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When I Married My Mother: A Daughter's Search for What Really Matters-and How She Found It Caring for Mama Jo
     

When I Married My Mother: A Daughter's Search for What Really Matters-and How She Found It Caring for Mama Jo

4.5 9
by Jo Maeder
 

Jo Maeder was an ambitious DJ in New York City when she did the unthinkable: she moved to the Bible Belt to look after her frail, estranged mother, who had long been a source of intense frustration. Maeder's tumultuous journey from simply living with “Mama Jo” to learning to truly love her not only changed Maeder's life, but also was the

Overview


Jo Maeder was an ambitious DJ in New York City when she did the unthinkable: she moved to the Bible Belt to look after her frail, estranged mother, who had long been a source of intense frustration. Maeder's tumultuous journey from simply living with “Mama Jo” to learning to truly love her not only changed Maeder's life, but also was the catalyst for pulling her long-fractured family together again. Though often rocky, their “marriage” was a triumph that taught her about life, faith, and what really matters.

With an estimated 34 million informal caregivers in the United States today, more and more adult children are finding themselves in similar circumstances. Poignant and refreshingly funny, Maeder's story will resonate with this vast audience, providing an informative and inspirational roadmap for compassionate elder care.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Northwest Observer, 4/10/09
“Takes an honest yet upbeat look at one family’s experience with intergenerational living and dealing with an aging and dying parent. It’s a story designed to evoke both laughter and tears.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780306817953
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
04/07/2009
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author


Jo Maeder was a DJ on New York's and Z100, and has written for the New York Times and More magazine. She lives New York.

www.jomaeder.com

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When I Married My Mother: A Daughter's Search for What Really Matters-and How She Found It Caring for Mama Jo 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
margaret123 More than 1 year ago
Sometimes books can really change your life. When I Married My Mother by Jo Maeder is one of those books. First, the title got me by asking, "What does that mean?" and then once I realized what it was about, I knew I had to read it. What got me hooked was that Jo had a tenuous relationship with her mother. I have had one with my step-mother, too. She was the only mother I knew since my mother died during my birth. I could go on for hours how my step-mother was "not what I wanted in a mother," but I won't. What I did ask myself is: if Jo can heal a relationship with her mother, why can't I? While I was reading the book, I brought it on a visit with my step-mother. She asked what I was reading and I told her. As I remembered Jo's magic with her mother, something shifted in me, and I realized my old way of thinking needed to leave so my step-mom and I could created magic, too. It worked! It was a huge leap into trying to heal a deep wound. It became a magical weekend from then on. And as I left, she said to me as she hugged me tightly, "I can't ever remember having such a good weekend with you as I did this time! You know I am going to miss you." I almost fell over! I had never heard those worlds before. When I Married My Mother is written with insight, humor, and honesty. I think everyone who has a "mommy" issue could grow from Jo's wisdom. As she says, "If you're not right with your mama, you probably won't be right with anyone." I have thought about that one sentence for awhile now. It has brought me to action to change my ways; as really I am the only one who can change any situation I have problems with.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
With tenderness, honesty and humor, Jo Maeder tells the bittersweet tale of the extraordinary journey she shared with her aging mother-and the emotional transformation each underwent-as Jo saw her vulnerable yet dynamic mother through the final years of her life. What many would see as the ultimate sacrifice, Jo embraces as the ultimate gift. Utterly charming.
Ariesgrl More than 1 year ago
One New Yorker DJ and one elderly, aging woman living in the heart of the Bible-loving south are being reunited thanks to life. Jo decides to leave her home to head south to care for her mother, despite all of her friends and family begging her not to go. Looking back now, Jo would never change those final few years with her mom, since that short time taught her more about life than she had ever learned before. This is an emotional tale of a woman coming to terms with her broken home past and how it is affecting her present. This is a heart-warming tale with laugh-out-loud moments that provide a break from the serious monotony of caring for an aging parent. Jo Maeder perfectly balances the intricate line of finding laughter during difficult times. This is a must read for everyone woman in the world. Notes: This review was originally written for My Sister's Books. This review was originally posted on Ariesgrl Book Reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must read for every daughter! Well-written, compelling, touching.  I couldn't put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mother-Daughter-Book-Club More than 1 year ago
As a successful Manhattan radio DJ, Jo Maeder led what many would consider a glamorous New York City life. Yet when it became increasingly clear that her mother could no longer live on her own in the home she owned in Virginia, Jo made a choice to leave the city and move with her mother to North Carolina, where they would be near her brother and his new wife. While that's the basic story behind When I Married My Mother: A Daughter's Search for What Really Matters-and How She Found It Caring for Mama Jo, there is so much more to be told in this memoir from author Jo Maeder that makes it remarkable. Jo's parents had separated when she was a teen, and she moved away from her mother to live with her dad and brother in another state. Even before then, she didn't feel close to Mama Jo, who collected dolls and hoped her daughter would share her passion. She didn't. Over the years, Maeder and Mama Jo didn't find much to connect them. So Maeder's decision to give up her friends and the life she had lived in New York for so long to care for Mama Jo was anything but easy. Complicating the decision was the fact that Mama Jo was a hoarder; her home was a jumble of worthless trash that needed tossing and precious family heirlooms that Jo wanted to hold onto. And Maeder, who was not particularly religious, was moving to be near her brother who, like many people who lived near their new home, was. When I Married My Mother will strike a chord with anyone who has wondered what she will do when an aging parent can no longer care for herself. Who in that situation would not worry whether she is willing to or capable of changing her own life for an unknown future? Jo's story is very personal in its specific details, but it's also universal in the questions it asks us to consider: What will I give up if I care for my mother? What will I gain? How will my life change? Will it be worth it? Readers have a glimpse of Maeder's ultimate conclusion to that last question in the subtitle of her book: A Daughter's Search for What Really Matters-and How She Found It Caring for Mama Jo. But she doesn't sugar-coat the difficulties she encounters in adjusting to her new life, and she doesn't present herself as the perfect daughter. She also continues to question where her new life will lead her. Above all, Maeder gives her readers a look at what is possible when you open yourself up to choosing differently than you ever thought you would. This book has stayed with me since I've finished reading it, and I think about it often. I've been recommending it to my friends as well as on this site. I believe part of the reason it had such impact on me is because so much of what I read directed to adults caring for elderly parents is about how to make the unbearable bearable. Maeder's experience makes me believe it can be more than that. Certainly Maeder was unmarried and had no children when she decided to take care of her mother, but she had a vibrant life. She chose to fit caring for her mother into it, and she is happy with her choice. Most parents take joy in ushering their children into this world; Maeder has given us a way to find joy with our parent even when helping them leave it. I believe mother-daughter book clubs with girls aged 16 and up would appreciate When I Married My Mother.
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