to ask if you are one of three kids did you ever feel 'left out'?

(93 Posts)
Arachnophobe Thu 03-Jan-13 07:21:40

I am divided whether to contemplate DC4 but would really like a perspective first from people who are one of three or four kids and was there any reason you wish it were different?
I am not looking at practicalities or else would not be typing this madness rather how it might affect the dynamic.
DH is 'middle child' and is divided as would like four but concerned that they would not get enough time wise from us individually.
I only have one sibling and always wanted more but that might have just been 'the grass is always greener' thinking.

Minoan Thu 03-Jan-13 08:38:31

I'm one of four and really love it, the only issue growing up was we didn't have much money for clothes or entertainment but luckily both my parents were teachers and they saved up all year for wonderful summer holidays.

maxybrown Thu 03-Jan-13 08:48:56

I'm one of 3 - the youngest. The eldest two are only 16 months apart, but they are 6 and 7 years older than me.

Not sure any of us ever felt left out tbh? We all get on well now (in our 30's and 40's) but I do think it's all an individual family experience?

Ours was also girl boy girl - we all had hobbies which were supported in their own right - my sister has 2 children and my brother has 4 I have 1 and will only have one - none of our child bearing decisions were based on our childhood though

Chopsypie Thu 03-Jan-13 08:49:31

Im the youngest of 3 but felt like an only child a lot of the time as there is 11 years between sis and me and 13 years between bro and me.

My neice came along when I was 7, so she was often like my little sister.

I never felt left out, but we have a quite big family and lived very close so all the cousins would play together.

There is a lot more scope for 2 against 1, but I've never seen anyone fight as much as my cousins who are both girls, with 2 years between them. They are best friends now, but would often have to be physically sperated because their fights were getting out of hand!

Its more down to personalities, and like anything with kids, you find a way to make it work.

katiecubs Thu 03-Jan-13 08:50:05

1 of 3 here too (in the middle) and I was frequently ganged up on but wouldn't change it! Loved having 2 siblings generally as there was always someone around.

Onezerozero Thu 03-Jan-13 08:52:12

I am one of three but my siblings are nine and eleven years younger than me. I felt more like an only child with two niece-daughters. We are all equally close now, I think. Maybe I am slightly closer to them both than they are to each other even.

cory Thu 03-Jan-13 08:55:58

I was a middle child (of 4) and enjoyed it: less pressure than on big brother but less babied than little brother.

MaryPoppinsBag Thu 03-Jan-13 08:56:38

I'm the oldest of 3, DSis 4 years younger and DBro 8 years younger.

My DM asked me once did I feel left out and I can't recall ever feeling that way.
We just played together and the 4 years IMO worked well. We always had other kids round to play and spent hours on the back garden.
I got my own room (converted loft not long after my bro was born)
I left to go to university at 18 and my DS and DB (14 & 10) became v close, although once girlfriends came on the scene they became less so.

I missed out on a close teenage relationship with my DSis but we became close when I moved back home and are close now. I'm not so close to my bro which could be the 8 year age gap but it could also be because of his DW.

Onezerozero Thu 03-Jan-13 08:57:19

I would have had three DC, but closer together, if I could have chosen. But I will be stopping at two, with a big age gap, because I am not very good at being pregnant sadly.

Beaverfeaver Thu 03-Jan-13 09:01:19

I am 1 of 4 and DH is 1 of 4. Wouldn't have had it any other way.

I am 2nd oldest and there has been no problems.
Bonus is that there are more of you to play together when younger, or split housework jobs up and one day will have more support together dealing with the difficult stuff

DH is youngest of his 4, but they are also all such good supportive friends now

PolkadotCircus Thu 03-Jan-13 09:05:31

I was 1 of 2 and always wanted a brother.My sister was a bit of a goody 2 shoes( I was the opposite),slept on every loooong journey and to be frank was a tad boring at times.We played a lot together when little however I wanted more noise!!!!

I have ended up with 3 in 15 months(twin boys and a girl). Wasn't planned that way.In an ideal world would have had 4 but felt my 3 weren't really getting enough attention and I never seemed ready for the 4th iykwim.

I do worry about 1 being left out but my 3 swap and change also I'm ruthless-spend my life hollering you're a 3,nobody is to be left out.I tell them all off if they're leaving 1 out so they're not too bad.

I think trying to build them as a unit will help them in the long run,I guess it's easier for me as they're all the same age.Sometimes feel bad I never had that 4 th but then said 4th might have felt left out due to te other 3 being close in age.

Any MNetters that were 1 of 3 that had a positive experience,are you close now,how did that happen?

Summerblaze Thu 03-Jan-13 09:14:34

I have 3. DD (8), DS (5) and a 8 mo DS. As yet I have yet to experience any jealousy whatsoever with my older 2 and the new baby so can't help there but I think there are lots of things to consider when choosing to have 3 and other things that make the experience a good thing or bad thing.

As other posters have said that when they were growing up they didn't have their own rooms, time, privacy, activities. We have a house which has 4 bedrooms so they can all have there own rooms, I am a SAHM so I have time to devote to the DC. I help out at school and take the baby to activities through the day. DH has a fairly good job so we can afford to send them each to their own activities etc. I'm not saying that less rooms, less money and a working mum would make it not work but just for me, the experiences that other posters have had may be diffused slightly.

The main thing though I think is how you plan to parent them. I have friends who only have 1 dc who don't want to spend time, money etc on activities, homework as they have their own things to do. I know families who have 2 who clearly have a favourite. If you make sure that you have no favourites and spend the same amount of time with each child, then they should all have a good childhood. No they may not get on but that goes the same for any sibling group, two, four, twelve. I know of at least 2 of my friends who don't get on with their sibling who are 1 of 2.

Age gaps, gender and personalities also help. My middle DS has some developmental delay and although he can be challenging at times with me, he is so laid back that he doesn't care if I am cuddling one of the other DC despite him being a complete mummy's boy and doesn't mind if I take older DD out somewhere that is unsuitable for him to go.

IloveJudgeJudy Thu 03-Jan-13 09:17:43

I'm one of 4. I'm only girl tho. I think all DC sometimes think they're the odd one out, but it isn't due to the numbers, just the DC themselves and family dynamic and age and... DH is one of 3 and says one was sometimes ganged up on, but not always the same one. We have 3 ;) - b g b. Each has said the other is my favourite so I must be doing something right. Only you can decide how many DC are right for your family. There are so many variables: age, age gap, sex, size of house, friends...

BlackholesAndRevelations Thu 03-Jan-13 09:24:40

I'm the oldest of three and was never left out. However, my younger bro was born when I was 12 and other bro was 9. He has been very lonely growing up sad

BlackholesAndRevelations Thu 03-Jan-13 09:25:42

Ps he was an accident, and I vowed that if I were ever in the position my parents were, I'd have had to try for a dc4 so that dc3 wasn't so alone.

I was the oldest of 5 til i was 19. I wasn't left out but I was expected to help out more then the rest. There was 11 years between me and the youngest.

I'm now the oldest of 7 and there's 20 years between me and my sister and 21 between me and my brother. My son is older then them both

BeaWheesht Thu 03-Jan-13 09:30:52

Yes. None of us are very close as adults.

We have 2 and I've always said if we had one more we'd have to have another after as I'd never have three.

Snugabugz Thu 03-Jan-13 10:12:32

I am the youngest of three girls. My middle sister is three years older than me and as children we were inseparable. My eldest sister is seven years older than me so left home when I was eleven and were never that close as children. She was a teenager who didn't want to play with us. However as adults my eldest sister is one of my best friends. The dynamic changed when I was about sixteen.

Not sure if this helps but I think it's interesting how relationships change. I don't have a lot in common with my middle sister now except our shared childhood experiences.

I'm oldest of 3, but only 25 months from eldest to youngest.

Me and Dsis (middle child) fought a lot when younger and Dbro was always made to 'choose sides' poor boy grin

We are fantastic friends now though which I think is the very similar ages thing. We all have collective memories of childhood events and come from the same era for music/fashion etc even though Dsis and I have very different tastes, we understand each other very well iyswim?

Opps posted too soon blush

In answer to OP, no - I never felt left out, but i'm sure that again this is because we were all similar ages. A bigger age gap would probably change the dynamics totally.

FunnysInLaJardin Thu 03-Jan-13 10:27:29

I am the youngest of 3 girls by quite a long way ie my next sister is 13 years older then me. There was no issue with anyone being left out etc mainly because we were almost 2 families and I was mainly on my own at home as my sisters had gone off to university. From my POV it was great as I had 3 mums grin

Arachnophobe Thu 03-Jan-13 12:19:33

Thank you for your replies this is really interesting. I want to be as non toxic as possible but know that I'm never going to get it perfect for them. The chances of being able to concieve a DC 4 are slim as it is and I am so grateful for them but this has been nagging at me. Darn pesky hormones or maybe it is a perfectly valid consideration?

DeWe Thu 03-Jan-13 13:49:57

My dm is one of 4. She got on best with her youngest brother (14 years younger), and worst with her brother 2 years older. Middle with her sister. So age gaps don't always cause problems.

I was one of 3, and have 3 dc. I'd say that there's often 2 doing something, but not always the same 2. Growing up it went in phases, but rarely played in a 3 all together except with a grown up. With my 3 it depends on what they're doing, and there are some things they do do all together.

Theas18 Thu 03-Jan-13 13:54:17

Maybe my kids are just ultra nice but we don't have the two against one thing at all. Conversely if one wants a bit of peace they can get it.

I maybe very wrong but I think a bit of sharing-toys and space can be not a bad thing really. 4 seems a big family to me-the ones I know tend to be split into the older ones and the little ones, even if they are close ish in age when they do things.

Beaverfeaver Thu 03-Jan-13 13:55:50

We used to fight loads when we were younger and still at home . Being 3 girls there was lots if clothes stealing and privacy/boundary issues.

Now we are all grown up we get on really well and go out together

Ephiny Thu 03-Jan-13 14:03:35

I was the middle-child of three, and the only girl. I think as the middle child I was very much left to myself and had less of my parents' attention. My older brother had some special needs, and also was always at a more 'important' stage in education than me. The younger one was the 'baby' and treated as such. I just had to get on with it.

Also as the only girl I was left out of all the boy stuff my brothers and dad did together (not by my choice, I never had any interest in girly things, and didn't get along well with my mum or gran). I used to really wish I could be a boy so I'd be treated like the other -- even to the point of cutting my hair short and wearing boy's clothes.

Tbh I felt like the 'outsider' for most of my childhood. I don't have a close relationship with either siblings or parents as an adult, I barely speak to them more than absolutely necessary for politeness and duty.

Personally I don't think I'd ever want more than one or two children, I wouldn't feel it was fair on them otherwise.

On the positive side, it's probably made me independent and self-sufficient in a way I wouldn't be otherwise.

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