Tales from Dad Life: Team Target Dads Share Stories, Advice and More

June 14, 2018 - Article reads in
Three team member dads and their families

From laundry day to diaper duty to getting the whole family out the door in the morning … a dad’s job is never done. And juggling family life with career responsibilities adds a challenging layer to the mix.

At Target, we know that it takes a strong support network to help parents find a healthy balance in both their career and family. We believe taking care of our team members means investing in their whole selves, both at and outside work. We’re dedicated to enhancing the well-being of our team and their families by offering a range of benefits to fit their needs, and by fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment where team members are empowered to support each other.

The secret to success looks different for everyone. We talked to five of our team members who are raising families as they grow their careers at Target.    

Pierre takes a selfie with his son behind him riding a bike

Pierre R.
Senior Human Resources (HR) Manager at our Fontana, California, DC

On his seven-year Target career: I started as an executive team leader, Hardlines, at a store in Palm Springs, California. After a couple of successful store operations roles, I made a life-altering decision and joined the HR team on the distribution side of the business in Shafter, California. Since then, I’ve had opportunities to learn and grow in several leadership roles, including my current position at our Fontana distribution center.

Meet his family: I’m a single father, co-parenting my son, Donovan. I’ve been separated from his mom for a number of years, but as parents, we’re so in lockstep with the values and lessons we instill in our boy. It’s built on the same endless love, friendship, sacrifice and patience that all loving parents want for their kids.

Favorite part of dad life: Always having an audience. I take full advantage of the fact that my boy loves to hang out with his ol’ man, listen to my silly songs and jokes, laugh at my goofy impressions or to learn how to cook something new. Leading by example is critical—everything I say and do is recorded into his mind, idolized and mimicked. So I have to be true to my word or he’ll call me out!

How Target helps him find balance: Target offers me the flexible work-life balance I so desperately need as a single dad without sacrificing leadership development and upward opportunities. I was raised by a single mother; my father disappeared from my life when I was very young. So it’s important to me that I always be there for my son’s special moments. My Target leaders and peers understand, so when I need to flex my schedules around to make the drive from Southern California to Las Vegas to make sure I don’t miss a single football game, awards ceremony or choir recital, I appreciate it to no end.

Parenting advice: Talk to your kids—you might learn something! Put the phone down, turn off the TV, take you kids outside and play. Also, I always tell my son the truth, especially when I’ve made mistakes. But the thing I tell him most often is that I love him.

Ronald and his wife and two sons standing in front of a stadium

Ronald B.
District Team Leader, Houston, Texas, stores

On his 11-year Target career: I began in 2006 as a new graduate executive team leader in Jacksonville, Florida, and held three different positions before promoting to store team leader at our Fleming Island store and later at our Jacksonville Beach store. I’ve been a district team leader (DTL) in south Houston for the past two years and am enjoying the challenges and rewards of the position.

Meet his family: I’ve been happily married going on eight years in November to my college sweetheart, Stephanie. Together we have two sons, Ronald III and Ethan, who are four and two years old. 

Favorite part of dad life: The joy on my boys’ faces when we spend time together traveling, playing basketball or going on a bike ride. I’ve learned the simplest things in life can mean so much to them, and they’ve taught me to slow down and enjoy the little things. It’s a challenge, balancing being their protector with allowing them to grow and learn; letting them go. My boys are very carefree and while I want to stop them from every bad idea they have, I’ve learned that they need test and try things in a safe environment to develop understanding for themselves.

How Target helps him find balance: Relocating to Houston as a DTL provided a new, diverse place for our family to explore. I exposed my boys to Major League Soccer when we attended a Houston Dynamo game courtesy of Target. They’ve also come out with me to Target volunteer events, such as a KaBOOM! Kids Play Everywhere event, to help them learn about community involvement and service. When I first became a dad, and later when our second son was born, Target’s paternity leave allowed me to have a generous amount of time at home with my family to bond and adjust to the changes. It’s that same value on family life that’s allowed me to pursue my career aspirations while still being there for my family. 

Parenting advice to live by: When in doubt, or any time, mom is always right.

Tariq, his wife and daughter hug on a beach during sunset

Tariq M.
Employee Relations Director, HR, Minnesota

On his 13-year Target career: I moved to Minneapolis from the East Coast to get a masters in teaching, and took a Target contracting job to pay my student bills. I ended up staying with the company because I love the people and the challenges. I’ve had a variety of roles that revolved around using data and technology to help HR teams make great decisions. Now, I manage the diversity analytics function, which helps ensure that every team member has an equitable chance to build a successful career at Target.

Meet his family: My wife, Tamie, and I got married about nine years ago. Our daughter, Shazia, is 5 (or five-and-a-half, if you ask her). We live in South Minneapolis with our ‘first baby,’—our fur baby, Aubree—too.

Favorite part of dad life: Shazia inspires me to be better every day. I’ve never seen someone with such an innate sense of how to make people feel included and welcome. Most days, I learn as much from her as she does from me.

How Target helps him find balance: I’m lucky to have had leaders who allowed me to put family first when needed. When my mom was in the hospital, my leaders were incredibly flexible in helping me get to her quickly, work remotely, and triage the work so I could spend time where I needed to be. I’ve also been able to flex hours to spend more time with Shazia in the evening, before her bedtime. Starting and ending my day a little early lets me spend quality time with my family, and makes me a more productive team member too. And Team Member LifeResources is a hidden gem of our benefits package. They offer so many free services, from research to counseling, for when life gets overwhelming. They did all of our research on daycare sites, which was a huge help as a new parent.

Best advice he ever got: One of the many reasons I married my wife is that I love her independent spirit. She’s smart, funny, and tougher than I am in many ways. When I found out I was having a daughter, I asked lots of people, “How do I make sure she grows up strong and independent?” A Target mentor told me, “Your daughter has so many great female role models. Just get out of the way and make sure to praise the qualities you love in your wife while in front of your daughter.” That advice has helped me be a better parent and spouse.

Brad, his partner and three kids in front of a garden at Disneyland

Brad W.
Guest Engagement Lead, Corporate Responsibility, Minnesota

On his 20-year Target career: I’ve had roles in Merchandising, HR and Marketing. Currently, I’m on the Corporate Responsibility team supporting Marketing and Communications.

Meet his family: Our ‘party of five’ modern family includes my partner, Jay, and our three kids, Shawn, Byron and Kaelah. We met the kids about a year and a half ago, after we became certified in the Foster to Adopt program with Children’s Home Society and Lutheran Social Services. Last September, we officially adopted them. 

Favorite part of dad life: Watching the kids thrive. We knew from the moment we met them that they were kind, resilient and smart. They needed a forever home with parents to love them unconditionally. There are so many joys of parenting but it can be tough sometimes. We’re constantly learning how to best guide, teach and support them through the pre-teen and teen years. Most of what we do together as a family are firsts: first family reunion, first ‘I love you Dad,’ first holiday, first birthday without their bio parent … the list goes on. All in all, we’re all learning together in the spirit of love and acceptance for who we all are.

How Target helps him find balance: From the benefit of time off for adoption during the critical weeks when we started living together, to the employee discount, Target has totally helped us out as a family. And my team and surrounding support system continues to be wonderful. Jay and I are ‘newbies’ as parents and there have been days when I didn’t know if I could do it all. The team helped me understand that I can do it all—just not all at the same time. The flexibility in how and where I get my work done has been extremely helpful. In addition, we’ve received so much guidance, including from Target’s Adoption Network, members of the Diversity & Inclusion business councils and many more people who have taken an interest in our family, and we’re very grateful.   

Parenting tip: Want your kid to talk to you? Take your kid on a date night or weekend lunch or breakfast alone. We do this as much as possible, just one parent with one kid. We’re outnumbered, two parents to three kids, so when we can have quality time with them individually, it helps in all areas.

Eric, his wife and two kids stand next to a giraffe at the zoo

Eric W.
Senior Director at our West Jefferson, Ohio, DC

On his 13-year Target career: After eight years in the Army Reserves, I joined Target leading distribution operations in the field. I’ve helped open four distribution centers, led many supply chain initiatives, moved six times across the U.S., and gained experience in both food and general merchandise. It’s been an adventure, and I’ve loved every second!    

Meet his family: I was born in Missouri and grew up in Virginia. I met my wife, Robyn, while attending the University of Florida, and we have two awesome boys, Isaac and Cohen. 

Favorite part of dad life: Traveling and exploring new places with my sons. There’s nothing better than watching them experience new things for the first time and seeing their excitement while also learning about life. My proudest moments are seeing them work hard and serve others.   

How Target helps him find balance: Target’s career developmental opportunities have helped me and my family so much. My oldest son, Isaac, is Autistic, and as we’ve moved around the country, we’ve been able to link up with some of the top resources in the U.S. to help him with his disability. I’m also grateful for the 401K matching program that helps us prepare for our future. And my wife thinks the employee discount (along with her Cartwheel savings) is amazing! Work-life balance, to me, is all about perspective. Target’s commitment to bringing joy to families inspires me stay grounded and be my best self, even when things get overwhelming. How could one not want that for their family, for the teams they work with, and our guests? 

Parenting tip: Be in the moment. Whether you’re with your team or your family, let them know that they are what’s most important by giving them your full attention, no matter what.

Thinking about joining the Target team? Visit our Careers pages to learn more about available roles, and check out the Pulse blog to meet more of our team members.

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