In my fifteen years as a journalist (five of those writing as an opinion columnist about being a stay at home mom), I have never come across something as horrible or tragic as the story about Lisa Batstone.
She is currently facing a second-degree murder charge of her 8-year-old daughter, Teagan.
She was a stay at home mom, who in recent years, returned to work in the educational field - and lived in my community. It has been written repeatedly that she was "good with children" and "she was a good mom".
I am struggling very hard to understand how this can be written about a woman who is currently facing a second-degree murder charge of her own daughter.
I wrote a letter to the editor of the Peace Arch News, which printed the headline "She was a good mom" and ran it on the front of their newspaper.
The editor wrote me back advising that they would not publish my letter.
And that "the community would understand the context of the article, and decide for themselves".
The full article can be read here:
I told him that I respectfully disagree.
I don't believe for one moment that my words cannot be read, nor should they be held back. The newspaper opened the door for criticism when they printed that as their headline.
So with that said - below is my letter - not to the editor - but to my readers. I leave it up to you to decide how you feel about it.
Lisa Batstone was not a good mom.
In recent articles it has been said that she had attempted suicide at least once and was believed by others that she suffered from mental illness before being charged with second-degree murder of her daughter in December.
There were also incidents that her ex-husband, Gabe Batstone said, should have been questioned regarding parental custody in their divorce.
Her swings from elation to depression were erratic, intense and out of control for three months prior to her crime, according to CBC.
This one horrific, unspeakable act was the end to a tragic life lived with a woman who was not in her right mind.
This is the exact opposite of a good mom.
If Teagan was infact, being raised by someone who experienced such highs and lows, who suffered from such depression; she was impacted negatively every single day of her young life.
If Lisa Batstone did do this, imagine how confused, how scared and sad this little girl was, at the realization that she was dying at the hands of the woman who was to protect her.
Don't sugar coat what happened here.
Lisa Batstone may look like a normal, caring, happy woman in the Facebook photos of her and her daughter that are cropping up everywhere, however, behind these photos is a woman who was extremely disturbed.
We do not know what went on behind closed doors.
For Lisa Batstone's father, Barry Hamilton to say that he loves her unconditionally and blew kisses to her during her court appearance, makes me uneasy.
How can you forgive someone and stand by them when they are charged with murdering your grandchild? Doesn't there have to be a line that a person crosses that severs ties, no matter what the relation?
As someone who wrote for years in this community about motherhood, and has a daughter the same age as Teagan, I can not let those words be what describes a woman who is charged with taking her own daughter's life.
I used to receive emails from many single moms who lived tough lives raising their children on their own. Mothers who worked long hours, sacrificed their own lives for the good of their children. These are the good moms. These are the ones who deserve to be recognized and praised.
Not Lisa Batstone. Now not - not ever.
Thoughts/Insight/Response? Email me at: Kelley2000@hotmail.com
Today is my 42nd birthday. And I'm quite happy about it.
Now I know not a lot of people are happy about getting older, but I happen to wear my age as a badge of honour.
I've accomplished a great deal in my life, thus far. And I'm pretty proud of that. I'm also proud to be a mom, who is exceptionally proud of her kids - and who they are becoming through each passing year.
I really think that birthdays are a time to reflect, a time to look back at what you have accomplished - and a time to look forward on what you have yet to do.
Instead of pretending we are an age we are not, I think we should be shouting it from the roof tops. I don't want to mask my age with Botox or some god-forbidden surgery. I like who I am, what I look like - and living life the way I choose.
I take 42 with great happiness, and look at it as a marker, of what was, what is, and what is yet to be.
It's time to celebrate. :)
So the kids couldn’t wait to visit Papa Murphy’s Pizza in South Surrey this past week.
Although we had not tried their pizza before – my kids consider themselves “aficionados” when it comes to pizza, so they were raring to go, to try it out.
The concept of Papa Murphy’s pizza is simple: design it anyway you like, and then you take it home and bake it for 10 minutes at 425 degrees. It’s direct form the oven to your table.
I like the idea because it’s hot from the oven, and you get to watch it being created (a bonus for the kids)....
When we arrived, it was evident this was a place that was run impeccably well.
It was immaculate, and the owners, Ray Levasseur and his wife Roma, have made it that way on purpose.
They were behind the counter when we arrived and greeted us warmly.
They explained how the process works, and helped our kids find the right pizza for them.
The kids opted for the “Mini Murph” Pepperoni and “Mini Murph” Cheese pizza kits.
Why they liked this option best was because they could create their own pizza at home with the kit.
For adults, you first choose a size (Medium, Large or Family), then choose a crust (Original, thin or stuffed), then sauce (traditional, creamy garlic, olive oil or herb tomato) and then add your toppings.
My husband and I chose the Gourmet Chicken Garlic Pizza. It included grilled chicken, diced tomatoes, and green onions in creamy garlic sauce with herb and cheese blend.
As we watched them put together our gourmet pizza, we were told that all their vegetables are prepared fresh each morning, along with their grated cheese and dough made from scratch, daily.
We also chose a dessert (I couldn’t resist!) – Chocolate chip cookie dough to take with us and bake at home as well!
The kids couldn’t wait to get home and put their kits together. After baking the kits, I have to admit, I couldn’t wait to put our own in the oven. Our kitchen smelled delicious!
And what did the kids think of Papa Murphy’s Pizza? It was love at first bite. And we really enjoyed our Chicken Garlic pizza too. Simply fantastic. The cookies were a great way to end the meal too – freshly baked in minutes.
So now it’s your turn!
Readers of The Stay at Home Mother website are invited to try their own Papa Murphy’s Pizza in South Surrey for FREE!
For the first 10 readers who “LIKE” Papa Murphy’s Canada Facebook Page, can receive ONE FREE large signature or gourmet pizza.
Their Facebook page can be found here:
Then head down to 15355 - 24th Avenue, Surrey, BC to receive ONE FREE large signature or gourmet pizza (one per person) which cannot be combined with any other promotion.
All you have to do is show them on your Smart Phone that you liked their Facebook page!
It’s that simple! Then enjoy your fresh, large Papa Murphy’s Pizza for FREE tonight!
For those of you who are a bit slow on the draw, who aren’t the first 10 down there, will be eligible for $2.00 off any menu priced pizza.
So what are you waiting for? Just hit “LIKE” and get going to Papa Murphy’s today - and enjoy your own hot and delicious pizza tonight!
We have organized an evening for Jamie McDonald, who is from the UK, and ran across Canada raising money for the Children's Hospitals in each province.
He finished his run in Vancouver this week.
Please join Jamie on Friday, February 7th at the TC Lions Head Pub in Vancouver, located on 888 West Cordova Street from 5pm onwards for a few celebratory drinks. :)
Afterwards, Jamie will be hitting the Roxy for more fun and dancing! There will be NO COVER and NO WAIT for anyone who advises at the door that you are with the Jamie McDonald party. You just need to get there before 10pm.
No need to RSVP, just come on down and join Jamie, and help toast his incredible accomplishment!
For more info on Jamie McDonald, or to donate, please visit his website at www.JamieMcDonald.org.
If you have not had the pleasure of learning about Jamie MacDonald's story, please let me introduce you to this inspiring, brave and dedicated young man.
I learned about him a few months ago, as he was in the middle of his Canadian trek across Canada. He was running, unassisted, to raise money for Children's hospitals in each province he ran across.
So where did he come from and why is he doing it? His story is quite amazing...
As a child, Jamie was in and out of Gloucester Royal hospital in the UK for nine years with a rare spinal condition known as syringomyelia, as well as a very weak immune system, and the Pied Piper’s help was invaluable. He also spent a great deal of time at Great Ormond Street.
On March 9th 2013, Jamie began his attempt to run Canada coast to coast, more than 5,000 miles unassisted, jointly raising money in aid of UK charities Great Ormond Street Children’s Charity and the Pied Piper Appeal and children’s hospitals throughout Canada.
He’ll become the first person in history to run it alone if he completes it, facing snow storms, -40°C temperatures and grizzly bears, all whilst pushing his belongings in a baby stroller nicknamed Caesar.
He will be arriving in Vancouver on Monday, February 3rd. The details of his arrival (which I will be attending) can be found here:
I've also booked him to come and speak at our school at South Meridian next Thursday at 12:45. I can't wait for the kids to meet him.
I'm also working on a great celebration for him this coming Friday, February 7th in Vancouver. I will be posting details shortly and encourage anyone who would like to meet this amazing UK man, to join us on Friday. :)
In the meantime, You can read more about his adventures on his website here and also to donate: