IT'S the lack of flexibility that makes caring for a loved one with a disability or a serious illness tricky, say mothers Melinda Hooton and Leanne Park.
That, and the lack of acceptance from people in the community who simply don't understand.
The colleagues work at Macarthur Disability Services in Campbelltown and share a special bond — they both care for children who have a disability or illness and they both love them more than anything.
Melinda Hooton's eldest daughter, Natalie, 13, suffers from brittle-bone disease.
Her son Robert, 6, has the same illness but also lives with Spina bifida and water on his brain.
"When you think of all the little things you have to do every day there's a lot but you just do them, you don't think about it," Mrs Hooton said.
"We've always just taken one day at a time."
Ms Park said caring for her son Luke, 12, who has severe epilepsy and a condition which affects his internal organs and requires frequent hospital visits, changed her whole life.
The pair hope Carers Week, which is this week, will help shine a light on Australia's 2.6 million unpaid carers.
"I think there's a lot more awareness about it now — you can't expect people to know everything about every disability," Mrs Hooton said. "Tolerance and acceptance is what people really do need."
Both mothers said they had strong support networks but said more could be done to make life easier for other carers who didn't.
"It would be good if people could access things a bit more easily," Mrs Hooton said. "There are always waiting lists and things cost a lot more. I know there are waiting lists and processes but it can be so hard when you're waiting."