If Side Parts Are Out, I Don’t Want To Be In


The word is out. The middle part is in.

It’s all over the news, social media, even hairstylists are encouraging us to make the switch. Don’t feel bad if you missed the memo though. After all, we are still in the middle of a pandemic.

I repeat: we are still in the middle of a pandemic.


But, there are people in the world, mostly young people—God bless them—that are telling us that our side parts are…lame {gasp!}.

And I have to ask myself, is this really what our world has come to as mothers? Must we evolve our hairstyle or die with a side part?

We aren’t the first generation to debate whether to adopt the latest trends or continue on our merry way wearing our favorite mom jeans. Which, by the way, are back. And are hideous.

Countless generations of moms before us have endured—and somehow survived—the same dilemmas. I can hear the conversations now: “Marg, can you imagine going to the parlor and getting anything but your beloved bouffant?” and “Have you heard what the kids are using to straighten their hair!? IRONS! If Barbara lays one hand on my cherished iron…”

As mothers, we always have — and likely always will — struggle to stay on-trend while also looking our age.

And, it’s no surprise we struggle with this given the dramatic shifts in lifestyle that happen so rapidly in our early adulthood. One day we’re dancing on the bars until 2 am without a care in the world and the next we’re getting up early on a Saturday to hit our favorite car wash (ya know, the one with the good vacuums) before the line gets too long.

This transition seemingly happens in the blink of the eye.

And as much as we looked forward to the perks of adulthood and, eventually parenthood, it’s not always an easy transition. We still long for the days we shared a house with our girlfriends and took vodka shots as we jumped in a cab to go out for the night.

We daydream about what it would be like to have a Saturday all to ourselves. No sports. No kids. No husbands still trying to fix the leak under the sink.

While we long for our youth, we are also learning how incredible our thirties and forties can be.

As it turns out, despite what my RBF says, being a middle-aged mom isn’t the worst. Sure, I’ve got a side part, but I’ve got a lot more than that.

I’ve got little kiddos who give me butterfly kisses before bed. Speaking of bed, I’ve got a really f*cking comfortable bed. Like, really really comfortable.

I’ve got a 401k and a 529. I’ve established a career that, believe it or not, makes me feel fulfilled and rewarded. I even have a nice little savings account which means, now that skinny jeans are out, I can buy whatever jeans are in, if I really must.


And, let me tell you, it’s not just our side parts and skinny jeans that show our age. It’s the wrinkles.

And the grays that, as hard as we try to hide, multiply overnight. It’s the 9:30 pm bedtime, which we love. Speaking of things we love…tea!

Any kind really, but mostly Sleepytime tea. Worn slippers that fit our tired feet perfectly after a long day of work. The silence of our car. Documentaries.

A freshly vacuumed rug. I could go on all day, but the carpool line starts at 3:15 pm and you know I like to be first.

So, let me just say this. We’ve already worn the scrunchies. Back in the ‘80s, when they were cool the first time.

We’ve worn the big glasses and the curly hair. These things defined our childhood and that’s where we’re planning on leaving them.

We’ve done high jeans. We’ve even done low jeans. (Yes, it was as awful as it sounds.)

We’ve had bushy eyebrows, we’ve had thin eyebrows. Hell, I even had a pierced eyebrow.

But, with time and wisdom—so much wisdom we have—we’ve learned what works for us.

For me, the black yoga pants, tan Uggs, slightly greasy hair with too much dry shampoo, and yesterday’s mascara works. It’s not always pretty. It may not be on-trend, not anymore at least. But it works.

So, to the moms who are struggling with whether to try out the middle part, the baggy jeans or, God forbid, the crop top—whatever you do—don’t be ashamed of your side part. It makes you a beautiful, wonderful, middle-aged mom, which is right where we wanted to be all along.

This post originally appeared on Did I Leave My Straightener On? 



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