Were (are!) you one of 3 children?

(36 Posts)
mummyxtwo Thu 14-Nov-13 10:55:30

There are lots of threads like this at the moment so apologies for the repetition. Just wanted a slightly different take on it. I have two dc's (ds1 4.11yo and dd2 12mo) and am considering a third. Dh and I both really want three, for various reasons. My concern is how much harder I would find another baby, given that I have to do the getting up at night as dh is a surgeon and can't operate in a fug of sleep deprivation. And he doesn't wake up anyway. I do get a lie-in on Saturdays to recover. And I drink a lot of coffee. I can cope with the hardship myself, but I worry that if I struggle then I might get snappier and shoutier with the others - I have days as it is where I lose patience and am shouty stressed mum at times sad which I then feel awful about. But ds1 loves babies and also wants more! He has been delightful with his little sister. I can't really wait and see how I feel in a year or so, due to reasons that are rather complicated - my age, we have 6 months in Sydney in the not distant future and if we wait until after then I'll be too old IMO. (I'm 35 now - I know that 38 or so isn't too old for more but I have some childhood issues relating to my mum's age that make it sit uncomfortably with me - please don't think I apply that to anyone else).

Sorry that got a bit long. My Q was... how did you find growing up as one of three? Did it enhance your childhood, or were there negatives such as stressed shouty mum feeling left out, or other issues? I want to do what is best for my children, not just what my heart is telling me (have another have another have another!) Thank you!

zoesmum2012 Thu 14-Nov-13 11:05:37

I found it hard great and much better when I moved out but I love my sisters to bits and glad my mum had three x

Weegiemum Thu 14-Nov-13 11:50:02

I was the oldest of 3 and then at 15 through re marriages, suddenly became the oldest of 6!

I liked being both, actually (though don't aspire to a family of 6!). Me and my sister have never really managed to get on, but I'm close to my little brother.

I'm also a mum of three. I'd somewhat reluctantly decided to stop at 2, which was what dh wanted and pregnancy and me really don't get on at all well, I was in and out of hospital for months. I had a wee regret but thought it was for the best when my mirena coil became dislodged after a smear and I found myself unwittingly almost through the first trimester!

It was an awful pregnancy too, but dd2 beautifully completes our family and we'd not be without her. I did have 3 under 4 though - when dd2 was born, dd1 was 3y10m and ds was 1y10m. Very hard work! But the jump of 2 -> 3 was really easy compared to 1 -> 2 which I found ghastly. Dd2 was a very easy baby (though she's high maintenance now!) and just slotted right in. I too was worried about getting horribly sleep deprived, and I did get PND again, but like you, my husband is a doctor (he's a GP) and was on a 1in3 on call rota at the time in a very rural area. He did help loads at the weekends and at least o/c was from home, but it added to the strain.

Everyone is shouty stressed mum on occasion, though. I was f/t at home (did a bit of freelance work when I felt the need) and it took me almost 2 years to fully recover from the pregnancy. I had a mother's help twice a week who would tidy, iron, clean, entertain the kids a bit, pop in for some shopping etc. I and the kids adored her, when we moved away they were distraught, poor dd2 thought that when we said we were all moving, Isabel was included!!

I think it's good to consider age - I actually had an early menopause before I turned 40 so if I'd waited things would have been very different.

Hope you can make a decision you are happy with (for all of you) and sorry for the essay smile

blueberryupsidedown Thu 14-Nov-13 12:17:23

I am the youngest of three, my sisters are 9 and 11 years older than me and I was completely spoiled and so much loved as a baby and child. I had three mums and a dad really, I never spelt on my own until I was 8 years old - co slept with sisters or mum+dad, and got away with pretty much anything. Had a very happy childhood and when I was a teenager I could always rely on my sisters go help me out and get me out of trouble. Many of my friends have had a third and the youngst is getting so much attention! Maybe you could wait another year then your two year old would go to pre-school and you could rest in the day a bit more/look after the new baby during that time? And I don't know about you, but I just resigned myself to have a cleaner to help out with lots of jobs around the house and make my work load lighter.

blueberryupsidedown Thu 14-Nov-13 12:17:58

spelt? Slept!!

lljkk Thu 14-Nov-13 12:19:18

Like Blueberry only I think it was the resented younger sibling, no closeness at all.
Iwould get it over with, if I were OP (I have 4 myself, btw).

Icepilot Thu 14-Nov-13 12:22:38

I've got 2 older brothers. Had a great time growing up. I'm sure I got away with more than other girls my age as the Boys were trusted to keep an eye in me (!)

All fairly close as adults now too.

Pootles2010 Thu 14-Nov-13 12:24:31

I was middle child. It was fine! Really glad little sister came along, get on better with her, and she's peacemaker, so makes me and elder sister sort ourselves out!

I remember her tantrumming a lot when she was little (theres 5 years between us), I once locked her in the loo blush

But generally we were a happily chaotic family, I like to have lots of people around me now and imagine thats partly because of our family.

It sounds like you know what you want, really. Go for it!

Bluestocking Thu 14-Nov-13 12:26:41

I'm the eldest of three. Personally, although I love my sisters, I would much rather have been an only child. My parents had three under three for six months (we are all singletons, but very close together) and I felt desperately, desperately, desperately short of love and attention. It took me many years to deal with the consequences of feeling completely unattended to and the repercussions have been incalculable. My parents would not have appeared to be "bad parents" to any external observer - no neglect, excellent education, etc etc - but there was a painful shortage of emotional resources.
However, I am well aware that other parents with more than one child do manage to nurture each one emotionally, so as long as you are sure you can continue to give each child what s/he needs, then there is no reason to stop at two.

NothingMoreScaryThanAHairy Thu 14-Nov-13 12:27:14

I am the eldest of three (quite close in age) sisters. We are close emotionally most of the time too.

I had 2 daughters the 2nd with a significant genetic medical condition, I also have hyperemsisi when pregnant. However I did not feel 'right' with 2 so dh and I gave it one shot (CVS testing etc) and we were very very lucky and now have gorgeous 3dd (yes i did get the HG again!).

However i know i don't want anymore and 3 is my lot, I am happy content tired but they all get on well together.

MrsLianeB Thu 14-Nov-13 12:27:25

I am the middle of 3 girls 4 years between us all.
Over the years we have been best friends and worst enemies but now as grown ups we are very close, speak numerous times during the week and see each other often. I have an 11wk old and would love him to have brothers/sisters if possible in the next couple of years.

anotetofollowso Thu 14-Nov-13 12:31:11

I am the youngest of three, and loved being so. Mind you I did feel excluded from my two elder siblings' games sometimes but in general I loved being part of a big noisy family, and now as an adult, I adore my brother and sister. And my life is hugely enriched by having them both in it.

Go for it!

cathpip Thu 14-Nov-13 12:34:45

I am joint oldest of 4, my dm had twins then my sister then my brother. We were 3.5 when my brother was born, yes mum was stretched and we had to share lots of things but I had a very happy child hood and I would not change it. I am pregnant with no 3, due in April when I will be 38, dh works away mon-fri in London, so think I will stop at 3, but I do have a very excited ds4 and dd2 who apparently are going to be super helpful!

Chlorinella Thu 14-Nov-13 12:40:12

I'm the oldest of 3 ( all female )

I felt constantly left out , my 2 sisters were ( and still are ) the best of friends and I was / still am left on the sidelines

I had 2 children , would never have had a 3rd ( unless I knew I could have had a 4th )

Floralnomad Thu 14-Nov-13 12:40:23

I'm the youngest of 3 ,my sisters are 18 months and 4 yrs older than me . The sister who is 18 months older is my best friend ,we've always been close and do lots of stuff together . The older sister not so much ,but I think that's because she doesn't share the same interests as us. I only have 2 children but that's not because I had a problem being 1 of 3 .

Floralnomad Thu 14-Nov-13 12:41:49

Wow ,just read the post from chlorinella , I hope that isn't how my older sister feels ! ( pretty sure she's not on MN )

Chlorinella Thu 14-Nov-13 12:47:46

It's ok , floralnomad I'm quite sure you're not my sister ( age gaps are all wrong ! )
I was just unlucky I suppose , I'm happy about it now , people think we're close , and I just smile and say yes , aren't we smile

Floralnomad Thu 14-Nov-13 12:50:46

Phew! Had me worried for a minute there.

MrsNormanBates Thu 14-Nov-13 12:58:07

I'm the youngest of three and wouldn't consider a third myself.

nicelyneurotic Thu 14-Nov-13 13:40:03

Another eldest of 3 here and agree with the feeling short of love and attention and also being left out. I think it's hard on the eldest as they can feel replaced by younger, cuter siblings who need more attention.

My sisters are nice people but we are not particularly close as adults.

If you have 3 I think it's very important that you have the space (1 bathroom for 3 girls +parents is not good) and time to give to them all individually.

Personally, I wouldn't have 3 as would hate my DC to feel as I did.

NomDeClavier Thu 14-Nov-13 16:59:27

I am also the eldest of 3 with very similar age gaps to your projected gap. I liked being an only child, I felt short changes when my DSis showed up and she and my DBro were always much closer because they spent more time together, had sibling sets who were friends etc. They are still very close, I am not to either of them.

However I would consider 3. I would prefer 4 but that may not happen! At the moment we have 1 and 1 on the way with a nearly 3y projected age gap.

TheFabulousIdiot Thu 14-Nov-13 17:17:52

I don't think it's as simple as how it is to be one of three (I am a middle child) because there are so many other factors involved like - are you rich or poor, do you have lots of room, how big are the age gaps etc.

there are two years between me and my older sibling and 18 months between me and my younger sibling. I was always closer to my younger sibling but that's because there was a different dynamic going on with my older sibling who felt like they had a lot of responsibility and knowledge that we were not a party to. Our parent's relationship was breaking down and limped on for years, we all had to share a room at various points, we had no spare money, second hand clothes (Things are harder with 3 mouths to feed and clothe than with one or two)...

On the positive side we were often a 'gang' particularly when we moved to new areas or lived far from our schoolmates. My mum was quite shouty, quite strict and quite stressed but some of that was down to her relationship not us.

wevka112 Fri 15-Nov-13 06:17:03

Interesting reading these posts what different experiences people had! I'm the oldest of 3 - sister two years younger and brother six years younger. I loved and love it. Of course we sometimes fought growing up but in general got on well and played together as children. All very close as adults now. Don't remember ever feeling short of attention and would be surprised if my siblings felt differently. I really want 3 because I love having two siblings. Makes things interesting and we all have more support in our lives. If something bad happened to one of us, there wouldn't be just one sibling trying to deal with it on their own. BTW my mum's perspective is that she wanted 3 because she thought there was a risk with 2 that they would each 'match up' with one parent. I.e. You would end up with each parent primarily focusing on one child each. There are no right answers though! As these posts show everyone and every family is different

mummyxtwo Fri 15-Nov-13 13:59:18

Wow thank you all so much for your really interesting posts! Lots of food for thought. I am leaning towards going for it... with a touch of reservation because I would utterly hate ds1 to feel left out. We are very close and affectionate though, and he adores his dsis and has asked for more babies! So I hope that is a good sign. I guess I'd just have to work hard to make sure he still had plenty of time and attention. We shall see. Mind not entirely made up!

surgicalwidow Fri 15-Nov-13 16:59:26

I'm eldest of three and I think the variety of replies you're getting reflects the variety in families generally - some v cohesive, some not so much? I could be wrong though.

Somewhat randomly I'm more interested in the fact that your DH is a surgeon (as you can prob tell from my nickname mine is too) and we too are in the midst of trying to juggle having our family with his fellowship training and travelling, we're currently living away with no prospect of getting home anytime soon sad. Good to know there are other mumsnetters in a similar boat smile

BikeRunSki Fri 15-Nov-13 17:01:21

I was the youngest of 3 for 3 years, then I became one of the middle ones of 4.

Andro Fri 15-Nov-13 18:05:20

I'm the eldest of 3 with 12 years between me and the twins, I've always hated them and resented the fact that their arrival screwed my adolescence up. As I've got older the blame has gone to it's proper place (my mother), but the mutual hatred between me and them is so firmly entrenched I doubt it will ever change.

StickChildrenTwo Sun 17-Nov-13 08:21:06

I found it hard being one of three. I was the youngest. My mum was lovely and caring but never had time for 'playing' or really interacting with us other than for the usual, telling us to get dressed, eat tea, brush our teeth, put shoes on, get coats on etc, life was very much for her all consumed by the mundane domestic things and as far as I can tell none of the lovely bits of parenting. She wasn't shouty or snappy with us though. She did her best but never really knew us as individuals. I feel I never knew her on any other level than the cleaner, house keeper, referee etc. We never spoke about our likes or dislikes or what our favourite colour was for example, I didn't know her. She didn't know us. We were the 'collective kids' I suppose, she didn't have time to know us as individuals. She loved us, kept us safe and clean, well fed, nice enough home so it wasn't terrible but no where near the relationship that I have with my 2 boys.

As children we all thought each other was the favourite but I do think most families think that, don't they?! I would say I was often left out of games between my brother and sister because they were closer in age. I was the annoying younger sibling. My dad always made a fuss of my brother because he was the only boy. My mum never had time to favour any of us which was good!

Now we're all grown up. My brother and sister don't talk much. I don't get on with either of them. My sister doesn't talk to our Dad. In many ways we are so fragmented that I feel like an only child. I would never ever ever trust one of my siblings with one of my children and I certainly don't feel I benefit from having siblings or ever have. We don't hate each other, we're just civil. I feel love for them but they are certainly not friends or even people I particularly want in my life.

This is rather negative, isn't it?! Not saying it doesn't work well for most people though. This was just our experience of it.

Charotte31 Sun 17-Nov-13 08:30:39

I am the middle of 3. Older sister and younger brother. We always got on growing up and still do. We are all very close and socialise together all the time.
I always wanted 3 children because of how lovely my childhood was but my DH only wants 2. I really hope my DC get on as well as we did/do.

plipplops Sun 17-Nov-13 20:51:54

I'm the middle of 3 girls, I'm a twin and big sis is 18 months older. Always been super close to my twin but since our late teens have got on well with older sis too, think big sis felt horribly left out growing up. Now my twin and I live v close and big sis is 3 hours away but we're all very close and have a really good relationship.

Floralnomad Sun 17-Nov-13 21:33:19

stick I doubt your family dynamics are anything to do with being one of three ,your mother would probably have parented the same irrespective of how many children she had and your dad would have favoured your brother whatever .

StickChildrenTwo Sun 17-Nov-13 23:35:08

See I doubt that. She was just SO busy with 3. No time for one on one with any of us. So much washing and cleaning etc. I think it's ALL hugely dependant upon each family though, isn't it? The fact that someone loved being one of 3 and still is extremely close to their siblings is possibly nothing to do with their being 3 either...could be the same with 2 or 4 or any number. OP asked for experiences so I gave mine, that is all.

alemci Tue 19-Nov-13 19:26:00

yes I am eldest dd of 3 and have 3dc. it was quite hard for yd as she was middle child with yb and es.

have another child. I like having 3 myself.

NaturalBaby Tue 19-Nov-13 21:23:57

I found it quite difficult as a child but there were other things going on so relationships were quite difficult. There are times when one of us felt left out and 2 of us really didn't get on until we stopped living together.

Now we are all grown up I have a very, very good relationship with both my siblings and am very grateful that there are 2 of them - particularly as we get older.

Oblomov Tue 19-Nov-13 21:45:06

2 older brothers. Loved it.
Didn't want 3 myself. I struggle with 2 as it is.

happygoluckyinOz Wed 20-Nov-13 06:00:26

Really interesting reading!

I'm the eldest of 3 children, 15 months between me and my bro and 9 years until my sis came along.

I've always wished my parents had stopped at my brother, we had a really close relationship and still get on ok now. Never been close to my sister and rarely talk to her (if ever), I have nothing in common with her and it's just hard work to have a conversation.

DH is also one of three, but he's the youngest. He hated having two older brothers and it's a big reason behind him only wanting one child in the future. He said he was always picked on and his life was made pretty miserable by them.

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