Christmas time is at best organised chaos for most families but spare of thought for those who have to double up - or triple the effort for the festive season.
But the families part of Southern Sydney Multiple Birth Association (SSMBA) have found their other network of support - with each other, regularly meeting to socialise at playgroups.
Its popular Mini Movers playgroup is for families who have multiple children. They meet at Kingsway Community Church at Caringbah for a chat, play and a catch up.
Their recent meeting was a Christmas-themed playground, with twins and triplets dressing for the festive occasion in their best costumes.
Kirrawee's Hailey Harrison, who runs the playgroup, says the demographic of the popular group has changed.
"My kids were under one when I first started going, and it was when the older kids started to go to school, so they dropped off," she said. "Now they are all around two years of age, which is really nice because they all play together."
She said families from outside of the area also joined in. "People from as far as Liverpool come along," she said. "Everyone helps each other. We have a gated area, which is useful, and all parents just get it - someone is always watching somebody's kids - and no one is judgemental if they fall over - another parent just picks them up."
SSMBA is a non-profit organisation, which has 171 families part of its group. In 2023 the group welcomed 28 sets of twins and one set of triplets.
"We are essential for parents of twins, triplets and higher order multiples, especially in the first few years of life as they navigate the difficulties in raising and caring for multiple babies," SSMBA President Lauren Smith said.
"Parents of multiples are nine times more likely to experience disabling exhaustion and five times more likely to experience postnatal depression. The cost is also higher."
She says the Australian Multiple Birth Association is advocating on behalf of multiple birth families and specifically calling on the government to consider providing additional support for multiple birth families including additional weeks of parental leave, in home support and financial assistance.
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