VIDEO exclusive: ‘Hockey Wives’ star Kodette LaBarbera on her biggest challenge and vacuuming obsession

With an autistic son at home and husband Jason LaBarbera on the road for much of the year, Hockey Wives star Kodette LaBarbera has her hands full – sometimes too full.

No matter what, the doting mother of two is determined to give her eldest son, Ryder, the best possible start in life. To keep him on familiar turf and attending regular autism therapy sessions, the family splits up during the hockey season, with the Anaheim Ducks goalie leaving his family behind and Kodette remaining in Calgary with the kids for months at a time.

"The biggest challenge is watching them not have much of a relationship with their dad right now,” she tells Hello! Canada in an exclusive interview. "It's hard to have him missing out on everything with them."

At first, Kodette hesitated to take part in the eight-part docu-series, which follows the women behind some of the NHL’s biggest players. Eventually, however, the social activist says she warmed up to the process – especially when she saw that her kids were into it.

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“It’s fun to watch [the kids] come out of their shells while there’s people around,” she said, her face lighting up. “Anything with them is fun.”

Here, Kodette opens up about being on reality TV, her personal struggles and her vacuuming obsession.

Hockey Wives airs on Wednesdays at 10 pm (EST) on W network.

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