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.

Bilbobagginstummy Thu 03-Jan-13 07:24:03

I am one of 3. It is Always 2 against 1. Maybe not always the same 1, but you have a built-in imbalance.

Not sure I would have liked to be one of 4 though - just Too Much altogether. .

HappyMummyOfOne Thu 03-Jan-13 07:25:22

Truthfully yes, i think we all felt left out growing up. Simply not enough time and money to go round. We had no individual hobbies, no peace or help to do homework and lost a lot of out childhood as younger silings needed looking after. Privacy was also another issue.

Its probably the main factor in deciding to have just one child for me.

SuperSesame Thu 03-Jan-13 07:29:46

As the middle child of three, I didn't feel left out but I know my youngest sister did. This was obviously due to the age gap with was nearly three year between me and oldest and nearly 6 years between me and youngest. That gap never really felt smaller as we grew which is a pity.

CheCazzo Thu 03-Jan-13 07:30:44

I'm one of three who went on to have only one of my own. Bilbo is right - it is always two against one - only the combinations change! I think adding a fourth would be a good thing.....I think - but I don't know why! I do remember feeling 'left out' but that was mostly because as a pre-teen I was the most frightful drama queen - always flailing about wailing that I never got any attention. Can't think why! grin

CheCazzo Thu 03-Jan-13 07:32:04

Should add - I was the eldest of the three and we were all born withing 3.5 years - my poor mother was probably demented! One brother remains unmarried, the other is married and also only has one child - must be something in that!

Curtsey Thu 03-Jan-13 07:42:54

One of 5 here!
Yes, frequently felt 'left out' but a lot of this would have been pre-teen/adolescent drama-queening. Other siblings would have felt the same at different times. On the plus side, we entertained each other (fought loads though!) and played loads outside, and we all retreated to books for a bit of privacy.

Arachnophobe Thu 03-Jan-13 07:47:31

Sesame those are the gaps between my DC and one of my concerns... Happy, Che and Bilbo those are my DHs concerns about devoting enough time although the ganging up/combination thing resonates deeply here.

penguinplease Thu 03-Jan-13 07:47:43

As an only child I felt horribly lonely and as an adult horribly responsible if something happens to either of my parents. I don't think there is a right combination or number of children.

I have three but the age gaps prevent problems as does the gender.

NotLongUntilXmas Thu 03-Jan-13 07:48:42

I was the middle child of 3 and definitely felt left out growing up. It It was always a case of 2 against 1.

I now have 5 children.

I always planned to have 2 children, but an unplanned pregnancy gave us number 3.

The first 2 children had always been so close and having a third definitely disrupted their relationship. We had a fourth child and thought it would balance everything out.

I think the child's gender and the age gap make a difference though.

Our oldest is a boy and is content to spend time alone or with us, his parents.

The girls definitely feel more rejected/put out if they are the one excluded from something.

We recently had a fifth child for a couple of reasons and I feel that the family is now complete.

As parents we spend time with the children individually and as a family. Our 3rd child is very close to her younger sister, but sometimes wants to be a bit more grown up and spends time with her older sister. When this happens our youngest DD will play alone, with her younger brother, or just spend time with me.

The children always receive help with homework when needed and DH and I take it in turns putting the youngest ones to bed. Nobody feels left out all of the time, but they do understand that sometimes the youngest needs my attention for a large portion of the day and that this phase will pass.

ll31 Thu 03-Jan-13 07:51:57

1 of 5, middle, yep def felt forgotten at times, once that sticks out was when it became clear on xmas eve i'd been forgotten present wise -cue mad dash to shops! there is akways someone doing something more important than u school wise. on other hand wouldn't be without 3 of them now, 1 i rarely see. agree with poster above re less/no help with homework but think thats partly that parents tend to help/be involved mire these days anyway

olliethedinosaur Thu 03-Jan-13 07:59:06

I'm one of three. It's not a great number in my opinion. Which is not to say I don't love my siblings.

Overcrowded, no privacy, nowhere to do homework, two against one all the time, family ticket 'plus one child', three teenagers in the back of a car on a six hour drive, everyone assuming they had three because they were 'trying for a boy'.

I'm one of 5, DH is the middle of 3. My mum worked full time and had lots of other demands on her so I think she didn't really have much time for any of us - I don't blame her for that, it's just what happened. However one of my sisters was generally around to help or play with so it was ok.

DH didn't like being one of 3 he felt left out as the middle one.

CailinDana Thu 03-Jan-13 08:07:12

It depends on the age gaps I think. I'm the middle of three. My older sister is only a year older, while my younger is 7 years younger. She says now that she felt like an only child because older sister and I were so far ahead of her and didn't really have time for her, particularly when we were teenagers. I loved having her around though, and we are very close now (unlike me and my older sister, we hate each other!). A lot of it is down to personality, which is impossible to predict.

HollyBerryBush Thu 03-Jan-13 08:13:55

We have three, not my idea, 5 year spred between them, the little one is always left out, teased by the otehr two. I think he will look back and remember a miserable childhood. sad

I was one of two and I felt very lonely growing up, my sister was 3 years older, and we were and still are like chalk and cheese. She gets her opinions from the DM, me from mumsnet! She was into fashion, pop music, I was a book worm etc. As adults we get on ok, but if she wasn't my sister we wouldn't have got past the smiling at each other in a toddler group stage.

We have 3 children, and yes sometimes one does get left out, but more often all three tare around the house together. The older two are girls, but personality wise are opposites, ds is in the middle. There is 4.5 years between oldest and youngest, the oldest girl dotes on ds, whereas dd2 is more of a peer to both of them. If we didn't have ds I'm guessing that there would be more fighting between the girls, as it is ds makes their relationship less intense.

We aren't planning to have 4 due to finance, space (car and house), time, ability to let them do all the activities that they do, but also I don't think in our situation it would help much, the youngest one would be much younger - almost the same difference as between dd1 and ds, if they were a girl then ds would be genderwise even more outnumbered. There is no guarantee that they would fit in better or worse, our family at the moment seems to work, what if the youngest one was the one who always felt left out. Dd1 might drop ds and coo over the baby so ds would probably have to align to dd2. I know it works for some families, I guess only you know the personalities of your children and how they work as a team at the moment.

Cat98 Thu 03-Jan-13 08:27:11

Interesting - I am one of three, and I think it's a great number! Might be to do with our family dynamics though and the age gaps. I am 5 years younger than my middle brother and eight years younger than my oldest brother. They looked out for me and were protective, also great at playing with me! Yes there was teasing and at times I was the annoying little sister, but generally I have really happy memories of growing up!
We are also all close now which is fab.

At the moment I only have one dc and I wish he could have a sibling or 2, but due to circs out of my control he probably won't sad

ReturnToPlanetVenus Thu 03-Jan-13 08:28:24

One of 3 (very close in age, all within 3 years) here, and yes, I do remember feeling left out. To be fair, I was often doing the leaving out as well, but it was almost always 2-1. I don't really have any childhood memories of us all playing nicely together - it seemed like a kind of running battle for at least the first 12 years of my life! Think things got better in our teens when we needed allies a bit more. But it has made me think very carefully about having a third - I think we'll have a much larger age gap if we do go for no 3.

ReturnToPlanetVenus Thu 03-Jan-13 08:29:10

Cat98 now that is what I wanted to hear re larger age gaps!

shellyf Thu 03-Jan-13 08:29:34

I am the middle of three and often felt left out.As an adult I can see that I wasn't but I felt that way as a child.

GrannyRatAteAllTheMincePies Thu 03-Jan-13 08:30:54

Youngest of 3 here.

I have 3 SDCs and 3 (sibling) DNs.

Always, always 2 against 1.

I have 2 DCs as I specifically wanted to avoid this issue.

greenbananas Thu 03-Jan-13 08:33:46

I'm the eldest of three and was always left out. My sisters consistently ganged up on me and it was miserable. I decided when I was still a child that I would never have three children of my own and I'm sticking to that.

However, three children can work well in some families. It probably depends on personalities and how it's managed.

MardyBra Thu 03-Jan-13 08:35:22

I was the youngest who got teased and left out. I'm still happy I was born though.

Runoutofideas Thu 03-Jan-13 08:37:18

I was the oldest of 3 growing up and we all had a happy childhood. It was a bit of a challenge to find activities which suited all of us - we are Girl boy girl with 2.5 and 3.5 year gaps so I was 6 when dsis was a baby. There were often things which suited the oldest two, or the youngest two, or the girls, so someone often was a bit left out, but not the same person each time. I also now have a much younger sister, but she was born when I was 20 so we haven't ever lived together. We are close now but in more of a motherly sibling/daughterly sibling unusual relationship way.

landofsoapandglory Thu 03-Jan-13 08:38:18

I'm the middle one of 3 and was left out. I hated it. I had a really miserable childhood, TBH. My brother and sister ganged up on me. I was only born because my parents wanted a boy, but got me instead. My sister could do what she liked because she was the oldest, my brother was on a pedestal because he was the boy, I was in the middle and felt like I had no place in the family.

DH is the middle one between 2 sisters. He didn't much like it either,because he felt left out of their games and play.

Our experiences are the very reason why we made the decision to stop at 2.

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.

Ephiny Thu 03-Jan-13 14:05:52

(age gaps 2-3 years either side btw)

curiousuze Thu 03-Jan-13 14:11:11

I'm oldest of three - we are girl - boy - girl. I never felt left out, although a lot of the time I wanted left ALONE! We are all really close as adults as well. But the number of kids made family holidays and outings more tricky. I remember when I was too old to go on family holidays any more, they started going on really fab ones because they could get good deals grin

Nancy66 Thu 03-Jan-13 14:14:39

I am the middle child of three and always felt left out and like I didn't matter.

My sister was the cherished first born, my brother was the longed for boy and I was just 'meh' so what....

AnameIcouldnotthinkof Thu 03-Jan-13 16:54:46

I was the middle child between 2 boys with about 3.5 years between us. I always felt left out and wanted time alone. However my mum treated us all differently and she spent more time with my eldest brother. As a result we fought and me and my youngest brother don't see much of the eldest anymore.

However DH was one of three and loved it. He always had someone to play (and fight) with.
His parents were very good at making one on one time with all of them which made a big difference and if my DH asked his parents for his own space they would make sure he got some. He also believes it helped to make him more independant when he was older and he has a good relationship with all his family.

We have 4 DCs now all close in age (The eldest is 7 the youngest is 2) and we stick to how DH was raised and they all seem to love each other.

lurkerspeaks Thu 03-Jan-13 17:01:42

Eldest of 3. Never felt left out. Sometimes 2 vs. 1 but the combinations varied a lot. Close in adulthood to both brother (middle) and sister (spoilt youngest). We had a bedroom each though and because of the cousin factor there were two estate cars (and we often went in 2 cars so we would all be comfortable).

Spent a lot of time with cousins growing up (which made me middle of 5) and again don't remember being left out particularly.

We have big age gaps though 3-4 years between everyone so oldest cousin was 15 when my little sister was born.

I would have 3 children. 5 seems way too many but my Mother says that once you get to three adding extra didn't really add much to the workload.

curryeater Thu 03-Jan-13 17:04:51

I am the middle of 3, and I thought nobody gave a shit about me.
I don't think it has to be like that though, if you watch out for it. I was well looked after in all the obvious ways but here is what I missed:

Some one to one time. We always did everything as a unit. I was very depressed and had no one to talk to because these all-important family dinners are not the right moment to confide that you want to kill yourself.

Some things, occasionally, maybe just once a year, that were all about me (I know it can't be all about one person all the time, but if you are a child, it should be all about you sometimes, maybe on your birthday). My mother (my father was irrelevant) managed different preferences by trying to compromise between all of them all the time. I think sometimes it should be that someone gets to choose (though not always the same person obv). My older sibling was very dominant and got her own way a lot and my younger one very charming and got his own way a lot (and of course they both had parental time as an only child, one at the beginning of her life and one at the end of his time at home). I would have liked it if sometimes it had been said "we are going here / eating this / watching this because curry wants to and it is her treat" (and would have understood perfectly the other times when it was someone else's turn to choose).

galwaygirl Thu 03-Jan-13 17:10:15

I'm on of three and definitely never felt it was a big family! We didn't have two against one either, just normal sibling squabbles and my brother who is the youngest (I'm the oldest) has always been a bit of a pet for me and my sister in that we loved looking after him.
DH is also one of three, he's the youngest with a brother six years older and sister nine years older. His brother is one of his best friends, and I'm great friends with his brother's wife. I'd say his sister feels left out but I don't think that's to do with there being three, more to do with the fact that she had children young whereas his brother had his first three months after we had our first and she's just been living a totally different lifestyle for the last almost 20 years. Now DH and his brother have children hers are nearly grown and she has a great social life and time for exercise while we have none haha
Both DH and I feel 4 is a better number than 3 but that's because our mums would have liked 4 and we were always aware of that not because we feel we missed out being one of 3. We definitely don't feel 3 is too many!

Baubleswithdiamonds Thu 03-Jan-13 17:15:19

I'm the middle of three and can't say I ever felt left out but I think my brother may have done as he was the only boy, particularly when my sis and I shared a bedroom, whoch we did til I was 8.I relished not being the sole focus of my parents' attention and we all had individual hobbies etc. having my own bedroom was important and I'm still very uptight about personal space.

My sis and I both chose to have 3 DCs, my DB has 2 and may have another. My DH is one of three - his two DSs also both have three DCs each.

I am the middle of three.

I occasionally felt left out, but so (I know) did my brothers. I actually think that can be quite healthy, because you can never have equal sides in an argument (two against two), so someone is always having to learn to back down, and then the next time it's someone else. I think it helped that we were all fairly close in age, though.

I wouldn't change it for the world.

2rebecca Thu 03-Jan-13 17:20:12

I'm the eldest of 3 and when younger we were always fighting 2 against 1, competing for parental attention, no-one wanting to be in middle on car journeys. We get on well now as adults but I just had 2. Having 4 wouldn't help the competing for parental attention/ personal space problem and friends of mine who were the youngest or 4 or 5 feel they suffered due to parents not wanting to teach another child to swim/ ride a bike/ take photos of them etc.

peeriebear Thu 03-Jan-13 17:20:51

I'm the middle of three and I think my little sister felt left out a lot. My DBro and I were thick as thieves because there was only a two year gap between us whereas my sister came along seven years after me. She always wanted to tag along but our games and friends were often too old/we didn't want a little kid around. To compensate my parents completely cossetted her, she was truly a PLB!

whathasthecatdonenow Thu 03-Jan-13 17:23:22

I'm the youngest of 5 and definitely a 'surprise' baby. There is six years between my brother and I, whereas the other 4 were in pairs just 18 months apart. Brother was a boy at last after 3 girls, so they weren't expecting to have anymore. It's okay now but was lonely a little bit as a child. DM now says she should have had another straight after me so I would have had a playmate. I think I would have liked that, but she had already been having children for 14 years so I think she'd had enough!

I get on very well with one sister and my brother, don't have much in common with my eldest sister who is basically from another generation, but don't talk at all to the sister who left home when I was four - she was jealous of me being born and has been nasty to me since birth.

NulliusInBlurba Thu 03-Jan-13 17:29:40

As an only child I sometimes envy the fact that DH had two brothers growing up, but he saw things as the 'middle of three' pretty pessimistically. His mother was largely to blame for that though - she made it clear that he was 'supposed' to have been the girl (she was happy enough with an oldest son to be the heir and a youngest son to spoil) and expressed that gender disappointment with him for many years. His older brother exploited the 'king' role ruthlesslessly and his younger brother was generally molly-coddled. There was a huge amount of aggression between the eldest and the youngest, and DH often got used as the go-between, even though he lived in a different country to the two of them (and that move was no coincidence). The tension only really stopped when one brother died, sadly enough. But I think DH's family was more dysfunctional than most, so their experience was probably not typical of three-sibling families.

DewDr0p Thu 03-Jan-13 17:32:06

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.

This exactly. My 3 run as a pack and don't seem scarred for life just yet!

I am eldest of 4 and I'd say it has plus and minus points. It's lots of fun and there is always someone to hang out with. I do remember craving one on one time with a parent though - they both worked full time and there was no spare cash for any help so they were always very busy. Also there was always always someone in our house and I was at times desperate for some peace and quiet lol.

redexpat Thu 03-Jan-13 18:59:16

I've read that 3 is the worse number of children to have because there is not enough attention to go around, and the children don't look after each other so much. When there's 4 they start to support each other more, but less attention from the parents.

Im the youngest of 3. I was always left out/behind. I used to have to fight to get a word in edgeways at the table. I was 5 and 7 years younger than my sisters though.

maxybrown Thu 03-Jan-13 19:02:57

it shows though all this how it really does depend on the whole family make up - as someone else has posted with same age gaps as my siblings, I never felt left out being 7 years younger and was certainly not spoilt. I think my parents were very fair really, had a fab childhood

sausagesandwich34 Thu 03-Jan-13 19:03:02

I'm the middle of 3, older sister, younger brother -younger brother in that same school year as me (fantastic planning by the parents that one!)

everything I did, my sister had done first so I never felt my parent's were interested

everything my brother and I did at the same time (GCSEs etc) he was made a massive fuss of because it was so much more of a challenge for him to do it

everything was 2 against 1

we all get on fine now and are glad of the number of us -always someone available to help out etc but growing up I very much felt like the forgotten child

SugarplumMary Thu 03-Jan-13 19:11:25

Middle of 3 - yes I did feel left out still do sometimes- everyone seemed to favour my youngest sibling.

However we have 3 DC.

DH is an only, my parents and one IL were one of two and other IL one of four. The two DC was a no go based on those relationships.

We thought of four, lots of bad things happened, and we still occasionally do think about another - though the gap between any DC now would be greater than between eldest and youngest we have which puts us off slightly.

Money and time are issues - as is space we have 3 bed houses so two have to share oldest and youngest as same sex there - as it’s starting to be an issue.

However it is very different to my past as they are much closer in age and they do seem quite caring and protective and helpful to each other - at least some of the time. I think that age gaps and personalities coming into play.

Smudging Thu 03-Jan-13 19:18:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EMS23 Thu 03-Jan-13 19:23:11

I'm the youngest of 3 - I have 2 brothers, 5 and 7 years older than me.
I loved my childhood and although on occasion they would leave me out it was only because they were teens, I was still little and their activity wasn't appropriate for me. I was very close to both of them although over time I've become closest to my oldest brother.

I now have 3 - 2 DD's and DSS. DSS is 7 years older than DD1 and there is 22 months btwn the girls. I hope that as the girls get old enough to play together DSS will be getting to an age where he doesn't want them hanging off his coat tails.

We intend to do what my parents did for me so he doesn't get bored or feel left out which is always invite one of his friends on our holidays and let him have friends over as much as possible.
Me having a friend along took the pressure off my brothers to include me/ let me tag along although to be fair, they always did let me if they could.

And of course when I got to 18, my 23 and 25 year old brothers were all of a sudden very keen to invite me and my friends along!!!

OhlimpPricks Thu 03-Jan-13 19:32:51

I'm the middle of 3 girls, born over 5 years. Hated my position in the family. Constantly compared to my elder sister by teachers, relatives parents. I always had a very strong sense of 'I'm not my her, I'm me' and this probably contributes to why I always try to be a bit individual as an adult. My younger sister always had her place as the baby of the family, my elder as the one who got to do things first, like go to school, have a boyfriend. I hated being left out.
It doesn't help that we have a toxic mother who plays divide and rule, always whipping up bad feeling behind our backs. Being downright nasty about one to the other.
She played it too well; I decided years ago I wasn't going to play her games. We haven't been in one place for years, and the next time will probably be at her or my dad's funeral.

marlboroughlts Thu 03-Jan-13 20:12:10

I'm the third of three girls. I think it's been a mix of who's left out at one time or another. I had more in common with the eldest, but was closest in age with the middle. These days - they are closer with each other than with me.

The main thing that puts me off having three dc - is the lack of interest by parents by the time the third comes along. I think if you can honestly sustain that, then it's fine. But to have a third, when you aren't really that committed to them as an individual, I think is wrong. There was really a huge difference in the effort my parents put in for the first and the last.

I'm the eldest of three and I really loved it. Two younger brothers - full brother near me in age, youngest (half) brother 7 years my junior. We both loved playing with him and he actually made us get on better I think - weekends at my dad's tended to be boring and I was more likely to feel left out there when brother and dad were doing something together like football, than at home where we all three often played together. Youngest made an excellent prop at times!

DH is also the eldest of three and also loved it (his brothers were younger and very close in age and that seemed to balance things out).

On the other hand we both have cousins who are foursomes, and in both cases the third-born child was quite left out, wanting to be with the older ones and resenting being pretty much forced to pally up with the youngest. (In both cases the youngest was opposite sex to the rest, which might affect things).

We're only planning two because I don't want to go through pregnancy and sleep loss a third time but we were both kinda sad when the second baby didn't turn out to be twins!

I was the oldest of 3 girls, the younger two were closer in age (and probably in personality) so were much closer - I left out and like I was the odd one out a lot, I hated it. My parents perhaps overcompensated on the 'middle child gets left out thingy' too.

Now we are adults we get on but my sisters are much closer to each other than they are to me, it has the knock on effect of me feeling left out with my parents too cos if they tell the one sister something she tells the other but not me, so I accidentally get left out without anyone meaning it.

Not sure having four would help this though! My MIL and sisters are always falling out but they usually each have an allie.

wtf1981 Fri 04-Jan-13 01:26:04

Am the eldest of three-ages 31,27,23-girl,boy,girl.

Never left out and would say with confidence that they haven't either smile

wtf1981 Fri 04-Jan-13 01:29:06

*never felt left out!

chickensarmpit Fri 04-Jan-13 01:44:54

I'm 1 of 4 and i wouldn't change it for the world. Yes things were a struggle growing up but we had each other. 2 girls, 2 boys and i'm the eldest.
We had our ups and downs but we were always their for each other.
I have 3 kids and they're just as close smile
I miss my childhood mostly because i miss living with my brothers and sister. Having 4 kids is a great idea.

Spinkle Fri 04-Jan-13 06:18:56

Youngest of three, last on everyone's list. I was probably a huge attention seeker because of it- was a real fibber blush

StupidFlanders Fri 04-Jan-13 06:55:01

I really enjoyed being 1 of 3.

We had 4 years between oldest to youngest.

We played either all together or paired while one of us did something alone or with a parent. I think the odd number really supported the opportunity to develop independent and group skills.

Lara2 Fri 04-Jan-13 09:38:54

Middle one of 3 here - it was horrible when we were growing up! There's 2 years between each of us and strangely, the 4 year gap between my Dsis and DB meant they got on famously. Always picked on me or left me out. However, as we got older it all changed radically and we are all the best of friends (mostly!) these days. We are in our early 50's mind you!!!!

My experiences of growing up as the classic middle child meant that when I had my DC's it was 2 or 4 - definitely not 3! (We has 2 because we couldn't afford 4 sad}

3smellysocks Fri 04-Jan-13 12:51:40

My parents had 4 . Two siblings were really close and two not close at all. My parents had very little time to spend with us individually and with me particularly. I felt they were spread too thin and we all knew it. There were also two middle children rather then just one. I felt embarrassed going to peoples houses as my siblings were like a pack of dogs - eating and playing. I could tell my parents felt overwhelmed and found discipline hard. We rarely got invited out as we were such a handful and ate stacks - also we never ate out at cafe's etc as it was too expensive feeding 6. Oddly enough all my siblings all have three children each now.

I have three and I can just about manage to give them all my time. They all play nicely and get on. I haven't seen the 2 against 1 thing yet but I expect it will happen at some point but the youngest is only 2.

I think children getting on depends on how much parental attention they receive and what their personalties are like.

3smellysocks Fri 04-Jan-13 13:07:57

Just reading the posts above. I was one of four and non of us looked after each other - it was dog eat dog although there was the expectation that I do (what they considered) 'womens jobs' around the home.

I think it's really bad to expect children to fulfill a need that should be met by parents. I know of a couple with 8 children and the kids 'bring their siblings up'. I can see how this causes a lot of resentment with children enforcing rules and jobs - also the kids are not getting the individual parental time they desperately need.

ZZZenAgain Fri 04-Jan-13 13:12:27

I'm the middle dc of 3. My older sister and I are just a year apart, my brother is 3 years younger than I am. He was always left out. Perhaps it was the age gap, perhaps it was because he was a boy.

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Fri 04-Jan-13 13:16:13

I am one of 3. I am the middle child. There were constant fights, side taking, ganging up etc. I didn't feel left out as i was the kind of child who removed myself, and wasn't particularly interested in my parents attention. My sisters however still seem to be in a battle for attention as adults.

Softlysoftly Fri 04-Jan-13 13:23:08

I was the youngest of 3 and then 10 years later became a middle of 4. I never remember feeling left out, we argued as all girls but never felt a lack of attention.

Now as adults I wouldn't be without my large family. DH is oldest of 4 (was 5 they lost a brother) and again no issues with attention or love! I think if you make sure all is balanced each child can feel loved equally. Though financially mum and dad were able to sustain space and hobbies for each of us which helped. Though DHs family room weren't as financially stable and are all fine.

I'm seriously considering DC3 as I want my children to have the benefit of a big supportive family when older. I know that I can always call on someone and they will be there!

The only thing we did done an issue is the 10yr gap led to some issues for little sis with older parents, and siblings a life stage ahead iyswim.

Arachnophobe Sat 05-Jan-13 14:04:08

Thanks to you all.
I casually asked DS1 (9) and DS2 (6) what they feel and they were each adamant that they want another brother or sister one day.
That might be because 8mo DS3 is delightful and has not toddler trashed any of their things/argued/fought and is not in their rooms yet wink.
My head says no, heart says yes but circumstances will decide in the future.

AmberSocks Sat 05-Jan-13 14:40:36

i am not 1 of 3 but i have 4,3 were 3 were born in 2 years,the eldest and youngest(now 2nd middle)get on like a house on fire and are really similar,personality looks everything,they dont get on with dc2 who is very different to them,and they dont half let him know it,it breaks my heart,hopefully it will get better now we have 4,or if we have a girl.

AmberSocks Sat 05-Jan-13 14:43:33

i thinkitsmoredown toparenting though,i was 1 of two,halfbrother 7 years younger,i still didnt get any attention and my mum hated every minute ofbeing a mum toyoung kids,which she is happytoadmit.

JaquelineHyde Sat 05-Jan-13 14:47:55

I am 1 of 7 and the middle child (3 older brothers, 2 younger brothers and 1 younger sister)

I never felt left out and would happily do it all over again.

No concerns about typical sibling rivalry as this happens regardless of whether you have 2 or 20.

As for attention from parents, this is down to the parents and nothing to do with how many children you have. I got plenty and still have a fabulous relationship with my parents.

CrikeeThree Sat 05-Jan-13 14:49:09

I'm one of three (the middle one). So is DH. Of course there were times when I felt left out. But that's life isn't it?
I mean, it teaches you to negotiate and to deal with relationships. How to get on with different people at different times.
At certain times in my life I've felt closer, overall, to my younger sibling. At other times, I've felt closer to my elder sibling. I wouldn't be without either of them.
If you have 4 DCs, you'd still get differing dynamics, disagreements, pairings etc. That won't change. You'll just get it even more, surely?
I don't know why people worry about the dynamics with 3DCs so much. What happens on the days when you hate your sibling if you're one of two? Because I had plenty of those! smile

CrikeeThree Sat 05-Jan-13 14:49:59

X-post with Jaqueline
Totally agree.

whathaveiforgottentoday Sat 05-Jan-13 14:50:39

I'm one of 3 and agree one gets left out which in our case was the younger of my 2 brothers. I'm the baby and only girl.
My SIL agrees as she was a middle child.

binkybonk Sat 05-Jan-13 15:10:04

Haven't read a single other message other than the OP, but needed to say- I'm one of 4 and it was fabulous. Am sure all families are different, but it was and is lovely to have three different people always on your side. We do 'pair up' from time to time as adults, but ways different pairs for different things and all always fun! Love them all grin

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