Typically I write all the content on Sparkly Shoes and Sweat Drops but when my friend Gillian asked if she could share a guest post about her new offer, I thought it was really consistent with my overall message and it sounds pretty cool so I thought I would share it with you. 

Did you know that the average parent only gets about 30 minutes of “me time” a day, and that doesn’t typically even begin until after 8:00pm? Between work, driving the mom taxi, home management duties like cleaning, grocery shopping and cooking, we only get about half an hour of down time before we pass out and then wake up to start all over again.

There is a growing trend of giving experiences instead of gifts, and this Mother’s Day, I am asking for the gift of time. Don’t get me wrong, I love the handmade treasures that my kids proudly present each year, but what I don’t need is what you find in all the “18 Unique Gifts for Mom This Year” articles that show up this time of year. Never mind the fact that I am in the throes of “Marie Kondo-ing” my home, and the last thing I need is more stuff.

What I truly need this Mother’s Day is TIME. I need two hours a week, to have no obligations, to do whatever I want.

Our kids write a letter to Santa each year asking for what they want, so this is my letter to the Mother’s Day Fairy Godmother. I will be leaving this around my house in several obvious places.

Dear Fairy Godmother,

I have done my very best to be a good mom this year. For this Mother’s Day, I would very appreciate the gift of time. Yes, time. I know that’s not the typical present request, but I have thought about ways to make this happen. I would love it if you could inspire my family to make at least one of the items on this list possible.

1. Two hours a week, when I can do anything I want. I can leave the house and know that everything will be fine when I walk back through the door two hours later.
2. A weekly date night with my husband.
3. A weekly (or even monthly) coffee date with my girlfriends.
4. A subscription to a meal service so dinner preparation time is cut down.
5. A gift certificate for house cleaning. Preferably by a professional and not my nine-year-old.
6. A year commitment to take over one of the chores I typically handle.

And if my family is feeling particularly generous, perhaps you could encourage them to consider sending me away for a girls’ getaway?


Tired, Busy Mom

I threw that last part in as a wild card. Even science says that a getaway with friends is good for your health – it extends life expectancy and lowers risk of heart disease. Just a couple of days connecting with friends can increase your oxytocin, or “feel good hormone” levels.

Need an idea for an awesome mini vacay? Come to Mom Camp: The Camp! This upcoming weekend mom retreat is filled with personal development workshops, fitness classes, excellent food, lots of relaxation and down time, and of course, wine. It’s an amazing chance to take a break from your responsibilities, relax, and connect with friends – old and new. It’s happening November 1-3, 2019 in the beautiful Squamish Valley in British Columbia.

Whether you borrow my Fairy Godmother letter or come up with your own list, I encourage you to talk to your family about the idea of experiences over gifts. Talk to them about the idea of time over presents. You can always get another scented candle, but having two hours a week to yourself – that’s priceless.


Gillian Behnke is a busy mom of two, living with her family near Vancouver, British Columbia. For her day job, she has worked in marketing and event management for over 15 years.

Following a 80lb weight loss journey, Gillian began a blog and a side business supporting women as an online health and fitness coach. Her passion is connecting people with solutions that will improve their lives and work.

Gillian cares deeply about helping other moms feel better both mentally and physically. This led to the November 2018 launch of her new business, Mom Camp, an online resource to help moms live their best lives.

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