Rachel Hayward

Rachel HaywardRachel Hayward holds an undergraduate degree in political science and a masters degree in public administration. She is also a certified risk and information systems control professional. She is a DV survivor.

Attention Mothers: You Matter

Mother with childIt feels like a radical approach to parenting to say this, but mother’s lives are just as important as children’s lives. Parenting takes a focus on the child, and once you become a parent, parenting becomes a full time occupation. So where do a mother’s needs fit into all of this? Maslow’s hierarchy of needs applies equally to mothers as it does to anyone else. I encourage you to take a moment and say it out loud: “I am as important as my children, my needs matter.” Let it be your mantra.

I can safely assume that most people will agree with the mantra. Of course you matter. But when is the last time that you took a critical look at your day, your week or your month and said yes there is sufficient “me” time in my schedule?

Our children’s health and wellbeing becomes our focus, and rightfully so, but this should not be at the expense of our own health and wellbeing. From the moment I became a mother my life became a shadow my children’s. Their needs became more important than mine, more immediate, more demanding. It was a gradual progression. And it’s something many mothers struggle with.

Day 9: Re-evaluating personal security with the Internet of things

Woman using computerThe Internet of things” is a fairly recent term used to describe the network of physical objects or "things" embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity, which enables users to live in a more connected world. The obvious parts of this network is your cell phone, tablet and perhaps iPod. But it is also the less obvious parts, such as your Fitbit, your apple watch, your new sneakers that track where and how far you walk/run, your vehicle, your appliances, home alarm system and the list goes on. The Internet of things has opened up a world of possibility. Our lives have changed drastically in just the last 10 years thanks to this network.

Imagine a typical twenty something couple living in their newly purchased home. After a busy day at work they sit together on the couch. She is cold and he is hungry. By using apps on their phone they can turn up the heat and order a pizza. They may turn on Netflix and their baby begins to cry. Both grab their phones and use the baby cam app to check in on the little one. The pizza will be coming soon so he turns off the home alarm while she turns on the outside lights - again all using their phones.

Day 6: Why the question “Why doesn’t she just leave?” hurts my ears

Woman looking at cameraOne of the most common misconceptions about domestic violence is that it occurs within a relationship, and ends when the relationship does. Leaving a relationship does not stop the abuse. They are separate issues only connected by the individuals involved.

Recently in the Edmonton area there have been two high profile domestic murders that shine light on the enduring nature of domestic abuse. Both women were murdered long after the relationships had ended. The first, Nadine Skow, had broken off the relationship more than a year prior to her ex-partner breaking into her home and stabbing her 17 times. She had moved across the province to hide from him. She was preparing to move again. The second, Colleen Sillito, had sought police protection and had a Court Order barring him from contacting her; he had already violated the Order at least once. She was also in a new relationship. But the abuse did not end. In both cases, the women had taken significant steps toward protecting themselves.