I believe it was the late, great Benjamin Franklin who said: “Three things in life are certain: death, taxes, and Target remodels.”

Or at least he totally would have if he’d lived in 2019 and had a wife who routinely escaped to the open-late arms of her local Target store on the regular.

Naturally, she would have known the first world problem millions of America women are struggling to make sense of from California to Connecticut and everywhere in between: Target remodels are the absolute worst.

Hear me out, all you internet scoffers at the ready behind your keyboards, waiting to tell me to find something worthwhile to complain about or admonish me to shop at Walmart or Costco instead.

I knoooooow. It’s silly. But we H.A.T.E. it when Target remodels.

See, Target is the modern American mother’s playground, and when the big kids in fancy suits and corner offices decide to change the rules, it takes us a minute to catch up. We’re creatures of habit, to a Hearth & Home, Up & Up, Market Pantry fault. (And guess what? One of those brands is being replaced in the overhaul . . .)

Familiarity is why Target is what it is for so many exhausted wives and mothers.

We recharge while mindlessly strolling through the aisles at 9:45 p.m. when all we really needed was toilet paper, a couple of loaves of bread, and a package of toddler socks with the grippy things on the bottoms. We take strange comfort in pausing at the pegboard-esque endcaps with those absolutely unnecessary but gloriously soft sherpa throw blankets. We can’t always properly explain it, but we crave those predictable Target runs to stay sane.

So when our comfortable old friend starts experimenting with a new look—dare I say flirting with the VSCO girl version of retail identity (velour scrunchies and ultra-relaxed jeans in the women’s department, I’m looking at you)—we instinctively recoil a little.

A friend texted me this week from another city, wondering if my local store was hurtling down Remodel Road, too. “There’s these weird circle light things hanging above what used to be the beauty department?” What she really meant, of course, was, “I’m being ambushed by change and I don’t know where to steer my red plastic cart anymore, WHAT IS THIS LIFE?!”

If our friend Mrs. Franklin had a smartphone, she’d be firing off crying face emojis to the both of us.

And you know what the kicker is? I’m sure all this remodeling—1000 stores by 2020—will turn out to be great. No one is arguing that point. More modern lighting and decor, improved aesthetics, convenience upgrades and all that jazz will certainly make us happy in the long run.

But in the meantime, you’ll have to cut us a little slack as we fulfill our sworn duty to the Mom Code: “Thou shalt meet any and all change not born of one’s own brain with indignant protest . . . and a Starbucks in that clip-on cupholder for your Target cart.”

We’ll come around, friends. Just give us some time.

Carolyn Moore

Carolyn traded a career in local TV news for a gig as a stay-at-home mom, where the days are just as busy and the pay is only slightly worse. She lives in flyover country with her husband and four young kids, and occasionally writes about raising them at Assignment Mom