To the Mom Who Vacations at Target

Before I begin, I need to say this. Dear Target, thank you on behalf of moms everywhere. You just get us.

“I think we are out of trash bags,” I said one evening to my husband after he came home from work. We had a three month old baby boy who was nursing, and I rarely got a break from him. I was a new mom, and it was just starting to sink in that maybe mom breaks were always going to be a rare thing.

Now, I could have just as easily gone to get the trash bags the next day, but having just fed the baby, I knew I had at least two hours before he needed me again, and I decided to make a quick getaway.

“So, the baby just ate, and I’m going to run to Target to grab those bags. Okay?”

A look of panic flashed across my husband’s face. I don’t think there is anything that a dad of a nursing baby dreads more than the idea of being left alone with a potentially hungry baby (without any milk.)

“You’ll be fine. I am only 15 minutes away. Tops. So, if he gets fussy, just call me, and I will be right back. Either way, I’ll be back in about an hour and a half.”

“An hour and a half?” He questioned as I grabbed my keys. “I thought you were just going for trash bags?”

“Right. I mean, I’ll be back as soon as I can,” I shouted as I shut the front door and bolted to my car.


I walked inside the store and thought to myself, “Dear Target, thank you for selling trash bags.”

Because sure, trash bags are sold at the corner store, or the grocery store, or any other store that ends in “mart,” but Target just gets me.

First of all, they’re like a friend who offers you a drink when you get to their house. They might be selling coffee near the front door, but what they’re really saying is, “Hey, tired momma. You work so hard, and you look like you could really use a cup of coffee. Can I pour you one?” And I say, “You sure can, Target Starbucks. Thanks for thinking of me.”

And they say, “No problem, friend. Hey, we know you’re here for “trash bags,” wink wink, but while you stroll with your latte, why don’t you stop at our awesome dollar section, or clothing section, or stop by the office supply section on your way there?”

And I think to myself, “Target, you think of everything. Because while you knew I could use trash bags as my decoy item, you also knew that I really wanted to do a little shopping. And now I can say, ‘Well, I just grabbed this on my way to get what I came for.’”

Amiright? Seriously, ask any mom or woman who has ever “run into Target” for “just one thing” and most of them will tell you that they came out spending $100 and without the item they ran in for. Because Target is a little like going to the mall that sells not only adorable shoes, but toothpaste and diapers too.

So, to the mom who would love a tropical getaway, but will settle for a quick trip to Target, I so get it. And while Target does a great job of setting the scene for an easy getaway, it also points out a bigger truth that sometimes, momma just needs a break. And friend? It’s okay to take one. As a matter of fact? It is soooo important for you to grab a break when you can. Because while we love spending time with and taking care of our kids, everyone (momma, daddy, baby) benefits when mom takes some time for herself… Even if it is just to Target for trash bags.

So, the next time I run into you there? Feel free to smile, nod, wink or even say hello. We’re both just there to grab something off the shelf after all. Even though we all know we’re really there to grab five minutes alone. But shhhhh I won’t tell if you don’t. 😉


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  • Emily says:

    Your picture on this post is THE BEST! Love it :)

  • Carl G. Oehling says:

    That is exactly why some moms don’t buy a washing machine. It gives them 2 hours of talking to adults and no incessant: Why mommy.

  • Lexi says:

    I’m so happy I’m not the only one that does this! Haha

    Thank you for writing this!

  • Denise says:

    Our Target is much farther away than almost every other store, so I use diapers as an excuse. They are the best place to get diapers…and a mini vacation.

  • Casey says:

    Oh My Goodness!!! So very true!!

  • ten says:

    Everything about this post is perfect. I love target vacations. Love.

  • This made me smile! We don’t have a Target round the corner but we do have a small corner shop. When I was attempting to potty train my boy, after a week at home all day, every day, an outing to the corner shop for supplies when my hubby got home was my breather :-) Totally get this as a stay at home mum. Alternatively I find the toilet works quite well :-) The room with a lock on the door so no one can disturb you :-) xx

  • This really made me smile! We don’t have a Target round the corner but we do have a small corner shop. When I was attempting to potty train my boy and had been home for a week, all day, every day, a walk to the shop for supplies when my hubby got home was my breather! :-) Alternatively I always find the toilet works quite well… the only room with a lock on the door so you can’t be disturbed :-) xxx

  • I just love the way you write and that you really do seem to know exactly what I’m going through. Although, I am over a decade away from any kind of baby needs (he was adopted so I didn’t nurse him but the life is the same), my son is a pre-teen, ADHD boy who is slightly developmentally behind his peers, so while he’s almost 13, he’s nowhere near as together as our daughter was at that age. Daddy is super involved but when summer rolls around and he’s got business trips every other week, there are MANY days when Mom would like to hide out in the candy or chip aisles at Target as soon as Dad steps off the plane! Thanks for getting me.

  • Kayleigh says:

    And to all of us in Canada, Our husbands have no idea why we are mourning….. well sadly we are loosing our Vacation spot. I’m just so sad, and after reading this you hit the nail right on the head. I LOVE my target…. :(

  • Meredith says:

    Thank you, thank you for posting this! I, among many, do get this and understand fully!
    Your blog posts are such an incredible mixture of funny, brutally honest, quirky (but in the nicest way!), loving, and fun wrapped up with a beautiful turquoise aztec bow and I look forward to receiving an email with a new blog! I am a working momma but still share the same sentiments and appreciate the humoristic (is that even a word?) qualities you can share with your fans!

  • Kelcie says:

    Thank you so very much for this post! It was exactly what I needed to hear today. I am a mother of 3 kids under 7 years old my youngest is almost 6months and is breast fed, all 3 kids have been super needy lately but I always feel so guilty for taking any time at all for me so this post says exactly how I’m feeling.

  • Kelsey says:

    Sometimes… These posts… They make me cry. They feel like someone has taken a moment of my life and written it down in a way that I never could. I cannot thank you enough!

    I’m an avid reader and I have a pretty good vocabulary, but I find it difficult to put the right words together in a way that truly gets my message across. I’m a stay-at-home mom who’s husband sometimes doesn’t understand the struggles a mom can face. On more than one occasion, I have printed one of your posts and said, “This! Read this! It’s exactly what I’ve been trying to explain to you.” And it helps…

    And sometimes your posts just let me know that I’m not alone. That feeling the way I feel is acceptable. Us mom’s, we need to hear that from time to time. Especially those of us without a strong network of mom-friends to lean on.

    So again, thank you for taking the time to reach out and comfort me. It’s so incredibly appreciated…

  • Whatever would we do without Target?

    Our closest one is 25 minutes away, so I can just “run to Target” for trash bags…or maybe I can…. Hmmm….

    “Oh, Honey!”

  • Ina says:

    I am not a mama yet. As a matter of fact I am not even married or living with any one. But my life is crazy. I am a student, an intern, I work 2 jobs, and I am in a serious relationship. And like anyone whop has moved out of their parents house, I still have household responsibilities…
    My point is, I even do this. 😛
    Sometimes I am so thankful that I need another notebook for school the next day because it gives me the reason to go and walk around a store. Sometimes I put my phone on silent, or even leave it in the car. Quite often I also find myself sitting in my car for 10 minutes before and after this store run.
    It is nice to hear this is normal. Sometimes I feel really silly for those times. But even if it is just half an hour, it makes the crazy day not quite so insane.

  • Kellie says:

    SO TRUE.
    On a random Tuesday evening our Target is usually quiet, smelling of delicious coffee and filled with cute affordable clothes and accessories. It’s like Mommy fly paper.

  • Sara says:

    Love this because its true, however, I am Canadian and target is no more. I don’t know where else I will vacation now!
    That said, please keep all those who are losing their jobs because of the shutdown in your prayers.

  • Vanessa says:

    Yes! As a matter of fact, I think we’ll be needing paper towels soon. 😉

  • Lauren says:

    You have no idea how hilarious this is! My daughter is there so much that the entire staff knows her personally and even brings her husband a cart, addressing him by name! She once locked her keys in the car while shopping and stayed there for 4 hours with 4 kids until he could get there after work.

  • Jen W says:

    This is funny and while my kid is a 14-year old high schooler, the spirit/freedom of a trip to Target still holds true.

    My best friend and I often schedule our Mom dates at Target. We both push our carts around, can find pretty much anything on our shopping list, and chat about life and complain about our kids or husbands (good-heartedly, of course)…and then we go to Rubio’s!

    It’s totally like therapy but so much better because we get some “chores” done while hanging out. It’s cheaper than therapy, too.

    Thanks Target! You totally get us. :)

  • Ann says:

    I have so done this!!!! Thank you, Target!

  • Spot on, lady! Omgee this post is hilarious…and all too true 😉 I think Target even got smarter and started staying open later. It’s like they know I get my kids to bed (too) late and said, ‘Hey, night owl mama, here’s an extra hour to peruse and buy stuff you don’t need!’ I can always find other moms wandering up and down the aisle just relishing in their mini-getaway! Thanks for the laugh tonight-I totally needed it (and just got back from Target earlier with both girls buying Frozen toys :P). Love the way you write & your blog!


  • Gayle Reed says:

    I Always go get my decoy item First! It preserves my credibility!

  • jessica lynn says:

    Oh, this post is fantastic! I’m about to dive into that new-mom haze all over again, and I have a feeling Target will be my home away from home once I can sneak away for a few minutes. Now if only my Target would get on board with a Starbucks inside…then life would be grand!

  • Meghan says:

    I have a meme on Fridays on Instagram every week called One Beautiful Thing. This exact thing was my #onebeautifulthing last week. Love Target…and going alone is the best! Would love you to join in!

  • April says:

    However, they just announced that they are closing all stores in Canada. My husband wondered why I was so heartbroken!

  • Michelle says:

    Love this. I may have to run out for trash bags this evening.

  • I love this SO much. It’s too true. Other days after dinner I say, “I need to go to the bathroom.” Then I go in and lock the door. It’s funny how rarely I get to be in there without a kid on my lap or playing at my feet. You know you’re a mom when going to the bathroom ALONE is a vacation HAHAHAH!

  • Lol!! Oh yes. My husband just told me this week…”you think Walmart is a dirty word. ”
    😉 pretty much. 😉

  • Heather Garcia says:

    Oh my gosh I have gone to Target (very rarely without a kidlet) just because I was bored. I have one right down the street so if I am without a child and the hubs calls I can be home quickly. But darn sometimes there is no cell service inside the store.

  • Tara says:

    It’s like you know me!

  • Katy says:

    Ha! I love when I end up at Target and run into other mom friends who are their with there kids. There is bordering on a rabid jealousy. I think it is also required when you run into a Target vacationer to remind her to walk slow, very slow.

  • Ashley says:

    Seriously the best blog post I’ve read in a long time. Not only can every single mom on the planet relate but it is hilarious too. Had me in tears! Thanks for writing this!

  • Nailed it. Love this post! I shared it on Facebook and wish you all the best in your mothering adventures and mommie-scapes to Target!

  • Heather says:

    LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • […] water to wade into, some family around, and some peaceful quietness. Katie – Does a trip to Target without the kids count? Oh shoot, they’re closing. Okay…how about a trip to my […]

  • Yes!!! Target is my home away from home. :)

  • Elizabeth Decker says:

    I am a cashier at target in Louisville, like Becky, when my husband got home from work, I made a run for it, 5 minutes away, so close. I’m still there almost every day I’m not there working. I understand what it’s like and to be a small part of such an awesome company! Liz d.

  • Laurie Moore says:

    Mom of 4 here. I totally get it. What I am just also getting now (my youngest is 11) is that we shouldn’t have to say we need trash bags to get that break. Dear moms of young kids, train your family early that it’s OK, even good, for you to have time for you. No need for excuses. I wish I had said, “Here’s the babies, I’m going to a coffee shop to read a novel for an hour.”

  • Megan says:

    I vacation at Costco sometimes… LOL

  • Jenifer says:

    I remember when stores first started staying open 24/7. I had four little ones and had decided after one nearly fatal trip out with the crew, that daddy needed a little kid time and mama needed a little alone time. I would make dinner and take off for a few hours. It was bliss.

  • Sigh. This post is all me. Target is my go to. It is my vacation, it is my outing with my two babies, it is the “ball” store to my two year old (because the dollar bins always have balls) and just like you said, it also is my caffeine! Thank you for writing this. I had to share this with my husband because he just doesn’t understand my love for Target. You captured a mother’s love for Target so well. Thank you for your words, and mommy encouragement! #blessed

  • Ali says:

    Sigh. This post seems like it was written just for me. Target is my go to. It is my vacation for myself, my outing with my two babies, it is the ball store to my two year old (because the dollar bins always have balls), and like you said, it is my caffeine! Thank you for writing this and capturing a mothers love for Target. I had to show this to my husband because he just doesn’t get the bond I have with it. Thank you always for your inspiring words :)

  • I love this! I used to vacation at Target all the time and when I was reading your post I actually felt a little bittersweet because the babies I was taking the vacation from are now 6, 5, and 3 and I haven’t needed a vacation like that in a while. Funny that you miss even the desire to flee during those sleep deprivation days :) Thank you- sharing with my momtourage!

  • Emily says:

    You’ve captured it perfectly! I always spend a $100 on a “just trash bags” run and find the soothing atmosphere of the store exactly what I need after a long week. In fact recently, after a week of being away from the family for business, I went to Target just to settle back into normal life. And the guy at Returns, he knows me and my kids now we are such frequenters! Thanks for posting this!

  • I love Target. I believe I have even written blog posts about how much I love it. See those lovelies here:

    I am not a mom, but I can just about imagine that Target will definitely be my savior when that time comes. You deserve a few minutes to browse and enjoy. And of course, usually forget the original thing you went in for, haha!

  • Laurie says:

    I like Target so much I got my husband at one. (We met in a Target parking lot.)
    A mommy friend and I have decided to go grocery shopping together at Target on a regular basis. It’s like girl’s getaway, one where you do obnoxious mind-numbing chores with a friend, and suddenly it’s a party!

  • Katie says:

    I love this! AND IT IS SO TRUE!!! This past weekend, my two kids spent the night with my mother in law and I was going to get groceries and to TARGET without any children! It was sheer excitement and the thought of freedom that kept a smile on my face! I won’t tell how much I spent there, but I sure did enjoy my hour and a half at Target! :)

    God Bless!

  • Tamara says:

    This is exactly how I feel, Target is my therapy place! My husband suggests I go there when things become tense as a Momma of three kiddos! I feel better as soon as I walk through the doors….BUT…I live in Canada…and they are taking our Targets away, what will become of me now?? Where will I go??

  • Becky says:

    I have so many Target memories!! Some of our Target managers have been there for 15 years. I stopped to share a story with one of them a few weeks ago and she remembered when this happened! My son was 5 and LOVED soccer. He saw a soccer ball cabinet knob (of all things!!) and asked me to buy it for him. I said no. He snuck it into his pocket. When I discovered it an hour later at home, I made him take money from his piggy bank to pay for it, took him to the manager and made him apologize. He just stood there crying and held the money out for her. I whispered “he took it.” She winked at me and kindly but firmly knelt down eye to eye and told him that taking things without paying was wrong and that she was glad he decided to be honest. He is now 15 and says he remembers it so clearly and that he has NEVER shoplifted again

  • Cj Mom says:

    I actually can’t stand Target,lol

    I think I am the only one

  • Shanna Leigh says:

    Haha! Cracking up over this. Also – here’s my excuse. My daughter for some unexplainable reason DOES NOT ENJOY Target. I know, so sacrilegious of her. So I think it’s only fair that I not put her through the misery of a Target trip with mommy. I’ll just go alone, baby girl, no big.
    :) :)

  • Lindsey says:

    Amen! I don’t think truer words have been spoken.

  • […] remains popular with so-called ‘Mommy bloggers.’ A recent post on the ScissortailSilk blog started with a message for Target that read, “…thank you on behalf of moms everywhere. […]

  • Jen Brown says:

    Great read! And oh so true! Love!

  • […] This article by Becky Thompson is HILARIOUS. Seriously, I had tears in my eyes and was almost rolling on the […]

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