Inside Ivanka And Ivana's Relationship

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Going by press coverage alone, Donald Trump's first wife, Ivana, and his daughter with her, Ivanka, couldn't appear more different. Sure, they're both blonde, glamorous Trump women, but for as polished and rehearsed as Ivanka comes across, her mother can be brash, irreverent, and controversial. So, how does that work as far as the mother-daughter relationship goes? Do they butt heads often, or is it an opposites attract kind of situation? Here's a glimpse at the dynamic between the first two women to capture the heart of The Donald.

Ivanka's real name is Ivana

Though the 'k' in her name is undoubtedly appreciated by copy editors everywhere, Ivanka was actually named after her mother, meaning they share the handle, Ivana Marie Trump. As Inquisitr points out, Ivanka made the revelation on Twitter in 2010, explaining that "Ivanka" is actually the Czech "baby name for Ivana." Her mom also spelled out the details in her 2017 memoir, Raising Trump.  

Ivana actually won the fight to name Ivanka, at least that's what she claimed in an interview with ABC News. "[Donald] wanted to call Ivanka, Tiffany, because we got the heir rights for the Trump Tower from the Tiffany [the famed jeweler], and I said, 'Over my dead body she's going to be called Tiffany.' She's going to be named Ivana Marie Trump. I decided all names." 

Yep, even Don Jr. was Ivana's pick. His ex claims Donald was supposedly initially against it out of fear that his first-born son may turn out to be a "loser."

Ivana takes credit for raising Ivanka

It's pretty well-known that Donald's approach to parenting could be described, at best, as "hands-off." In 2005, he shed some light on his version of fatherhood in an interview with Larry King while discussing the possibility of having children with his then new bride, Melania. "I have four great children. If you have the money, having children is great," Donald said, adding, "I'm not going to be doing the diapers. I'm not going to be making the food. I may never even see the kids."

Ivana concurs with Donald in Raising Trump, claiming that although he was "a good father" to them, she's the one who deserves "the credit for raising such great kids." She writes, "I was in charge of raising our children before our divorce, and I had sole custody of them after the split. I made the decisions about their education, activities, travel, child care, and allowances."

One of the most quoted excerpts from her book is the extremely Ivana-esque claim: "My version of helicopter parenting was to bring the kids to work with me in the Trump chopper." She also says she outsourced many of the day-to-day parenting duties, such as transporting the kids to and from school and trick-or-treating with them; and that even with a small army of hired help, it was still a difficult task.

Ivana was away from the kids a lot for work

Though Ivana claims sole credit for the upbringing of her children, a Vanity Fair profile of the dynamic between Ivanka and Tiffany, Donald's daughter from his second marriage to Marla Maples, paints a slightly different picture. In the piece, Ivana is described as "not around much when Ivanka was growing up," due to her obligations as CEO for Trump's "Castle casino in Atlantic City," where she allegedly "spent several days a week there supervising the staff." In her absence, the kids were attended to by a bodyguard and two nannies, one of whom Ivanka referred to as "a second mother to me" and her "closest confidant."

Ivana's parents also pitched in, as they lived at the Trumps' sprawling Connecticut estate with them "for half the year." Even Donald seemingly confessed to wishing he had more of a traditional stay-at-home wife situation in a passage from his 1997 book, The Art of the Comeback (via Quartz.) He writes, "I will never again give a wife responsibility within my business. Ivana worked very hard, and I appreciated the effort, but I soon began to realize that I was married to a businessperson rather than a wife."

Look, we're not trying to downgrade Ivana's parental achievements in any way—she clearly earned that gold-plated best mom in the world mug—but we're suggesting that maybe she could be a little more open to sharing the credit. After all, who was it that said "it takes a village" in regards to raising children? Don't tell us, we'll think of it.

Ivana was a huge role model for Ivanka

In her own book, Women Who Work, which examines the balancing act modern women attempt to achieve between their professional and personal lives, Ivanka cites Ivana as a personal role model. "It was my mother, unapologetically feminine in a male industry, who first embodied and defined for me what it meant to be a multidimensional woman—a woman who works at all aspects of her life," she writes.

The accolades don't stop there. In Raising Trump, Ivanka's words are often featured in block quotes, like this one: "I'm immensely proud of our mother and excited that she's written this book. She is an amazing mom, teacher, and inspiration to all of us." In another passage in the book, Ivanka describes the newfound appreciation she has for her mother's ability to "parent well" after having children of her own. This showering of compliments within Ivana's memoir is not one-sided–a good chunk of the book is also dedicated to recognizing the merits of her three kids, especially Ivanka. For example...

Ivana thinks Ivanka is the reason Donald won the election

In what could be interpreted as a subtle bit of shade, Ivana boldly claims that it was Ivanka who swayed the American people in her father's favor. "I think Ivanka played a big part in Donald's victory. Voters looked at her and thought, I like her. I trust her. She loves her father, so he can't be that bad," Ivanka writes

And she may have been onto something. Slate writer Emily Strauss agreed that Ivanka was integral to her father's win, albeit in a slightly less complimentary way. Strauss viewed Ivanka's feminism advocacy as something of a dubious buffer for her father's many controversies involving women.  

Regardless of the how or why, it seems Ivana was right about her daughter's political prowess, which she also believes has enough traction to one day land both Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, in the Oval Office. "Maybe in fifteen years, [Ivanka] could run for president," Ivana writes, adding, "I think it could happen for Jared or Ivanka. We'll see how they feel after living in Washington for four years. Whatever Ivanka wants to do is fine with me. If she feels strongly about working for change, she'll do well. She's intelligent and has been trained to fight hard and face any challenge."  

Donald and Ivana's divorce was hard on Ivanka

According to Vanity Fair, Don Jr. took Ivana and Donald's 1992 divorce the hardest, allegedly going so far as to not speak to his father for an entire year afterward. For Ivanka, who was just 9-years-old at the time, the fracture of her family was, of course, very personal, but also struck a fear within her that she would no longer be associated with the powerful family name.

Looking back as an adult, Ivanka now believes that considering the circumstances of the high-profile split, her parents both did a great job shielding the kids from the negative aspects. Speaking with People in 2016, Ivanka said, "I became closer with both of my parents because I was at that stage in life where you do take your parents for granted and something like that happens and maybe you stop taking them for granted as much... They made a real effort to ensure that we knew that they would always be there for us and accessible to us and it helped us through a difficult time."

Marla Maples is still a sore spot for both of them

Though Ivana and Ivanka seem to have made great strides in maintaining their non-traditional family unit, neither has the time of day for the woman who they believe made it that way: Marla Maples. It was Donald's tabloid affair with Maples that drove the final nail in the coffin for his first marriage, and despite the objective fact that he is, at the very least, 50 percent to blame for the adultery, Ivana only seems to have ire for Maples.

The New York Times even labeled Maples "the villain" of Raising Trump, pointing out the numerous references Ivana makes to her as "the showgirl" in excerpts such as this: "After the showgirl got pregnant and had a daughter, Donald married her." In a 2017 interview with ABC News, Ivana pulls no punches, saying, "I never accepted her apology. She ruined my family and my marriage."

Ivanka's stance on her ex-stepmom is more reserved. When asked by People if she's close with Maples, Ivanka offered only a clipped response. "I'm not," she said, adding, "She was out in California and really my relationship is with Tiffany."

Ivana didn't care for any of Ivanka's boyfriends, except Kushner

Because a retrospective of motherhood wouldn't be complete without an embarrassing rundown of one's children's love lives, Ivana included such a list in Raising Trump. In it, she recalls that Ivanka didn't bring home many suitors outside of an unnamed investment banker who was too short for her, and the "son of a socialite" she knew, whom she did not care for because he was "cocky" and lacked ambition, and who Ivana went out of her way to point out got busted 10 years after his and Ivanka's split for "possession of cocaine outside a downtown New York nightclub with a rockstar friend of his."

Ivana's disapproval of Ivanka's lovers didn't come without their own bit of drama. Each maternal rejection was supposedly followed by a break-up with the jilted beau, then a two week period in which Ivanka wouldn't speak to Ivana, a characteristically disciplined form of rebellion if there ever was one.

One name Ivana does toss out is Tom Brady—not because Ivanka actually dated him, but rather, because Donald really wanted her to meet him. For whatever reason, that hook-up never happened, and after Ivanka met Jared Kushner—who got Ivana's motherly seal of approval "immediately"—her dating life effectively came to an end.  

Ivana is close with Kushner

For as much praise as Ivana heaps on her own children in Raising Trump, her in-law kids receive a ton of compliments too. Both Eric and Don Jr.'s wives get the nod as loving, yet firm mothers who are raising respectful, well-adjusted kids, but it's son-in-law Jared who Ivana clearly favors. 

We've already established that Ivana would cast her vote for him to become president, but the admiration goes much deeper than that, as she describes Jared as "intelligent," "good looking," "strong," and "a great father."

Most importantly, Ivana points out that Jared makes Ivanka happy, which is all she truly cares about, and that she views his frank honesty in every situation as a sign that he respects both his wife and his mother-in-law. "If he doesn't agree with something [Ivanka]'s said or done, he tells her right away," Ivana writes, adding, "It takes real guts to put my daughter in her place, right in from of his mother-in-law—and I'm not your typical mother-in-law. He's either very comfortable around me, or they're comfortable being complementary and critical of each other, or all of the above." 

Ivana inadvertently chose Ivanka's signature blonde locks

Ivana is quick to point out that Ivanka's "elegance" comes directly from her. In an interview with Time, she recalls how her daughter would "sit on the bathtub rim watching her mom get dolled up every evening, after ballet classes and art lessons at the Metropolitan Museum." So you could rightly assume that Ivanka's dyed-blonde locks, which Ivana also sports, were just another glamour mom hand-me-down.

But in another story from Raising Trump, Ivanka herself reveals that it was only after she had dyed her hair blue as part of her Nirvana-loving "punk phase in the nineties" that her mom dragged her to a drug store and corrected the unforgivable gaffe with a "$10 box of Nice'n Easy."

"The color she picked out was actually three shades lighter than my natural color," Ivanka wrote, adding, "And I have never looked back!" 

We're really not sure which part of that story is more incredible—the fact that Ivanka used to mosh to "Smells Like Teen Spirit" or that her mom actually used hair dye that wasn't hand bottled by Vidal Sassoon.