Last week, a few of my siblings dropped in during the day. As usual, they fought over my four-month old daughter while I whizzed around the house getting bits and pieces done, but at one point I stopped and snapped the picture above. Not until later did I look at that photo properly and realise just how lucky I am to have so many siblings – and also how lucky I am that they live only five minutes away.

I’ll be honest: I wasn’t overly concerned about finding a place super close to the family after getting married. I knew I’d see them often whatever the distance, and I was too excited about moving in with my husband to give it much thought. But now with baby Emma in tow, I couldn’t be more grateful that we ended up living so close.

Not only is the baby blessed to be surrounded by so much love, but the help is in constant supply when my husband is at work. Need to do a big shop? I swing by my parents’ place and borrow a sibling – there’s always someone available to push the pram while I push the trolley. Got an article to write and the baby’s having a needy day? Someone will turn up and entertain her while I get my work done. And although they are all younger than me, they mother me with their insistence on things like shouting me lunch or doing things around the house. When people ask if I’m experiencing cabin fever after shifting from fulltime work to being at home with the baby, I can honestly say that’s one problem I haven’t had!

I think what I’m trying to say is that I’m appreciating my siblings in a new way. I always loved the fact that they meant company, “built-in” friends for life, a larger wardrobe… But now I realise that they are also the people who will be around as we raise our kids, and the ones who will love our kids as much as we do. Many hands make light work – or at least, they make the job more fun!

Tamara El-Rahi is an associate editor of MercatorNet. A Journalism graduate from the University of Technology Sydney, she lives in Australia with her husband and two daughters.