The Mum Network

The truth about youngest children.

If you’ve been seeing a psychiatrist for most of your life treating you for ‘youngest child-itis’ which is a condition where you are convinced your siblings had a better life than you, take it from me, you’re probably bang on and your feelings of being forgotten or left to your own devices are 100% correct

First children have the best life. This is because new Mummy’s don’t have a clue what they’re doing and up until first child was born, they possibly had a fabulously entertaining life. Along comes child number 1 and Mum’s at home with a new baby and NO IDEA WHAT TO DO WITH IT. Things like gross and fine motor skills are obsessed over, brand new clothing is carefully colour co-ordinated and chosen the night before, food choices are made with nutrition and organic content in mind, common colds are taken directly to a GP and endless activities and play dates are arranged to socialize your little one.

By the time Mum gets to her last child she knows exactly what she’s doing and she laughs at her own stupidity and excessive spending with baby no 1. Gross and fine motor skills aren’t even noticed, you’ll learn to walk whenever you want to but the later the better, none of your clothing is new, it’s threadbare and typically been through at least two kids before you. You eat what the big kids eat, nutritious or not and yes, you’re allowed to eat off the floor because Mum cleaned it two days ago. Organic food is for hippies, the wealthy and those with one child, a common cold is seen as building your immunity and your siblings is  your only opportunity to socialize.

In my many mother of the year moments, I had a bit of a wake up call this week.

I’ve realised I have completely ignored the 5th child for the last 14 months.

It’s been easy to do, until this week, he was perfect. He has slept through the night since he was three days old and he never cried and had 3 or 4 hour naps during the day. With 4 older siblings he’s always entertained and his life has been pretty cruisy. I’ve been able to work and he’s just pottered around the tupperware cupboard playing with his homemade toy which is a water bottle filled with raw rice. This week however, he decided to turn into a toddler and wow did he do it in style.

On Wednesday after his ‘people’ left for school he decided he’d had enough of me and went straight to the key cupboard, took out the house keys and tried to open the front door presumably to leave home. He was done with me and my boring life and he found a not so subtle way to tell me. I managed to get the moment on camera……

Screen shot 2014-02-28 at 12.00.35 AM

So I got the hint and yesterday I went all out, took the day off work and decided to meet my sister and her two toddlers at the local playland. When we arrived I could see Mr 14 months absolute fascination with this newfound area. It took him all of 10 seconds to find the toddler ball pit and dive straight in. He looked straight at me with a look that said “I CANNOT BELIEVE YOU HAVE KEPT THIS PLACE A SECRET FOR SO LONG YOU COW” Seriously, if the kid could talk he would have given me a real serve. Two hours later after soft play, bikes, climbing, see saws, dolls, dancing and all types of activities, he didn’t want to leave. I realized that in all his perfection, I’d completely forgotten to occasionally leave the house and take him places I used to take his siblings.

Once the big kids got home from school talk turned to why I didn’t have a birthday party  and how unfair it was. I was convinced by four children whom I am sure will one day enter politics given their ability to twist all circumstances in their favour, to have my 37th birthday party at the local Build a Bear store. Yep, I had a party with 5 kids making teddy bears. Mr 14 months was in heaven but it was only after looking at the pictures I posted on facebook that I realised, HE DOESN’T OWN ANY SHOES. He toddled around the playland, shopping centre and build a bear completely barefooted. He has been walking for months and I’ve only just realised he doesn’t own shoes. ERK.

Screen shot 2014-02-28 at 12.00.51 AM

The 5th child is not the only one I’ve ignored, the 4th child is clearly happy to share how much Mummy cares about him at kindy. Was mortified earlier in the week to pick him up and read that his stand up news this week was “I stayed at home and I played at home and when Mamma was sleeping I played with Harry. I yelled at Harry because I wanted him to laugh but he didn’t laugh I scared him. I woke up Mumma and told her” (Harry is the 14 month old) – Huh? When was I asleep? I wanted to create some elaborate story for the kindy teacher that I don’t leave a 3 year old in charge of a 1 year old and fall asleep in random places but it would have been futile. Damage was done. Thanks kiddo. Screen shot 2014-02-27 at 11.59.21 PM

Shall buy shoes for little one tomorrow……..and am booking him into daycare, we’ve clearly reached that point where other ladies may be more entertaining than me.

Are you the youngest child? Do you feel a little left out or are you spoilt rotten and never forgotten? Is this just a big family thing?  


  1. A couple of weeks ago, I was out with my boys watching the fireworks in our town, when someone said to me “is this your first? don’t make the same mistake everybody else makes when they have more kids: take as many pictures and do the same activities!” – WOW! I realized how easily that could happen as we get busy and all… and it’s definitely one of my worries as we are working on #2…

  2. Jan ohalloran

    I can remember handing my 5th newborn to my eldest (aged 9) in the shower and giving him quick wash – so different to the first when bathtime took half the morning!

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