An Open Letter to Businesses from Moms Everywhere
You likely already have a lot to think about. Next season, next quarter, deadlines, re-stocking, hiring - I get it. But you also have your customers, and this is a message from arguably your biggest audience: moms. From the big box stores, to shopping malls, to grocery stores, etc - listen up. You see us every single day - the sunken but wild eyes, one or two or three or more kids in tow. Deftly pulling out a cart, swinging in a tot, and buckling him in, with one smooth motion. We make it happen, because we have to, and because you’ve got the goods.
Do you want to know the secret to winning our loyalty forever? It’s not really the sales, although those are always nice. It’s not the coupons, although some people take those VERY seriously. It’s not even the coffee shop, although if you have one, hallelujah. It’s the accommodations you can provide just for us. I will love you forever and tell everyone to shop at your store if you have these things:
• Parking spots for moms with small children. Here’s something that’s not fun - spending waytoolong searching for a place to park, trying to squeeze your car into a spot that is waytoosmall, and then having to navigate your way through cars that probably don’t see you and definitely don’t see your small children. I get that making special parking happen for all moms every time is impossible. But reserving a few parking spots near a crosswalk and a cart corral is something little that wouldn’t cost you a lot. And it would make a big difference to moms everywhere.
• Family restrooms. Or at least, family-friendly restrooms. Please imagine carrying a baby in one arm, and dangling a potty training toddler precariously over a toilet with the other, in a tiny stall, while trying not to touch absolutely anything that isn’t necessary to touch. A changing table does not a family restroom make. A room of its own with a door that locks is better. Throw in a smaller toilet and a place to sit and strap in your toddler and you have all the praise emoji in my book.
• Nursing rooms. A family restroom does not a nursing room make. I know many women feel good about nursing wherever, whenever, because, rights. And more power to them. I was not one of those women. I preferred to sit in a comfortable clean spot, away from prying eyes, to nurse my baby in peace. Shoutout to Nordstrom for always having an amazing spot for breastfeeding mamas.
I think I’m being fairly reasonable in these asks. Much as I’d love it, I know you can’t put everything on shelves at adult-eye level, so that small reaching hands can’t snatch them. And I understand you can’t remove your whole toy section, because that would likely significantly cut into your profits.
But by adding these things, you say something along the lines of, “I see you, stressed out Mom. We can’t pay for your groceries, we can’t handle that tantrum, but for the love, we can at least make shopping a little easier and a little more dignified for you.” And that, my friends, makes a world of difference.