There are a few undeniable things that unite each mom and dad in parenthood. We are all exhausted basically 24/7. We all get sick of cleaning up poop in places poop isn’t meant to be. And all of us have spent at least one child-free evening wandering around Target.
Coffee cup in hand, we walk down each aisle with bleary eyes, convincing ourselves we need something we probably don’t. We came here for some diapers and frozen kids’ meals. We ended up with two year’s-worth of Christmas decorations and eight manicure kits.
No matter what kind of parent you are, it’s safe to say that Target is a safe haven. And now, mother-of-three Nicki Pennington has added one more reason for her to love visiting the store with the red bullseye: She just may have found her potential mom soulmate there.
In a hilarious Facebook post, Pennington penned an open “Missed Connections”-style letter to the other woman wearing comfy mom clothes and mindlessly shopping around the store alongside her.
Here’s the full tribute to the one that got away:
My favorite part? When Pennington ends her note by promising to return next week, with the sincere hope of meeting her future BFF again.
“If you see this and recognize this story and my Starbucks drink, please know I’ll be back at Target again next week, because let’s be honest, I live there,” she writes.
In fact, she shops there so often she regularly connects with fellow moms at the store. One particular mother recently shared a tearful convo with her as they both found themselves buying first-time school supplies for their oldest children.
“I wished I would have gotten her name,” she tells Babble. “So this time, I didn’t want to miss out on another potential Target mom friend.”
All jokes aside, Pennington recognizes that making friends post-baby can be difficult to maintain. Between our hectic schedules and our demanding new job title, many mothers struggle to stay in touch regularly. This is something she has found to be quite true in her own life.
“When we become moms, we need different things from different friends,” Pennington says. “Being so busy, we sometimes need our friends to carry the friendship and that gets hard.”
Which makes it all the more vital to notice the parents out there who seem to be feeling isolated. Pennington’s best recommendation? Take a moment to say hello, because you never know what someone might be going through.
“The next time you are in Target and see the mom crying in the ‘back to school’ aisle or see the mom in yoga pants and messy bun … don’t walk past her,” she says. “Stop and say ‘hi’ or offer to buy her a refill on that venti Starbucks she’s carrying around.”
While she hasn’t heard back yet from the anonymous woman, her post has naturally garnered a bunch of support — and friendship invites! — from other parents. “Other moms have reached out and the response has been really good,” she shares.
In the meantime, she’ll keep perusing Target with one eye open, in case the mom returns any time soon. After all, like most of us, Pennington pretty much spends every minute she can get there.
“I can find an excuse to go down any aisle of that store and then back through it again,” Pennington shares. “I won’t lie, I’m [there] a minimum of two times a week and sometimes more. I’m always ‘forgetting’ something that I need and Target has it all.”
I’ll tell you one thing — if this mom doesn’t reunite with her new friend, I’ll make sure to be at that Target next week myself. You’ll notice me by the fake kid tattoos on my arms and the holes in my gym sneakers.