With eight years of motherhood under my belt, I like to joke that I’ve now been promoted to management. I no longer have to frantically run after my kids – now I tell them what to do and they listen (at least 60 percent of the time!)
But I’m also never one to shy away from admitting that motherhood has put me through the wringer, numerous times. I had postpartum depression, I constantly struggled with a low breast milk supply, and it took me longer than I would admit to reconcile my new role as a mom with the ‘”old” Ivana.
Thankfully, I had an amazing support system to help me navigate difficult times. However, I’m painfully aware of the fact that so many moms feel lonely, overworked, and underappreciated, so I feel that it’s my calling to help them – to pay it forward.
You’ll find me answering questions from moms on a daily basis and typing away late into the night, whether it’s on social media or via email. I empathize with these strong women who are giving their kids their all (and then some) but still feel like they are failing in some way.
The pressure can be too much, especially if they feel like they have no one in their corner.
Having answered hundreds of queries in the past few years, I can see a pattern developing, a common cause behind many of these moms’ problems: an absent husband slash father.
By “absent,” I don’t always mean physically. After all, emotional absence can hurt just as much as physical absence. Just last week, I tried to help a mom whose husband would sleep almost through the entire day because he’d stay up late playing video games. She said it made her feel like she was a “single mom, living with a roommate.”
Trying to offer a definitive solution to such problems is hard, and the answers aren’t always easy or necessarily what we want to hear. I’m not a professional therapist, so all I can do is offer advice based on my own life experience. And I always end up thinking about my own husband and how his kindness and support have meant the world to both me and our kids.
When we met, I couldn’t say that I knew what I was looking for, like most young women in their twenties. But as we grew as a couple and as individuals, it became clear to me that his strong family values, generosity, and willingness to help anyone and everyone were the same traits I wanted in the future father of my children.