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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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 .

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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!

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

Phew! Had me worried for a minute there.

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 12:41:49

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

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 .

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 )

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!

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!

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