I’ve known for awhile. I’ve known I needed to end things. It’s just hard.

It’s hard when we’ve been so intertwined through life. I mean, I’ve known you forever. And you just seem to know exactly what I need.

You were there for me when my first infant arrived . . . tiny, screaming.

And then, when our second came, just the same as the first, really.

You never judged me in those early days of motherhood. You never cared that I didn’t want to talk. You didn’t care that I looked like I’d just walked through a car wash. You never seemed to mind that I came to you, in my most raw moments, just looking for something to lift my spirits.

You didn’t care that my kids were wearing jams. That I hadn’t showered for days. And you always seemed to have everything I needed in those moments. 

Sure. We’ve both changed a million times since I first came into motherhood. But you have still been there. From being a mom of one to a mom of three. From being a mom who was so broken down to a mom who easily navigated a world with three in tow, you have seemed to stay in-tune to my needs. 

And then when I got sick, I can recall one point in time where I hadn’t been able to do anything for weeks and all I wanted was to see you. You were my first request to my husband. Such a testament to the comfort you have provided in my life.

Recently, you changed again—in big ways. But I’ve stuck with you. I’ve been loyal. I’ve continued to try to figure you out. But, friend, I just can’t anymore.

I need to take a break. We need to be on a break. We need to spend some time apart. I think it would benefit my marriage. My life. I think I might be able to figure some things out on my own if I just don’t see you anymore. 

I was looking at my budget from the last year, and friend, you have become a problem. You, with your Hearth and Hand, A Brand New Day, Cat & Jack, Nate Berkus . . . you’ve dazzled me for far too long with your ways. And I just can’t. For the sake of my wallet and my sanity, we cannot see each other anymore. 

I decided about a month ago that this was our only option. That I just needed to rip off the Band-aid. So if you’ve wondered where I’ve been, now you know. And believe me, this is hurting me more than it will, you. I know that for certain.

But you, with all your shiny Bullseye’s Playground items . . . you don’t know your power. Or maybe, perhaps, you do. As I’ve told you over and over that I just need a gallon of milk and some kid’s shampoo and you’ve retorted with, “But use your RedCard and it’s basically like everything is free anyway.” Maybe you know that when you wave your 30% Cartwheel on Sharpies and 10% off of Crayola, that I won’t be able to control myself.

And so. I’ve stopped coming around. I know. You might miss me briefly, but I imagine you’ll move on rather quickly. There will always be someone else to fill my shoes. To happily sip a Smoked Butterscotch Latte as she peruses the new makeup section. There will always be another mom of a newborn looking for sanity. Or another mother-to-six who just needs 24 minutes of alone time. Or a woman who is looking for the perfect graphic tee that expresses her feelings about rosé or coffee. Of that, I am sure. So I know you won’t be lonely. I know, you will be OK. 

And so will I. In time, I will stop having an emotional yearning and pull when I drive past. I will soon feel the relief of the returns desk no longer knowing the ages and names of my children. And I will start, instead, to appreciate that my whole budget doesn’t somehow get flushed down the toilet because of good smelling candles or cute mugs.

I did stop in briefly the other day. I came in, cash in hand, for the one thing I needed. And it felt odd. It was like you no longer had the control. It was like you hadn’t even noticed I’d been away. Your world seemed to have gone on without any pause. And I realized just how one-sided our relationship had been for so long. I left feeling a sense of freedom. Like I had cleared the first hurdle in our uncoupling.

So, Target, I thank you for all of the times we’ve had. We had a great run. But I think it’s better for everyone if we just spend this time thinking about the things we need. Not just what we become distracted by in pursuit of weekly grocery trips or kid’s winter wear purchases. It’s been an incredible ride. But I think it’s time I get off.

Your RedCard Love, 
Mom-to-3

Ashli Brehm

Ashli Brehm = Thirtysomething. Nebraska gal. Life blogger. Husker fan. Creative writer. Phi Mu sister. Breast cancer survivor. Boymom. Premie carrier. Happy wife. Gilmore Girls fanatic. Amos Lee listener. Coffee & La Croix drinker. Sarcasm user. Jesus follower. Slipper wearer. Funlover. Candle smeller. Yoga doer. Pinterest failer. Anne Lamott reader. Tribe member. Goodness believer. Life enthusiast. Follow me at http://babyonthebrehm.com/