I am here to let the world know that I loathe Target. Admittedly, I need to probably stop taking my kids with me when I go, then the happiness Target brings may actually find me. But, when I do find myself at my local store with my two children (ages 4 and 6 months), I usually experience some truly awful remarks. I am finally here to beg you, please say something nice to a Mom at Target!
In the case that you cannot find a place to start, I offer up these suggestions based on my real-life encounters in the last 4 years of motherhood.
Instead of saying, “Wow, I am so glad my kids are much older…” perhaps you can say, “You are doing great Momma! I see how hard you are trying, and you look like you are a great & loving mom to those adorable kids of yours.”
I was recently checking out with a lot more in my cart than I originally imagined. I was doing my best to balance my 6 month old on my hip while she cried out with hunger pains. At the same time, I was delicately trying to explain to my 4-year-old how important it was that he always stay near me and to not venture off. I was also dreading the 100+ degree walk I was about to do out to the car. In the midst of all that, emotion welling up inside me, the clerk and the customer behind me both expressed how much they hated the little kid and baby stage and wouldn’t go back to it for any money in the world. In that moment, I would have been so encouraged to hear someone compliment me for really trying to be a good Mom. I craved acknowledgment and wanted to be seen and validated. Please try to validate a Mom when you can. You really never know how it could change her day.
Instead of saying, “You really shouldn’t leave your basket unattended. It isn’t a smart move…” perhaps you can say, “Can I offer you an extra hand or bring your cart closer to you? I would love to help you out in any small way that I can since I am here.”
No joke, I got lectured in the middle of the kids’ shoe section as I tried to make sure my toddler didn’t knock anything over or run around aimlessly. In my efforts to keep him close and safe, I left my basket at the end of the shoe section unknowingly. A man came over to make sure I knew what a mistake I had made by leaving my cart unattended and made sure I acknowledged him verbally. In the amount of time that he took giving me more than a finger-wag, he could have gently scooted my cart closer to me and I would have thanked him profusely. I could have used anything but a lecture at that point, and I collapsed into a puddle as soon as I could run out of the store and get into the car.
Instead of rolling your eyes or sighing loudly, perhaps you can give a knowing glance or a gentle pat on the back.
You cannot know what a Momma is going through on a given day. Any small interaction you can have with a Mom, make her feel seen and encouraged. It costs nothing but a couple seconds to give someone a pat on the back and tell them “good job” or “your kids are adorable!” There is a chance that she hasn’t had adult interaction in hours or days, and you could really make a difference in her day.
Being a mom is hard and rewarding all at the same time. The pressure that we are under is immense at best, so can we please make Target a happy place for ALL people, especially moms. BECAUSE I FIRMLY BELIEVE THAT MOMS NEED TARGET THE MOST!