As a mom, I live at Target.
No, really—I moved in a few weeks ago. A lot of moms are doing it. It just makes so much more sense than living in our houses, which we were constantly having to leave in order to go to Target.
“Gotta make another Target run!” I’d say, and my husband would tell me to “enjoy my mommy vacation.” It was so funny, every time.
When I leave Target to go to the house where my husband and children live, the other moms never tell me to enjoy my mommy vacation. They are too busy walking the aisles, pulling things from shelves, checking items off their lists. They mumble to themselves as they go, their words blending and rising to fill the air like a Gregorian chant:
Non-fluoride toothpaste for the baby with Elmo on it; no, Thomas. No. PAW PATROL… Dish towels, sippy cups, diapers, dog treats, tampons, squeeze pouches—but what about that thing on Facebook about mold in the pouches? Jesus, I wonder how much mold the baby has eaten… Uncured chicken hotdogs, organic toddler yogurt, Goldfish, toilet paper, ooh those placemats are cute…
I still take care of the children, of course. And I still spend plenty of time at my old house. I deliver my Target haul, feed the kids, and put them to bed, and then I snuggle up on the couch with my husband to watch a show, just like the old days. There’s only one TV at home, unlike the 30 or so we have at Target, but it’s still nice.
There are a lot of benefits to living at Target. For example, I don’t have to worry about whether someone has noticed that the shirt I’m wearing is from Target, because we are all wearing shirts from Target. Also pants, dresses, underwear, bras, pajamas, workout clothing, and swimwear, the latter of which is required for participation in the monthly “Love Your Post-Baby Body (Or Else)!” seminars.
We call each other “Mom,” because that is our name. There’s Super-Pregnant Mom and Whole 30 Mom, #grateful Mom and Mason Jar Mom, Lean In Mom and Instant Pot Mom and Tattoo Mom. When we’re not shopping, we gather in Home Decor for lively debates about crying it out and screen time and whether gummy fruit snacks cause cancer. We speak in hushed tones about secondary drowning and aerosol sunscreen. We rail against the immutability of our district’s kindergarten cutoff age.
Once, La Croix Mom spoke of a time when she lived in the East Village, where she went out for dim sum and smoked cigarettes and had lots of sex and stayed out past 9. When she finished talking, we looked around and realized that we were crying. We soothed ourselves by chanting lists of car seat safety features.
Other mom colonies have begun springing up around town. We’re planning a girls’ night out with the Trader Joe’s moms next week (there are still some hurt feelings from last month’s riced cauliflower–hoarding incident, but we’re trying to move past it). We’ll probably catch a screening of the new Channing Tatum movie and then share a pitcher of margaritas, because it’s important to believe that we still know how to have fun. Also because Mindfulness Mom has a Groupon.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I really must get back to my list.