parents

How to parent (without moving a muscle).

Jo Abi and her son, who she loves… but needs a break from sometimes.

By JO ABI

When it comes to parenting, sometimes I just wave the white flag of surrender. I’m human. I’m tired. Sometimes I feel lazy. Sometimes I’m a bit flat.

It’s days like this that I normally try and parent while moving as little as possible. I like to balance that with making sure my three children don’t spend the entire day playing on smart devices.

When I was little my mum would throw open the back door, usher us out and frown if we returned before sunset. It was fine by us. My sisters and I would wander back for food and drinks but most of the time we were happy to be outside with our games and our imaginations. My mum had a precious few hours of peace and quiet to do the house work, read her magazines and relax. I also remember her mopping a lot. I thought she just liked a clean house but now that I’m a mum, I realise it was a desperate form of meditation. It was also the perfect excuse to kick us out of the house on days we tried to park ourselves in front of the TV.

“Go outside until the floor is dry,” she’d yell out. We’d walk outside wondering what to do and soon enough would be happily engaged in some sort of crazy game that would occupy us for the day.

Just as an FYI, this post is sponsored by Springfree. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.

Mum could see the entire back yard from the kitchen window so we were properly supervised. She was well-stocked with bandaids and antiseptic cream because our backyard was made up mostly of trees which we used to climb. We made spears out of sticks and played games with them. We chased things. We perfected our cartwheels. We built cubby houses and made mud pies.

Now, I’m not much of a mopper. My meditation normally involves painting my toenails in front of crime documentaries and episodes of the Real Housewives of wherever. But I have the perfect house for days when I’m just over it. I have huge double doors that look out on my backyard.

To get my children to play outside I have a few tricks. I leave the TV off all morning, open the doors and if they don’t wander out themselves say things like, “Why don’t you see if Milly (our cat) is sleeping”, or, “Is the moon still out”, or, “Is the trampoline wet?” It usually works and then they’ll play outside for hours, coming inside for food and toilet stops (although the boys like to wee on trees for some reason, still not sure who taught them to do that).

Jo’s son Giovanni showing off the new Nanny, uh we mean Springfree trampoline.

I have a Springfree trampoline now. It’s a super good trampoline. My old trampoline used to cause me so many headaches. The padding was always becoming dislodged, exposing the springs which one of the kids would invariably injure themselves on. Giovanni, my destroyer of all things, used to rip all the foam off the poles, exposing the metal for soft little heads. He was OCD about it and kept doing it, even after I replaced it twice and threatened him with SEVERE punishment if he did it again (his favourite toy would be placed on top of the fridge for FIVE SLEEPS). Still, I’d find great big wads of blue foam all over the grass.

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I was up and down constantly hugging injured children, putting padding back in place and begging my husband to tighten the loose net, again.

Now I don’t have to worry about it.

Springfree trampolines are like super-fun nannies in your backyard…they look after your children for you so you can do other things (cue Nurse Jackie reruns). Now when the kids cry I know it’s going to be about some sort of disagreement instead of an injury. It is the most securely designed trampoline I’ve ever seen. Everything stays in its place. And it’s black and white…it’s just snazzy.

My kids play hard. If anyone can expose weaknesses in a product aimed at children, it’s them. They have jumped and bounced on this thing every which way you can and it is still just as secure as the day it was set up.

They kids are desperate for me to buy the basket ball hoop that can be fitted onto the trampoline. I keep saying, “We’ll see” which they know means “Stop asking”. I’m getting it for them for Christmas. Don’t say anything.

Instead they’ve been bringing their balls onto it and playing trampoline soccer. They’ve learned to take turns jumping to make sure they stay safe and Philip, 9, can now do some stylish routines on it. Giovanni, 5, settles for rolly pollys and Caterina, 4, hasn’t moved on from bouncing on her bottom and then standing back up, like a little gymnast. It’s very cute.

I now understand what all the fuss about buying a good trampoline is about. The Springfree trampoline is the world’s safest trampoline. It took them more than 20 years to refine it and Springfree has stood the test of time and has won numerous awards worldwide, and for good reason. This year is their 10 year anniversary. Hooray!

I highly recommend Springfree trampolines, just as much as I highly recommend parenting days when you don’t do much at all. We all need a recharge, so cancel the activities for the day and get your relaxation on.

Springfree™ Trampoline – the World’s Safest Trampoline

Springfree™ Trampoline was invented by a Dad who wanted a safer trampoline for his kids. After 15 years in the making, the World’s Safest Trampoline now exists!  Recognised globally since 2003, Springfree™ Trampoline is the only trampoline design that has effectively removed the four areas that cause injury:
1) the springs
2) the frame at the jumping surface
3) the risk of falls to the ground
4) the risk of falls into rigid enclosure poles
Springfree™ Trampoline is built to last and truly revolutionary in its design by keeping kids safe in the backyard and out of the emergency wards while still having fun.  Check out www.springfree.com.au