It has been close to 23 years since I held a 40 hour a week position. During those 23 years I sometimes wondered if working would have been easier than staying home. During my stay at home days I was faced with wondering if I what I did at home mattered. Many times my days felt like someone who stayed on vacation too long and had lost their will or my days were spent doing nothing but laundry and putting babies down for naps. Somedays I would wonder why I had gone to college and I would dream about the girl I once thought I was. During my stay at home days Target became my second home. A place to dream, to get away from responsibilities and yet feel like I was not being irresponsible (I mean I WAS "running errands"....). As my kids got older I would take each of them with me to my "get away" I mean run errands and would spend my time going down aisles learning about who they were becoming. As they became teenagers it felt easier to learn them at Target then looking them in the eye over a serious conversation. Today I still miss those sweet moments. I used Target when they were all young too. When your kids throw a fit at Target no one cares. In fact other mom's just look at you with an "I know how it feels" look. Sometimes a mom would walk past saying, "Damn nap time" :) because we all just got it in the aisles of Target. When we did not have much money I would go to Target and let the kids play down the toy aisle. I usually left with the cheapest toy on the shelf. Or I would let them each find one pair of shoes they really wanted. They would each excitedly look through the boxes for their size of shoe. It seems like yesterday in some ways. Sweet darling memories of each of them saying, "Can I get these?"
It never really was JUST about Target. I mean don't get me wrong I love that you can find "cool" things at a good price. I love that they put Starbucks at the front door. I love that they set up their patio furniture so you could sit and dream about what it would look like in your backyard. But I realized it was a place that as a mom you could just "go to". It was safe because no one asks you if they can help you. No one looks at you strange for just walking the aisles deep in thought. No one expects you to look your best. No one questions you if you have been there too laughing on the phone with your best friend. Sometimes I would go to the exact department my best friend was in at Target and we would talk Phoenix to Seattle each in the patio section. :) I never felt strange if I was alone there, I never felt out of place. And in fact many times I would make eye contact with my own kind (another wondering mom) and know I was not alone. My sister in law loved Target too and so many times I would get a text, "Are you here?" It's funny because I always knew where here was... Seeing other mom friends wondering the aisles of Target was just part of the experience. Leaning on our carts as if it was holding up the world we would share how we were doing in life until one of the kids would say "Mom! Let's go." In fact I kinda hated to see men at Target. I almost feel possessive of the store like "oh brother what are THEY doing here?" I never minded seeing sons but grown men in Target kinda bugs me to be honest (haha no seriously). When I see a grown man in Target I find myself thinking, "why can't you just stay home or go to Home Depot? This is "OUR" store." I kinda think that is why men don't really go to Target or love Target as much as girls. Jeff complains every time he walks into Target. He says something like this, "come on hurry up, this place takes so long to just run in and out of." I don't hate him saying that in fact I like it. :) These days I find myself alone at Target more than I used too but on some occasions my girl Jess will call me now and say, "shall we meet up at Target?" I love that. I need less from Target these days than I used too. I have more escapes but Target will always be a special store for me.
But now that I am working 40 hours a week I look back on my Target days with such love. I realize now that it was a place where I grew up and found myself as a mom. I know that sounds strange and it might not be how everyone feels but for me the red Target sign reminds me of my four darling children that each had a part of leading me to a deeper understanding of life, love, and the meaning of the simple things in life. Target gave me my own personal experience apart from Jeff, a place to figure out how to be an independent mom.... Funny how all of that can happened at a ordinary little store...
This entire blog was suppose to be about my adjustment to working and all I could think about was Target and my Target memories. Next time I write it will be able the stay at home mom becoming a professional woman... :)