Mother of a Mother

The birth of us

Marilyn Eliza
Human Parts
Published in
6 min readSep 7, 2023


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At 31, my mom became pregnant with me. At 31, I became pregnant with my daughter. Like Russian dolls, we are three generations inside of each other.

While I was pregnant, I learned that as my daughter was growing so were her potential future children. When a baby girl grows in utero, her ovaries and all of her eggs are forming, too. Two generations are forming at once.

The choices, circumstances, and experiences of each generation have their reverberations.

Dear mom, can you tell me how this all goes?

A mother is born. I stare into my daughter’s dark blue eyes and wonder what it was like when my mom stared into mine.

I stress over my daughter’s runny noses and wonder what it was like for my mom to tend to mine. I read the books, I went to the appointments, and I checked the boxes — but nowhere was there a warning label that having a daughter would make you question what kind of one you were.

No one told me that once I became a mother, the relationship I had with mine would change — that I would question the kind of mother she was.

My mom wore a cheap perm with highlights. It was the early nineties. She was beautiful, but she was self-conscious. She said her hair was too thin and that the curls made it appear thicker.

My mom bought her clothes from the clearance racks at JCPenny, but she could afford better ones. My mom had no friends outside of her family. My mom was married, but my dad wasn’t around. My mom dreamed of having a family. She had two sons, and then, a daughter.

My favorite memories with her are the early ones — even though they feel vaguely sad like all the color was stripped from our surroundings. But through all the black, white, and gray was my mother and I, together. It was her and me… it was me and her. We always had each other.

She worked a lot, but she’d take me with her often. We’d drive around on her lunch breaks. We’d go to the drive-through coffee stand, then Wendy’s, and then, the furniture store. I’d sip hot, hot coffee through two tiny straws and we’d look for furniture we were never going to buy. The sales…



Marilyn Eliza
Human Parts

Leveraging psychology to thrive in everyday life & motherhood. BSc Psych | MPH