Working Moms in Suits at Target

I used to have only one reason not to patronize Target after 3 p.m.: because my kids were busy doing homework. After a recent visit during this timeframe for an ingredient emergency, I now have another reason: so I don’t have to see women in work attire stopping there on their way home.

You see, I used to be that person in a suit at Target on the way home from work. I left the workplace a couple of years ago to spend more time with my kids, and enable my equally capable husband to more fully pursue his career. It’s paid off exponentially: things I’d hoped would happen did, like more closeness with kids, can volunteer at their school, am happier because of indulgence in hobbies like writing and photography, and being somewhat more rested. My husband’s career has grown quickly, and I could think of a dozen other unexpected benefits.

So why the lamenting at the site of a put together woman in a suit at Target? Let’s be honest, it did dawn on me how large the gap had become between these suits and my particular attire that day. That’s it! I need those Lululemon athletic outfits everyone has!

But digging deeper, It might also be because I’m still that person deep down inside. Perhaps the mistake I made was assuming I had to be one or the other (mom or HR Director) to do a decent job at either. I guess I AM both things, I just wasn’t able to DO both. The stressed-faced, suit-bearing women at Target represent something to me: accomplishment and financial independence.

I hope more women can figure this out, how to do both well. I’m still working on it. I’ll be co-authoring a book with someone soon, and expect it will result in a sense of accomplishment, but maybe not financial independence! Can’t have it all, right?

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