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Having 3 kids vs 4 kids? - Page 2

post #21 of 32
We jumped from two to four, but now that we survived most of year one with the twins, I am loving it. DS1 was 8 when DD was born and I thought one was hard, then I KNEW that two were really hard. Now, I know that four is hard and wonderful, and fantastic - all at once.
post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurieG View Post
Intereting that a few of you mentioned the youngest being the "odd man out". I'm thinking of adding #4 so that my middle guy won't have "middle child syndrome". DH and I are both from families of 3 and the middle one has such a complex even as an adult. So I never considered the youngest having the hardest time with the dynamics of a 3 child family even though I was the youngest and I did feel like I was the odd man out when I was a child. I thought that was just being the only girl and 4 yrs younger than my brother (the 2 boys were 2 yrs apart).

Can anyone comment on the middle child syndrome issue? Does adding a 4th reduce that dynamic?
The genders matter. If 1 and 2 are opposite genders then it is like having two first-borns in terms of birth order, and no "middle-child", even in a family of 3. I'm curious what your dh family looked like?
post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dandelionkid View Post
The genders matter. If 1 and 2 are opposite genders then it is like having two first-borns in terms of birth order, and no "middle-child", even in a family of 3. I'm curious what your dh family looked like?
Hmm.. DH's family was all boys. So does that mean if our theoretic DC 4 was a boy then my middle guy would still be the middle guy and DD would be like a firstborn?
post #24 of 32

About the Odd Man Out

Of course this depends on the age and gender of the kids, but by the time you get to four kids (a lot of our extended family have four or more) it seems that stereotypical roles (oldest, middle, baby) really break down. The family dynamic doesn't easily fall into a category anymore. It's more unique to the family.

Yeah, if you have three teenage girls and a four year old boy, the boy is probably the odd man out. Also, spacing and gender can sometimes mean that your large family actually breaks down into two smaller families with more traditional dynamics. Really though, with the number of relationships that you have formed between two adults and four or more kids, the dynamics are complex enough that you just don't get the stereotypical positioning.

One thing I like about families with four or more kids is that there are a lot of relationships. If a child doesn't click well with one sibling, they probably get along better with another. With more relationships there is less pressure on any single one.

I've read that there is less fighting between individuals in larger families. I think this makes sense. If you have one sibling you only have one to argue with, but if you have three siblings, you have to spread your arguing and bickering around more.

I don't think that families with two kids breed issues, or that big families circumvent them simply by being big, but it does seem to me that families with four or more kids are more relaxed about family roles and tensions. They seem to have more perspective on it. And in contrast, we seem to know a lot of smaller families (two or three kids) where even as adults there is still a lot of sibling rivalry and competition.
post #25 of 32
We have found that 4 is not hardly different than 3, in terms of chaos and logistics.

Other than that, boy does our 4th add a LOT of love! My boys are totally in love with their baby sister, have been since they first learned I was pregnant. It's really beautiful and fun to have them adoring her, clamoring to hold, hug, and kiss her all day long. They are so thrilled with her very presence in their lives. Me too.

And although we were done at 3 and #4 was a surprise, it finally feels as if my family is complete. My DD needed to be here. We all needed her. She has rounded us out, somehow.

I don't usually feel like a large family, though we are, but perhaps that's because #4 is still an infant. Perhaps when she is running around like her older brothers, then it will feel BIG to me. Or maybe not.

It just feels right. It feels just right. I love my family!!
post #26 of 32
We're due with number 4 any day now. It's reassuring to see some of you comment that going to number 4 was easiest. I think for us, it will definitely be that way. When we had #3, #2 was only 12 months, so that was a big adjustment. Now, we'll have a 6yo, a 2yo, a 1yo, and a newborn. So, I worry more about #1 being the odd man out than I do either of the toddlers or the newborn.

We're facing the car issue as well. We're getting a tax return in December (we filed for an extension just so we'd have the money available!) and we're planning on using it towards a mini-van. Right now, we have a Grand Am, and we've already squeezed 3 carseats in the back, so we'll definitely need an upgrade!
post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurieG View Post
Intereting that a few of you mentioned the youngest being the "odd man out". I'm thinking of adding #4 so that my middle guy won't have "middle child syndrome". DH and I are both from families of 3 and the middle one has such a complex even as an adult. So I never considered the youngest having the hardest time with the dynamics of a 3 child family even though I was the youngest and I did feel like I was the odd man out when I was a child. I thought that was just being the only girl and 4 yrs younger than my brother (the 2 boys were 2 yrs apart).

Can anyone comment on the middle child syndrome issue? Does adding a 4th reduce that dynamic?
I agree. I was the middle of 3 kids, and I was always the odd one out. I remember a trip to Disneyland when I was a little kid, and we were riding Space Mtn. Brother rode with dad, sister rode with mom. Guess who got stuck riding with a complete stranger? Yup, middle child. I think it's better with an even number of kids, that way nobody feels left out.

I had 4 step siblings, and they seemed to have a better balance.
post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dandelionkid View Post
The genders matter. If 1 and 2 are opposite genders then it is like having two first-borns in terms of birth order, and no "middle-child", even in a family of 3.
My experience is quite different here. #1 is a boy, #2 is a girl, #3 is a girl. And #2 has some pretty bad middle child stuff going on right now. She's driving DH and I a little crazy. But she's always been high-needs, from day one, so maybe that's the difference? I don't know. All I know is that when #3 was concieved, DH said, "Now we have to have a 4th so DD2 won't have middle child syndrome!"

#3 will be one this week, so we're looking at TTC in the next 3-4 months and hopefully they'll be 2 or a little more years apart. My first 2 are 26 months apart and I liked that spacing a lot.
post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by LemonPie View Post
My experience is quite different here. #1 is a boy, #2 is a girl, #3 is a girl. And #2 has some pretty bad middle child stuff going on right now. She's driving DH and I a little crazy. But she's always been high-needs, from day one, so maybe that's the difference? I don't know. All I know is that when #3 was concieved, DH said, "Now we have to have a 4th so DD2 won't have middle child syndrome!"

#3 will be one this week, so we're looking at TTC in the next 3-4 months and hopefully they'll be 2 or a little more years apart. My first 2 are 26 months apart and I liked that spacing a lot.
Yeah- it's so much more complex than just one set formula isn't it? In my case the middle is a boy, flanked on either side by girls, and the fact that he gets so much attention for typical boy stuff (good coordination etc) leads me to believe he won't have so many "middle" issues. I wonder, though, if my last had been a boy, would he have needed to seek identity through attn. seeking behavior instead of just gender.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurieG View Post
Hmm.. DH's family was all boys. So does that mean if our theoretic DC 4 was a boy then my middle guy would still be the middle guy and DD would be like a firstborn?
So what are your kids genders?
post #30 of 32
I love having 4. They are all pretty closely spaced (the closest are 19 months apart, the farthest are 2y5mo.). I did get lucky with genders though, 2 boys followed by 2 girls. They are all so close and love each other so much that I just LOVE watching them interact. The fight too of course, but the good moments far outweigh the bad. Just last night the 6 year old insisted on putting his sisters (age 4 and 2) to bed. He snuggled up with them, held their hands and sang them lullabyes. The youngest wasn't satisfied until I came in to nurse her but the 4 year old happily went to sleep. Then I woke up this morning to the 8 year old complaining because his roommate slept in another room all night!.

I find that 3 was a harder dynamic. Too much competition or something. Just like when as a child I had 2 best friends, no matter what 2 of our 3 would pair off to play and that always left someone out. With 4 there is always someone left to play with. Even the 8 yo will happily play with the 2yo if the other two are involved in some sort of game. It works out great.

I also like how dh and I can split them. He can take 2 while I take the other 2. One for each hand And 4 really doesn't seem like many. I take them everywhere except the pool (without help) on my own all the time. It isn't difficult at all.

I will say though that there is a certain kind of chaos that comes from having more kids. You just have to expect noise and mess. And laundry. Lots of laundry But also, Four kids who light up MY face when they enter a room. Four versions of every experience excitedly relayed to me (all at once). Four giant goodnight hugs and kisses. I can't imagine how much poorer my life would be without any of them.

I also look ahead to the future. I am also one of four children. I have 3 older brothers and as the only girl I was always the outsider. My bros are also all close in age whereas I am 4 years younger than the youngest (7 years younger than the oldest). Being a bit younger and a different gender always made me the outsider, though as we got older the age difference didn't seem so big. My oldest brother had an adverse reaction to an antibiotic which destroyed his liver. As his health has deteriorated his siblings have really rallied around him. Having so many siblings has really helped as the financial burden of caring for someone who can no longer work (and doesn't receive enough benefits to even cover rent) is shared. Taking him to appointments falls to the siblings who live closest and there is always someone to help when necessary. If there were less of us it would definitely be more of a strain. Also, this would all be too much for my parents who have health concerns of their own. My dad is also in poor health. It is nice to know that there are four of us to pull together when my mom is left on her own one day (she is 11 years younger than my dad and he is in poor health currently).

I just feel that more is better! I love my family of four kids. I would totally have more if dh was on board as the ones I have fill my life with so much joy that it is hard to imagine NOT having another one to add to the love and chaos of our lives. And once you get used to the mess and noise (and did I mention the laundry?) it hardly matters if there is just a little more!
post #31 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dandelionkid View Post
Yeah- it's so much more complex than just one set formula isn't it? In my case the middle is a boy, flanked on either side by girls, and the fact that he gets so much attention for typical boy stuff (good coordination etc) leads me to believe he won't have so many "middle" issues. I wonder, though, if my last had been a boy, would he have needed to seek identity through attn. seeking behavior instead of just gender.



So what are your kids genders?
#1 is DS - almost 7, #2 is DS, almost 5, and #3 is DD, almost 2. So it's the same as my family as a kid except I was another year younger than my older brother. Otherwise exactly the same.

I have to say those of you who have 4 have convinced me I want to add another. You are all expressing just what I was hoping a 4th would add. Now I just have to get DH on board. He gets a little overwhelmed by the chaos of 3. And he worries about finances (like how do you send 4 kids to college. I don't have answers to those issues).
post #32 of 32
We're at three kids and I am hoping to have a fourth. Some days more than others.

Mine are 6 (boy), 3 (girl) and 9 months (boy). I love my kids and I really don't feel done yet, but I am a bit leery of being a four kid family. Why can't they make a normal sized car for 6 people? This is a big problem. Not so much now b/c we live in Switzerland and can (and DO) use public transport, but we're planning a move to rural Nova Scotia (Canada). A reliable and spacious car will be more of an issue there.

Also our house (in Canada and here) only has 3 bedrooms. My eldest two are bunking (always have) and the baby is with us in our room till probably two-ish. Then we'll probably bunk the youngest two and give the eldest his own room (for the moment). If we have a forth the babe will stay with us till towo-ish, then we'll have to weigh our housing options. lol Ahhh logistics. The other only potential downside of four.

Any way. I am looking at a 2.5-3 year difference. It work okay so far. Close enough to enjoy some of the same things, but far enough apart so I don't lose my marbles.

This thread makes me hopeful that life won't be too crazy with four... keep writing.
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