up at the library on a whim. I'm not even sure why outside of the fact that I liked 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' and Nia Vardalos seemed to be a nice girl with talent. Oddly enough, I have practically no interest in parenting, adoption or children as I, myself, knew from an early age that I definitely did not want children ever. I look at parenthood as one of life's most thankless tasks. I know I am the exception rather than the rule. I have never regretted not having children. I enjoy my nieces and nephews and I enjoy 'giving them back.' But I know that many women have a deep rooted desire for children that almost seems biological if there is such a thing. Nia was one of these women and could not conceive even through fertility treatments, etc. This is basically the story of her desire to be a mother and how she succeeded in realizing her dream. Lo and behold, I really enjoyed it. She writes well in a chatty manner and I felt sad and happy for her every step of the way. Sad when she was faced with so many obstacles she didn't think she would ever be a Mom and happy when she finally prevailed after a decade of trying. It's refreshing to hear someone overjoyed at the way things turned out and know how blessed they've been. I like her even more after reading this!! ...more
4

Apr 12, 2013

As an adoptive mom, I come to this book having lived a lot if it. I am a non Greek, married to a Greek man & lived the whole big, fat Greek wedding. What I appreciate so much about this book is not just the humour and sensitivity of the very sweet & grounded nia vardelos, it is the courage that it took to write so honestly about her infertility struggle & the tough transition of her daughter to their family. This is a feel good book but it doesn't stint on the toughness needed to As an adoptive mom, I come to this book having lived a lot if it. I am a non Greek, married to a Greek man & lived the whole big, fat Greek wedding. What I appreciate so much about this book is not just the humour and sensitivity of the very sweet & grounded nia vardelos, it is the courage that it took to write so honestly about her infertility struggle & the tough transition of her daughter to their family. This is a feel good book but it doesn't stint on the toughness needed to parent & how worth it all is. I loved this book & it brought back my own joy at meeting my two children for the first time - 13 years later, they are still my purpose for being. ...more
5

Apr 07, 2013

This book was outstanding and I found it to be very candid and refreshing. I wish it were being marketed differently because it is more than an adoption "how to" guide. I think everyone should read it as an honest glimpse into the world of foster care and foster adoption which is often portrayed as so negative and fear-inducing by the media.
4

Mar 19, 2013

A warm, funny, and incredibly likable memoir of Nia Vardalos's experience becoming a mom through the U.S. foster system (adopting a little girl who was nearly 3). Her huge love for her daughter shines through every page of the book - and honestly, I think this book and her experience could sell almost anyone on the idea of adoption through the foster system! - but she's also very honest about the real challenges they faced in their adjustment period after the adoption, as well as about the pain A warm, funny, and incredibly likable memoir of Nia Vardalos's experience becoming a mom through the U.S. foster system (adopting a little girl who was nearly 3). Her huge love for her daughter shines through every page of the book - and honestly, I think this book and her experience could sell almost anyone on the idea of adoption through the foster system! - but she's also very honest about the real challenges they faced in their adjustment period after the adoption, as well as about the pain and depression of the 10 years beforehand that she'd spent trying to become a mom through various other methods.

I liked it a lot, and I'd recommend it whether or not you have any interest in adoption for yourself. (I don't, personally, but that didn't stop me relating to the writer and enjoying the whole book a lot.) ...more
4

Mar 02, 2013

I loved, loved, loved this book! I'm a mommy (biological, foster and adoptive), Nia is spot on when she describes the heartache, bitterness, jealousy, a despair of infertility and the adoption process. Absolutely, hilariously spot on. We're in the middle of this process again and I really needed to read her words. I devoured this book because it was so comforting to know I'm not alone. Highly recommended for anyone who has fostered or adopted, or wants to foster/adopt, or who knows someone who I loved, loved, loved this book! I'm a mommy (biological, foster and adoptive), Nia is spot on when she describes the heartache, bitterness, jealousy, a despair of infertility and the adoption process. Absolutely, hilariously spot on. We're in the middle of this process again and I really needed to read her words. I devoured this book because it was so comforting to know I'm not alone. Highly recommended for anyone who has fostered or adopted, or wants to foster/adopt, or who knows someone who has fostered/adopted or who has ever thought about fostering/adopting. Or if you have a loved one struggling with infertility or going through the adoption process.

Just basically everyone. :) ...more
3

Sep 02, 2013

I want to give this a 3.5, but I can't decide if it's just slightly better than a 3 or slightly worse than a 4. The beginning and the end were slow for me, and were very memoir-y, which was ironic because she kept talking about how she never wanted to write a memoir. I loved what she wrote about her journey, though, the actual adoption process, and I burned through the middle 170ish pages before it slowed way down again. She's a pathological humble-bragger, even when telling "embarrassing" I want to give this a 3.5, but I can't decide if it's just slightly better than a 3 or slightly worse than a 4. The beginning and the end were slow for me, and were very memoir-y, which was ironic because she kept talking about how she never wanted to write a memoir. I loved what she wrote about her journey, though, the actual adoption process, and I burned through the middle 170ish pages before it slowed way down again. She's a pathological humble-bragger, even when telling "embarrassing" stories to make up for all the accidental bragging she'd done. She has some great stories, and I would have preferred it if she'd just acknowledged them without having to pretend that her life isn't anything special. It's like she's insecure about not being an A-list celebrity, so she has all kinds of celebrity stories, but has to keep reminding us that don't worry, she knows she's not that famous. Anyway. For anyone who's interested in adoption, or who wants to read a good memoir about a painful and ultimately beautiful journey, it's worth the time (even if you end up doing some skimming). ...more
3

Apr 03, 2013

Good for Vardalos for using her celebrity to highlight foster care and adoption.
5

Apr 04, 2013

AMAZING! This is so beautifully written: it's a funny and gut-wrenching book about hope and optimism. I'm not a mom or married but I completely related to this book about tenacity and the pursuit of happiness. I have always looked up to Nia Vardalos as a person who gets things down, who admits she's human and makes mistakes. Her autobiography is so honest and I recommend it for everyone. It's an instant classic, you will love it.
3

Jul 02, 2013

Nia Vardalos chronicles her heartbreaking experience with infertility and her eventual decision to adopt through the foster care system. The first half of this book was compelling and so difficult to read if you've known anyone who has struggled with infertility. I admired her decision to take a child from the foster system who needed a home rather than paying thousands of dollars for an infant, which she probably could afford as an Oscar-winning screenwriter. The second half of the book walks Nia Vardalos chronicles her heartbreaking experience with infertility and her eventual decision to adopt through the foster care system. The first half of this book was compelling and so difficult to read if you've known anyone who has struggled with infertility. I admired her decision to take a child from the foster system who needed a home rather than paying thousands of dollars for an infant, which she probably could afford as an Oscar-winning screenwriter. The second half of the book walks through the early days of helping her daughter transition to a new home as an almost three year old. The very end of the book lost a little steam, only because she spends so much time talking about all the things her daughter was accomplishing. She deserves the right to brag a little after all she had been through, but it's not as compelling of a read and instead the kind of thing you'd rather hear from a friend over coffee. Still, this was fun and quick. My brain can't handle anything too serious these days! ...more
5

June 8, 2016

It was really lovely to hear about her experience adopting and becoming a mother. This book is funny, insightful, and brings more light to adoption from the US foster care system.
4

Apr 15, 2013

I read this book in one day. It made me laugh, it made me cry. There were some very helpful, down to earth information for anyone who is interested in adoption or foster care.
4

May 03, 2016

Funny. Loved the parts describing when her daughter first arrives. Very real but someone having a more exciting real life. Very relatable and I learned about adoption and had some laughs.
5

Apr 14, 2013

Funny and poignant with a side of practical information. This book was just great. I laughed and cried and had a hard time putting it down.
4

Apr 15, 2013

I enjoyed reading this book! Nia Vardalos has written a candid and heartfelt account of her journey to motherhood. Recommended for anyone interested in adoption, foster care or heartwarming stories.
4

Apr 16, 2013

I loved it! Nia is truly a gifted writer. She had me laughing and crying! This book really hits home with me since I'm in the process of adopting. I love hearing her feelings about her infertility and finding her daughter as well as the little pieces of parenting advise (although, she presents them more as stories and less as advise). I love her views on life and parenting!
4

Feb 17, 2013

While this isn't a brilliantly-written book, it is real and natural and honest, and that's refreshing. It's pretty much like any parent's blog or memoir, with a little more Rita Wilson and Sean Hayes and paparazzi. I liked Vardalos a lot on the page even though I know our senses of humor wouldn't mesh in real life (she acknowledges having an immature sense of humor, and I can't argue with her--not in the way she writes, but in incidents she talks about from real life). I haven't seen any of her While this isn't a brilliantly-written book, it is real and natural and honest, and that's refreshing. It's pretty much like any parent's blog or memoir, with a little more Rita Wilson and Sean Hayes and paparazzi. I liked Vardalos a lot on the page even though I know our senses of humor wouldn't mesh in real life (she acknowledges having an immature sense of humor, and I can't argue with her--not in the way she writes, but in incidents she talks about from real life). I haven't seen any of her movies, and I'd like to. The stuff about adopting her daughter is really nice but to be honest, I was most moved by how hard she worked and how persistent she was in order to get noticed in Hollywood and get My Big Fat Greek Wedding made. ...more
5

Jul 13, 2013

Oh Nia Vardalos, I love your book and your story. I spent the entire time I was reading this book asking myself two questions; Where has this book been all my life? and Why am I not besties with Nia Vardalos? This heart-warming and eye opening book is a must for everyone, especially anyone who can answer yes to one of the following questions:

-You are currently trying to conceive (TTC)
-You have gone through (or are currently going through) fertility treatments
-You want to adopt
-You love kids
-You Oh Nia Vardalos, I love your book and your story. I spent the entire time I was reading this book asking myself two questions; “Where has this book been all my life?” and “Why am I not besties with Nia Vardalos?” This heart-warming and eye opening book is a must for everyone, especially anyone who can answer yes to one of the following questions:

-You are currently trying to conceive (TTC)
-You have gone through (or are currently going through) fertility treatments
-You want to adopt
-You love kids
-You know someone with infertility or who is adopting/adopted children

Nia Vardalos (writer and star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding) and her husband Ian went through years of fertility treatments before deciding to pursue adoption. After discovering that adoption is not as easy or time- efficient as they expected Nia and her husband began looking into adopting through foster care. This book tells the story of how Nia and Ian found their beautiful daughter and how the process worked for them. Nia explains the differences between types of adoption, the resources available for those wanting to adopt and addresses many adoption concerns.

I could not put this book down. Every page reminded me exactly why we want to adopt through the foster care program. I found myself wanting to hand this book out to everyone we know so they can truly see the beauty to be found in the process and to allow them to more fully understand where we are coming from as a couple struggling to build our family. If you want to have your heart lifted, enjoy tears and laughter and truly understand the hearts of those dying to become parents please pick this book up today. ...more
4

Apr 04, 2013

I really enjoyed this book. I've been a fan of Nia Vardalos since My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It was great to read about how she got her start in comedy in Toronto and her subsequent career trajectory - all while negotiating fertility treatments, investigating adoption options and then ultimately adopting her daughter. Vardalos has become an advocate for the US & Canadian foster care systems out of which she adopted her child. The book is fresh, funny and honest - plus, for those looking to I really enjoyed this book. I've been a fan of Nia Vardalos since My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It was great to read about how she got her start in comedy in Toronto and her subsequent career trajectory - all while negotiating fertility treatments, investigating adoption options and then ultimately adopting her daughter. Vardalos has become an advocate for the US & Canadian foster care systems out of which she adopted her child. The book is fresh, funny and honest - plus, for those looking to adopt, it is packed with resources (Vardalos' insights plus and extensive appendix at the end).

I did have to take a few things with a grain of salt - some of her experiences with fostering-to-adopt seem a little too good to be true. And towards the end of the book, her gushing over her daughter started to wear a bit thin as did some of her laissez-faire parenting style that seemed a little passive aggressive (towards other people, not towards her daughter). There seemed to be a tiny bit of "fuck you, that's how my daughter is - if you don't like it, you can suck it" going on. While I think it's important to support your kids and not always be correcting them or apologizing for them, it would be nice to know that if we were all in a shared space, I wouldn't just get the middle finger from Vardalos if her child (or her dog who apparently peed in someone's picnic basket) did something inappropriate.

But aside from that nitpicking :) this is really an excellent book. A lot of people who write this kind of memoir could learn a lot (yay for whoever Vardalos had as an editor!). And it has certainly given me a lot of insight into the foster-to-adopt system. Definitely recommend for parents, fans of Vardalos and anyone who has struggled with fertility. ...more
2

Dec 10, 2013

I really wanted to like this book, and at first I did. I to am an adoptive mother, I wanted to read this book as we also adopted an older child and sadly I was disappointed.
I applaud Nia for writing about adoption and trying to bring light to a difficult subject. You can see she is very passionate about this issue and wants to educate people, so I can understand why she may have wanted to paint a very picturesque view of adoption.
Like any parenting situation there are good but there is also I really wanted to like this book, and at first I did. I to am an adoptive mother, I wanted to read this book as we also adopted an older child and sadly I was disappointed.
I applaud Nia for writing about adoption and trying to bring light to a difficult subject. You can see she is very passionate about this issue and wants to educate people, so I can understand why she may have wanted to paint a very picturesque view of adoption.
Like any parenting situation there are good but there is also bad and it's OK to talk about the bad as most or all have been through similar situations at some point biological or adopted.

I liked how honest she was in talking about her struggles to become pregnant and how hard IVF is, but also the way she talks bout how people treated her. THAT I could relate well to. I was hoping that this sort of honesty would be carried throughout the book, however I found it wasn't it was glazed over or missed completely; I felt I didn't get the full story.

I found the way she talks about her daughter at times nauseating, yes we are grateful to be parents but you don't need to grovel at their feet for making you a parent. Often you feel like your reading a fairy tail and not a true story, and it's here where she talks about some "sticky" parenting situations that I would have liked to of heard how SHE felt throughout that experience. Frustrated, happy, sad at her daughters behaviour/situation and not just so delighted in everything she did good or bad that what ever she did was just wonderful and sunshine and roses, as for in real life this is just not the case. I would of liked some honesty here like she displayed when talking about her experience with IVF.

I did like seeing the difference between the American foster care system and the Australian one, it was also to see that the advice her care workers gave her was completely the opposite to the advice we were given. I found that it was interesting to see two different views on parenting an adopted child.

I was hoping for a well rounded view good and bad not just some bad and mostly good, I'm glad that she adopted and is trying to raise awareness. A little less about her life and more about the adoption and being more honest about that period of time would have made for a better read for me.

...more
2

Dec 28, 2017

Between 2-3 stars. This was a very quick, relatively enjoyable read, and Ms. Vardalos is very likable. Her journey was interesting, but the book seems to lose steam and focus near the end and I felt like the last third was just filler.

Part of how I rate a book is based on how well a book accomplishes what it purports to do. That is, an investigative journalistic expose or analysis will have a higher bar than will a memoir. So, some books that have lower ratings may actually be better and more Between 2-3 stars. This was a very quick, relatively enjoyable read, and Ms. Vardalos is very likable. Her journey was interesting, but the book seems to lose steam and focus near the end and I felt like the last third was just filler.

Part of how I rate a book is based on how well a book accomplishes what it purports to do. That is, an investigative journalistic expose or analysis will have a higher bar than will a memoir. So, some books that have lower ratings may actually be better and more worthwhile books than some that have higher ratings. In this instance, part of the stated intent of this book is to raise adoption awareness and to provide information about adoption. But the book doesn't accomplish this very well, and is actually a bit dangerous in that multiple times Vardalos expresses the idea that 'love is enough' when taking care of children. This is not actually true that 'all you need is love.' There are many children who need more than that, and when people adopt traumatized kids and have the mindset that all they have to do is love them, the results can be disastrous for everyone involved and the children end up even further traumatized.

I am glad that it sounds like all has worked out well for this family, and it is a very happy adoption story, at least the way it is portrayed. I couldn't help but wonder, though about the background of her daughter, as some of the behaviors she described are the results of trauma, yet, she implies that there was little to no trauma in her daughter's case. (I don't mean this aspect as a criticism, because it would not have been appropriate for her to include her daughter's story for public consumption. It is a good thing she did not, but this does add to a feeling of simply not having enough information to really assess the situation.)

Another puzzling aspect of this book is Vardalos' adoption journey. She embarked on a multi-year journey into the adoption world, yet seems to have had little knowledge of it. I adopted during the early part of the time period when Vardalos was investigating adoption, and I don't understand why she had so little information and seemed incapable of obtaining more information. Before I adopted my son, I had no special connection to adoption -- no particularized knowledge, no 'inside track,' no wellspring of information that wasn't available to everyone else, and I managed to find information and adopt my son. She mentions international adoption, but kind of indicates that she got on some list and never heard anything. That simply doesn't make any sense -- during the time period she is discussing, there were multiple countries that had robust international adoption programs, and had she simply followed the steps, she absolutely would have brought home a child within a relatively short time period. So, I don't understand why she didn't go this route. (And she may have had very valid reasons not to adopt internationally -- even if she simply didn't want to. But this is never explained, and this point is a glaring omission in this story that is supposed to be all about adoption.)

All in all, this story is incomplete, and there is (for very good reason) a lot of information missing about her daughter. But again, this is dangerous in encouraging people to adopt (especially from the foster care system) who are not fully prepared to parent traumatized children. Yes, more people should adopt from the foster care system (although there are lots of issues within the foster care system that need to be addressed), but they can't go into it just with the information in this book, which partially bills itself as an adoption guide. ...more
4

Jan 30, 2018

Definitely one of the best books I've written by a celebrity. Of course, I may be a bit biased. Her adoption story is different than mine, but I felt like the feelings were all very similar. Although, I kinda felt like she held back a little on the negative, particularly when talking about her infertility and miscarriages. (I'm assuming it's because she's trying to appeal to all readers, and most people who haven't been through it would not get it at all.) I really enjoyed reading a positive Definitely one of the best books I've written by a celebrity. Of course, I may be a bit biased. Her adoption story is different than mine, but I felt like the feelings were all very similar. Although, I kinda felt like she held back a little on the negative, particularly when talking about her infertility and miscarriages. (I'm assuming it's because she's trying to appeal to all readers, and most people who haven't been through it would not get it at all.) I really enjoyed reading a positive adoption story and wish more writers would take note. ...more
4

Feb 18, 2019

A really candid, open and funny look at the struggles of infertility and adopting. Read because I love Nia's movie's and her attitude. It was sad, funny and so sweet. Though a bit bittersweet since she and Ian have divorced since writing.
3

Oct 07, 2019

I think its dated for not being that old in a lot of terminology/thought process on the human body I think it’s dated for not being that old in a lot of terminology/thought process on the human body ...more

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