Mummy Bloggers Tarnished By Munchausen By Proxy Syndrome

I woke up this morning feeling ill. Partly because of a stomach ache and partly because of an article I read about the actions a fellow Aussie mother who just happens to be a Mummy Blogger.

The mother from New South Wales has been charged with harming her daughter, who was born with a genetic illness, by injecting her with urine. The child also displayed signs of laxative abuse.

Police have found evidence to suggest this has been happening as far back as 2008 and nobody suspected anything. That is until in March (2015) when medical staff noticed a yeast and fungus mixture in the child’s central venous catheter consistent with urine contamination.

This isn’t the first time a Mummy / Mommy blogger has made headlines for harming their own child. In 2014, US Mommy Blogger Lacey Spears was sentenced to 20 years jail for causing the death of her five year old son Garnett through sodium poisoning.

It’s alleged she administered salt directly into either his breathing or feeding tube. I have found conflicting information about her exact actions however the end result was catastrophic. Her precious son died even though there were signs that something was seriously wrong.

Both women actively blogged about their respective child’s health issues and illnesses.

That’s the thing about Mummy Bloggers. Blogging is an outlet for many mothers. A way to build connections. A source of support particularly for those struggling with motherhood.

The media has taken advantage of this latest case by pointing out the woman’s profession. If she was a personal assistant or in the hospitality industry, it’s highly unlikely her career path would even make a mention. It would simply state, “Woman charged with….”

In saying that, I can understand why the media highlighted the fact these women are bloggers. Both women took advantage of the support and empathy they received from the wider population by sharing their children’s health issues in a very public way.

While I don’t condone the women’s actions and understand there are clearly underlying mental health issues, I can’t help but feel empathetic towards these women. While I don’t understand what drives a mother, the nurturer, the protector, to want to harm their own child, I do understand that something in them must have been broken or missing. Something was very, very wrong.

What I would like to point out is not every Mummy Blogger suffers from mental illness. Granted, many use blogging as a platform to share their experiences with depression, anxiety and mental illness as a means of supporting those who are feeling isolated and alone, myself included however just as all mothers aren’t affected by mental illness, neither are Mummy Bloggers.

Munchausen By Proxy is a form of medical child abuse where the caregiver, normally a parent, fabricates symptoms of health issues in a child in order to gain attention, often creating the symptoms themselves. Munchausen syndrome is a form of a mental illness.

For the most part, it is difficult not to judge these women by their actions. It’s also difficult not to tarnish all bloggers with the same brush. In the words of self help guru Dr Wayne Dyer, “When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself”.

Sources: Huffington Post, ABC News

 

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Comments

  1. I read about her too – how sad and also scary. We seem to have a few too many nut job bloggers in Australia of late.
    Christine @ Adventure, Baby! invites you to read their latest post: Adventures in Parenting: This is FOURMy Profile

  2. So very sad to see another one of these stories.

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