Cockaleechie woman named Grandmother of the Year

GRANDMA: Anthea Adams celebrates her Grandmother of the Year award with her oldest grandchild, Tiana Jaeger (14) and her youngest, Asher Baldissera (11 weeks). Photo: Jarrad Delaney
GRANDMA: Anthea Adams celebrates her Grandmother of the Year award with her oldest grandchild, Tiana Jaeger (14) and her youngest, Asher Baldissera (11 weeks). Photo: Jarrad Delaney

A Cockaleechie woman has shared her joys of being a loving grandmother after being named Grandmother of the Year.

Anthea Adams, 63, has been named as the winner of Grandmother of the Year in the FamilyVoice Australia National Mother of the Year Awards ahead of Mother's Day on Sunday.

She is one of three winners, alongside Mother of the Year Leila Abdallah from Sydney and Young Mother of the Year Adrielle Van Hassel from Cairns.

Mrs Adams knows how it feels to be a caring mother, having raised nine children on the family farm at Cockaleechie.

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Starting with her eldest son John in 1980, over the next 11 years she would give birth to Paul (1981), Melanie (1982), Daniel (1984), Eric (1985), Kristy (1987), Naomi (1988) and Bethany (1990) before welcoming her youngest child Nathan in 1991.

Mrs Adams said being a mother to so many children was "busy" but also fun, and the farm provided them a lot of freedom.

"I think children are a blessing, it was lots of fun to do things together, play together and enjoy each other's company," she said.

Today she is relishing her role as a grandmother to 21 grandchildren, which will soon be 22 with another expected within a week.

Her time as a grandmother began in February, 2007 when her daughter Melanie gave birth to her first child Tiana, followed about two and a half weeks later by her son Paul welcoming his first child, Josh.

Mrs Adams said she loved being a grandmother to so many children and how she was able to love and care for them, although it can come with its own challenges

"Children bring so much joy and love to the world," she said.

"I feel overwhelmed in that I'm so blessed to have so many grandchildren, but it can be a challenge to keep up with that many children, with their relationships and their own needs.

"Eight live close by, while the others live about 600km away."

Despite the challenge of distance Mrs Adams said the extended family gets on well and get together every second year for Christmas, spending several days together.

Mrs Adams' eldest granddaughter Tiana Jaeger, 14, said she loved spending time with her grandmother.

"It nice how we get to go to the Ritz Cafe in Tumby Bay, having a chat together and eating yummy food there," she said.

"I love getting driving lessons in paddock with grandma and love when we make Christmas mince pies together."

As for her reward Mrs Adams said it was "humbling" to be named Grandmother of the Year and congratulated the other two winners.

"I definitely felt that I wasn't better than any other grandma, I take it on honouring all the other grandmas out there supporting their families," she said.

"Being a grandma you have to support the parents and respect their wishes and you have to love and cheer your grandchildren on.

"No one can be a perfect mother or grandmother, but we can all pray for our children."

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