Faydra Koenig shares:
As America’s Divorce Coach I work with men and women all over America who are making a life shift from married with full-time families to single with full parenting responsibilities shared with their ex. One of the common emotional shifts is at the dinner table. What may have been a time for the whole family to meet each evening and commune over mom or dad’s cooking has morphed into a part-time affair.
What Can You Do?
When men, women and children shift from a nuclear family to whatever their new normal is, there is a time when everything feels upside down and uncontrolled. It can be chaotic as every family member adjusts to the situation. What can families do to manage the stress and reduce the anxiety? Take it slow.
Sometimes families relied on one parent or the other to do the meal planning and either mom or dad was the family cook. This means that under the new reality of being single, either mom or dad may be faced with juggling a career, kids and cooking without help from a spouse. Mealtime doesn’t have to be yet another stress that comes with divorce. One of the best tools a single parent can have is a slow cooker or “crock pot.”
For a single parent, a slow cooker offers endless opportunities to relieve stress. Slow cooked meals take less time to prepare, create home-cooked, nutritious meals for your kids and offer you comfort and meaningful nutrition when you are home alone.
Grab That Slow Cooker!
Nothing could be easier than a slow cooked meal. Even the most basic of cooks can gather simple ingredients and create a wholesome meal. Cook books like Tracy’s Slow Cooking Recipes for Busy Moms offer easy and yummy recipes that little tummy’s will love. By prepping your meal in the morning, turning on your crock pot and heading out the door, you make an investment in your evening when you come home and have dinner all ready for you and the family.
Single parents who are working with limited income, can use their slow cooker to feed their families for less. Whole nutritious foods like veggies and lean meats are ideal for the crock pot and with the time savings, there is less likelihood of spending money on take out. Who cares if you have work, soccer and dance if you know your dinner is home, warm and waiting for you.
Make It Count
The biggest benefit of a slow cooked meal is that you have the ability to make meals in bulk that you can freeze or store in the fridge. When you are home alone, with no kids you have dinner right there and ready. This helps with issues like binge eating or feeling lonely and sorry for yourself. It feels good to have a soothing stew or soup to eat while you enjoy your night off from parenting. It can feel amazing to have a wonderful chicken dish or beef night when you have no one to look after but yourself. The psychology of having a home made meal when you feel like life is upside down is healing. It can help restore some of the angst of your divorce.
Divorce is never easy, being a single mom or dad is something most people never see themselves becoming. When it happens, it is good to know that there are some things out there that can make life easier. Grab yourself a crock pot and reclaim a part of your life that will positively impact your children.
Faydra Koenig, MA is an author, podcaster, syndicated columnist, speaker and blogger. You can find more about Faydra at www.americasdivorcecoach.us