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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'.

Chrysanthemum5 Thu 03-Jan-13 08:03:35

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

3birthdaybunnies Thu 03-Jan-13 08:19:13

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.

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