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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.

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.

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 03-Jan-13 17:18:59

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.

LeggyBlondeNE Thu 03-Jan-13 20:42:17

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!

ithasgonetotheopera Fri 04-Jan-13 00:16:11

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

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