A new dad has popped up on Reddit to share a sticky situation he’s found himself in and he’s wondering if his behaviour is really all that bad.
“My wife gave birth to twins,” the gent began in his now deleted post. “Everything went great. I spent a lot of time at home with them but I ultimately had to go to work after about 2 months.”
So far so good. But time away from his babies – who are identical – has made telling them apart even harder.
“Ever since I’ve gone back to work I’ve had a lot of issues identifying them. Anytime I call one the wrong name she gets mad and ignores me for an hour. She spends all day with them every day so she knows exactly which is which. I can’t do that.”
This time away coupled with the fact that his wife dresses the babies in interchangeable outfits is making identifying each twin really challenging.
“They both look almost exactly alike and I can’t figure out which is which,” the new dad admits. “I asked if she would separate some clothes but she said no, because she thinks it’s cute they share clothes.”
“I asked about giving them bracelets (that they can’t choke on of course). She laughed at the idea. Every idea I came up with she shuts down.”
Spot the difference
Eventually this dad came up with a novel solution to this problem, pretty much labelling the twins for easy identification.
“I drew a little dot (with a safe marker) on one twin’s right hand and one on the other’s left hand and I made sure to have the names right. It started to work. I didn’t have any issues identifying them until my wife found out.”
But it didn’t work for … this stressed-out dad’s wife.
“She got really mad at me because I needed that much help figuring out our babies names. The issue is I do need help. She spends all day with them. I do not. She got mad and left the house.”
Several days later she is still upset and this dad wonders if he crossed a line with twins’ dots.
The good folk of Reddit had lots of theories and opinions … and helpful advice.
Lots thought that identifying bracelets made a lot of sense, and others noted that nail polish is another way parents help to distinguish twins.
“One of my friends painted her twins’ toenails when they were fresh because even she couldn’t tell them apart,” someone commented. Good to note that it’s not just dads who confuse their babies.
“A lot of people with identical twins will paint a single fingernail on one twin’s hand,” another commenter agreed. “This is very common. She is totally overreacting to your (understandable) inability to tell them apart, especially after you suggested a reasonable fix (stop sharing clothes).”
Tip of the iceberg?
But other people wondered if there was more to this dilemma, and whether this mum was suffering from exhaustion … or even postnatal depression.
“Is this your wife’s way of passive aggressively saying you don’t spend enough time with the kids?” one Reddit user wrote. “Does she ever get a break? Do you? I’m not accusing you of anything, just throwing this out there.”
“She’s a basket case of emotions, one baby is exhausting and twins makes it even more so,” someone else agreed. “She’s taking this out on him because she knows he needs to work but she also feels alone and exhausted.”
“Alone, exhausted, and unpaid for her work. Can you imagine?” another forum user posted. “I’d bet anything she’s looking at this as like, “the least you can do to compensate me for the work I’m doing here is to just tell which is which like I’m asking you to.” It’s convoluted logic, but it’s the convoluted logic of new parenthood. I’m tempted to say NAH, this is clearly not actually about the names.”
“This kind of closeted resentment is textbook PPD (postpartum depression),” a sympathetic dad wrote. “She knows he has to work and feels terrible that she doesn’t like that he is because she knows it makes no sense but she can’t stop herself.”
“My PPD brain made me resent my husband for not helping during the day for a months and months after our second kid was born,” a Reddit mum revealed. “It’s not rational, it’s not logical, and it requires help.”