The Simplicity of Having One Child

by - October 15, 2020


As a parent to an only child, I get a lot of negative comments and judgment: how lonely my child is, how spoiled she will become, and others going as far as saying that I am not a "real" parent for having "just" one.

But there's a certain simplicity in having one child:

1. There is less of everything

The most noticeable is having fewer things at home.

Since there's "only" one, there's also just one set of clothes, toys, diapers, and one set of everything. 

Having less of everything means fewer things to clean and fewer clothes to wash and iron.

And now that I'm semi-homeschooling, there's also one set of learning materials to tend to! 

Of course, some would think, "But don't only children get more because their parents spoil them with so much stuff?"

That's a matter of choice, and we chose to be minimalistic :-)

2. You can live a simpler (and more environment-friendly) lifestyle

A minimalistic, downscaled lifestyle is so much more achievable with one child. 

When we were house-hunting, we can happily choose a smaller house for our small family.

When we bought a car, we didn't need a big one because there's just the three of us (and only one car seat!).

Our carbon footprint is also less, and although it's not one of our main reasons for being one and done, being environment-friendly sure is a huge plus!

And there are so many other perks of needing so little space as a family of three:

  • When we dine out (pre-COVID days), it's easier to squeeze in without a reservation because there are only three of us.
  • When we go on a trip, we can comfortably sit together in one row.
  • When we check-in at a hotel, we don't spend more because one child is free in most rooms.

3. There is only one to spend for

And here's the biggest benefit for us as a single-child family: life is generally much more affordable! 

There is only one tuition fee to spend for—and this is such a relief since college tuition fees are crazy expensive.

Our expenses for groceries, electricity, water, and other utilities are also minimal because there's just the three of us.

And if you factor in childcare and how expensive it gets, it's more manageable with just one child!

4. You get to savor everything

With one child, you get to savor every milestone

It's both heartwarming and heartbreaking because every first will also be the last.

Although it's bittersweet, it doesn't make me yearn for more children—instead, it makes me want to cherish the moments more.

And with the one-on-one relationship I have with my daughter, our bond seems much stronger.

The intensity of parent-child relationships in one-child families is often considered as both a boon and a bane, but I believe it all depends on how you parent. 

5. You get to enjoy parenting more

As a work-at-home mom, this is one thing I truly appreciate: I can enjoy the best of both worlds.

With one child, childcare is more manageable even though I don't have help while I work. 

And we find that instead of being "lonely," our daughter has become quite good at entertaining herself and being self-reliant.

As for us being a couple, we can balance our time better with one child, leaving us with ample time for self-care. And because we have time to decompress, we get to enjoy parenting more.

There's also the thing about discipline

Without sibling squabbles, our house is much more peaceful. 

It's also easier for us to be more self-aware of how we frame our words when we talk to our daughter, as we don't have a lot of distractions.


Society tends to focus too much on the downsides of being a small family, but we chose to see the positives.

There are benefits and disadvantages to any decision we make. At the end of the day, what matters most is that we chose what works best for our family.

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