Identical twins have the unique ability to pretend to be another human being.
That’s likely pretty helpful when going to the bank, pulling pranks, and trying on clothes at the store. But what if someone outside the “twinship” tries to exploit those similarities?
A recent post on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit outlined how that looked for one woman.
The Original Poster (OP), known as hugefamilyproblems on the site, hit on the prime culprit right in the title:
“AITA for telling my BIL I don’t want to pretend to be his kids’ mother?”
OP began with a quick rundown on the family setup.
“I (34-year-old female) have a pretty successful career in France and I’m doing pretty well for myself.”
“I also have a twin sister and younger brother (34-year-old female & 28-year-old male) who I thought were also doing well.”
“With my busy life, I don’t get to come to the States and see my family often, but when I do we have a good time since we have a good relationship.”
Recently, OP was greeted with a surprise.
“Last week, I came to visit my family and plan to stay until February since my job will be remote for a bit. It was then when I noticed everything was a bit weird.”
“When I walked through the door, my sister’s kids (2-year-old male and 1-year-old female) were excited to see me and the oldest kept saying ‘Mama back! Mama back!’ ”
“I thought they were just confused since we look alike and they’ve never seen us in the same room together.”
Then came an even bigger surprise.
“However, my BIL (36-year-old male) pulled me to the side and told me how my sister had left him late November.”
“Of course, I was shocked and asked how him and the kids were doing.”
“He explained how they’re too young to understand everything, but would like if I extended my visit and pretended to be their mom since he doesn’t want them to experience so much hurt so young.
“I instantly told him no and carried on with my day.”
The blowback was just as puzzling for OP.
“I thought this issue was put to rest until yesterday when my mom (56-year-old female) told me how she was extremely disappointed in me for not helping out my BIL and thought I should at least try it for a bit since he’s in distress.”
“I honestly don’t know what to do, my family’s a bit old fashioned and wants me to help my BIL, but it’ll be weird for me pretending to be my sister and their mom.”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Most Redditors told OP she wasn’t the a**hole. For many, it was simple.
“Nope, nope, NOPE. NTA. Nothing good will come from that request by your BIL. I don’t know what the answer is but I can sure as hell say what it is not. Good luck with the rest of your stay.” — Live_Contribution451
“NTA Holy hell where do we start with this.”
“Your sister has walked out on your family. It is not your responsibility to swoop in and play mummy until your BIL figures out he has to deal with the reality of the situation.”
“Secondly, have you not contacted your sister to find out where she is and why she left? How can she have walked out on them over a month ago and your family not have mentioned it. Do you not know where she is?”
“The kids probably won’t even remember this all in years to come. Either they’ll grow up without her, or it’ll be a story they’re told at a random family dinner when someone gets too drunk.” — Full_Worldliness1480
“WTF? Old fashioned American tradition does not explain this! This is not an American custom and it is not normal or moral to lie to children about their parentage.”
“It is cruel and could easily land them in a therapist’s chair with major problems. It is abuse.”
“What your family wants is flat out disgusting, enough to make me question if they’re even fit to raise these kids. I can only imagine what their lives will be like if it is filled with major lies like this.”
“I hope you will monitor the situation and call cps if this is a pattern of abuse. You are definitely NTA for not wanting to damage developing minds.”
A few people wondered about OP’s sister.
“NTA, but why does no one in your immediate family seem to give a crap about where your sister is right now?” — Songbird_Eurydice
“So she disappeared during a time where PPD can easily occur, no one has heard from her, and he wants you to lie to the kids? NTA, report her as missing if you can’t find her.” — WoozyRadish
“NTA. And for the love of god, why isn’t your mother at all concerned about the fact that her daughter missed the holidays with her two small children? That has red flags ALL over it! Please, file a missing persons report immediately. Don’t wait any longer.”
“Call the police and file the report. Start making ‘Missing’ posters of your sister and hang them up. Even if your sister was ‘reckless’ as a mother (per your mother’s description) most won’t just up and leave and not have any contact with their children.”
“Especially their small children. Your sister is either currently in a serious mental health break or dead. No joke here. Her husband should be FAR more concerned about her if he actually cared. The fact that he hasn’t called the police himself is HIGHLY concerning.” — Emotional_Fan_7011
“Looking up ‘Red Flags’ in the dictionary, this post would be there. GO TO THE POLICE. FILE A MISSING PERSONS REPORT.”
“NTA, obviously.” — BmorInked
So at the very least OP doesn’t need to worry about the morality of her choice. But, at least according to Redditors, she may have far bigger things to worry about.