parents

"I asked my mum, 'Is it better being a grandmother or a mother?' This is what she said."

Nothing to do but spend time together.

By JO ABI

I remember my mum struggling when I was little. We lived on a large property, she was isolated and my dad was pretty specific about how he wanted our household run.

Now that I’m a mother myself, I admire her strength in having coped and raising us so well under the circumstances.

Fast-forward 20 years and I don’t know how I’d survive without her help with my children. For someone who had hardly any help raising her four children she embraced the role of being a grandmother wholeheartedly. She’s also my best friend.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by The Aerogard Great Gran and Grampout. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.

I asked her if it’s better being a grandmother or mother and before I had even finished the sentence she yelled out, “Grandmother”.

When I invited her to join us at the Aerogard Grampout on Cockatoo Island in Sydney she was pretty excited. Nobody in my family had ever camped before. My parents are both Italian and my dad in particular struggled with the idea of voluntarily sleeping outdoors when he fought all his life to put a roof over his family’s head.

He barely suppressed several eye-rolls as ­­­­we ran around packing. As you can see from this photo we are total novices…we pretty much just shoved things in bags. Still, we were excited and so were the kids.

The next day when it came time to leave we almost started crying. Mum and I loved it. We bloody loved it. Less than an hour on a river cat ferry and we had arrived. The smell of Aerogard hit me immediately and brought back a million childhood memories. . I was outdoors all the time when I was little. What happened? When did I forget to play in the dirt, feel the grass and gaze at the stars?

My son already had a swollen arm from a mozzie bite so I opened up the free sample and covered both kids in Aerogard. Then, it was time for fun.

It’s time for giant jenga

Here is the list of activities we joined in that weekend:

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  • The Convict tour
  • Sampling the free coffee, tea and biscuits
  • Playing giant connect four, Jenga and chess
  • Tug-of-war
  • Sack races
  • Inflatable horse race
  • Meeting radio host Fifi Box
  • Watching a performance by Harrison Craig
  • Roasting marshmallows
  • Collapsing into our beds and sleeping more soundly than ever before

Mum has a bit of arthritis but joined in on everything except tug-of-war. It’s pretty funny to see three children compete against their grandmother and just barely beat her. The kids spend a lot of time with their Nonna but it’s mostly when I need her to look after them. They don’t get a chance to play and muck around. It was so special to see them all just relaxing together and enjoying each other’s company.

When it was time for Harrison Craig to perform we snuggled up on a blanket together and enjoyed the show. Philip and Caterina kept running up the front to dance and then they’d run back and throw themselves on our laps to watch the rest of the show. I realised we don’t often see night time outside. After the concert was over we took our time walking over to the fire and pointing out stars, the moon, the city…

“She’s also my best friend.”

When mum looks after the kids for me during the week she keeps herself busy with things to do around the house but at the grampout we had nothing to do but spend time together. I never realised how patient my mum is with them. In fact, it’s like they forgot I was even there. Instead of asking me for drinks, food, even trips to the toilet in the middle of the night, they asked for Nonna! I was offended yet happy to stay snuggled up in bed.

Mum loves being a grandmother. I think she sees it as a second chance. She has nine grandchildren now so she’s stretched a little thin. Therefore, I plan to steal her away for more camping soon. The kids and I have decided we’re going to ‘gramp’ in our backyard every couple of weeks. We plan to sleep in our new sleeping bags, on the trampoline, under the stars.

The Grampout was seriously the most fun we’ve had as a family for a long time. Just before we boarded the ferry home we were asked what ‘gramping’ meant to us and I said, “Family and fun”.

Check out some highlights from the Aerogard Great Gran and Grampout.

What do you love about your children spending time with your parents?

You’ve heard of Glamping, now this is Gramping! So what is Gramping? It’s camping with your grandparents, spending quality time together in the Aussie outdoors!

 

Aerogard launched it’s nationwide Grampout, “The Aerogard Great Gran and Grampout” on 30th November to celebrate 50 years of protecting Aussie families! There were so many highlights like sack races, face painting, giant chess games, and even good old toasting marshmallows. The best part of all has got to be getting the whole family together. Check out all the photos from the event at www.AerogardGrampout.com.au.


We are encouraging all Aussies to host their own Grampout in their backyard, or favourite camping spot this summer. By registering your Grampout at www.aerogardgrampout.com.au grampers will have the chance to win $5000 worth of ‘Backyard Giftcards’*. You will also receive your free ‘Gramping Guide,’ a digital pack that includes camping tips, games and ghost stories.
 

*Terms and Conditions apply. Visit aerogardgrampout.com.au. Authorised NSW Permit No. LTPS/13/07905, ACT Permit No. 13/03625

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