The Slow Cooked Single Parent

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.

faydraFaydra Koenig, MA is an author, podcaster, syndicated columnist, speaker and blogger. You can find more about Faydra at


  1. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my slow cooker!!

  2. Eating together as a family, regardless of how the family is composed, is so important! Thank you for this article!

  3. Judy Brannon says:

    Even with just the 2 of us now in our empty nest, I love my crockpot. Being retired doesn’t mean I want to spend all day in the kitchen. There are so many other things I’ve been waiting to do, like country line dance classes!

  4. I remember when my children were young and how hectic mornings could be. I found it was a lot less stressful to prep for the next day’s crockpot dinner the night before. I cut up the meat and vegetables (if needed) and measured out as many of the accompanying ingredients as I could. Then I refrigerated what needed to be refrigerated and I was off to bed. The next morning I threw all the previously prepped items into the crockpot along with any last minute additions. It certainly minimized the stress I felt as we were all trying to get out the door on time, or I should say, it minimized the “What’s for dinner?” stress. The kids were still themselves. :)

  5. S Goldman says:

    Healthier, cheaper, and a lot less work…..especially when you’re doing it all.

  6. Using my crockpot is one of my absolute favorite ways to save time and make a good meal! I am not a single parent,and I would never compare my life to those who have to do it all alone, but my husband works long hours and isn’t here a lot. The bulk of food prep and meal planning rests on me, so my crockpot helps a lot! Great post, Faydra and good to see you here1
    Alicia recently posted..General Transcription Blog Post Roundup- What You Need to KnowMy Profile

  7. While I am not a single parent, the nest has been empty for quite a while now. So how did I get into using a slow cooker? Well, because it produces some scrumptious meals which are best prepared in a crock pot or slow cooker. But my Rival really came to the rescue when my Mom became Dad’s only caregiver. For 9 years, she spent most of her waking hours tending to him with little to no time left to cook for both of them. So out came the crock pot and I started preparing a daughter’s version of “meals on wheels”. The prepared meal selections were delivered twice a week and all Mom had to do was thaw out and reheat. Dad is no longer with us but the crock pot still serves the same purpose. Meals for Mom and whenever a family favorite is on the menu, I prepare it in quantities sufficient to share with the kids and their families. My slow cooker meals have even inspired my niece and nephew to use crockpots in their homes. My reward is getting regular photos on Instagram of the latest menu selection. Can you picture 20 somethings using their crock pots to prepare dinner and proud enough to share the results?? Never did I imagine that my slow cooking adventures would develop such an fanbase. Now we are all into “adapting” regular recipes to use in a slow cooker. Oh…and while dinner is cooking, lots of multi tasking going on.
    Di recently posted..More Comfort Food: A Recipe For CassouletMy Profile

  8. What would I do without my Rival Crock Pot? Once again, the slow cooker comes to the rescue. A few minutes in the kitchen early in the morning frees me to take part in house hunting adventures with my youngest, focus on Halloween costumes for the grandsons, keep an eye on and help my elderly “Maman” and keep multiple business deadlines.
    The last slow cooker meal was Sunday dinner for 4 of us, plus leftovers for two more! The Easy Chicken Curry is already in the cooker. Dinner will be scrumptious!
    De recently posted..More Comfort Food: A Recipe For CassouletMy Profile

  9. I’m not a single parent, but its just my partner and I… and we always seem to be on the go. Our crock pot makes that easier to have something “brewing” while we’re out and about. Our only challenge…. planning ahead to actually use it!

  10. It’s heartwarming to know what a godsend a slow cooker is to single parents as well as empy nesters.


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