Be careful what you ask for. This has never been more true as it is for Kate and Jon Gosselin. Just three years after giving birth to twin daughters, the couple learned they were pregnant again – with sextuplets.
Their lives are documented each week on TLC’s “Jon & Kate Plus 8”. To viewers, they are at once frantic, fearless and incredibly energetic. Kate has now penned their story, Multiple Blessings. (Although, where she found the time is beyond us!)
ParentsCanada: What is the hardest thing about infertility treatments and what advice do you
have for couples contemplating it?
Kate Gosselin: I would say that it is obviously not perfected science, but that ultimately God holds the key. All in all, be careful when attempting pregnancy with fertility. It’s exhausting financially, mentally and physically!
ParentsCanada: When you heard you were expecting six children what ran through your mind?
KG: One of my initial reactions was to run away! I had never felt that before as I enjoy tackling and solving problems. Then I realized that they would ALL come with me.
ParentsCanada: What was your greatest misconception at having sextuplets?
KG: I couldn’t even get to the misconception part because I couldn’t get past even trying to picture six babies in my house who all belonged to me!
ParentsCanada: What is the time of your life you think back on the most?
KG: Truthfully, it is now foreign to picture life as the family of four. My mind mostly goes to the days when we were staying in a condo near the hospital as we brought babies home. It was the last ‘quiet’ memories we have together when life seemed almost manageable.
ParentsCanada: Do you ever feel guilty about accepting help?
KG: All the time. In the early days we had to accept help in any form that it was offered. That never goes away, but I have learned a good mommy doesn’t need to prove she can do it all. She needs to do what she can, and hand off the less important things to others who can do it. I need to be strong and available to my kids and the only way to do that is to accept some help here and there.
ParentsCanada: Do you ever feel guilty about not being able to spend more individual time
with each child?
All the time. My good old ‘mommy guilt’ does me in on this one. As the kids get older though, they hang back with me when they need that ‘one on one’ and I know they know where to find me when they need me. In a large family, my presence in the house is what they need most and I am blessed to be able to be here more days than not.
What is the worst part of ‘living in a fish bowl’?
The hardest part is when people assume we are living a ‘Hollywood life’ and all the perks that come with that. We are still a normal family with real feelings and values and always will be. We have eight kids to raise and have to do what we have to do to support them.
What is the best part?
The best part is the people we have been able to meet, the people’s lives we have been
able to touch, and when they email and tell us about it! And, of course, the places we have been able to travel. And to be brutally honest, I am still so thankful that we don’t have to stress about how we are going to pay our electric bill this month!
Do you feel the portrayal of your family is accurate?
Yes, it is all true and none of it is ‘set up’ or staged, but sometimes for ‘good TV’ all of my ‘issues’ with Jon are shown in a 22-minute show and they may have happened over a much longer period of time (really! I am not making any excuses for myself!).
How do you overcome the stress of criticism?
This is a very difficult aspect of being on TV and in the public eye. We really try not to pay attention to it – or care. Until you are in our house facing our issues, you have no right to judge us. Our show is only a snippet of what we face in life!
What point of the kids’ lives do you worry about the most?
We try not to worry about the future. But we (not unlike any parents), want our decisions to benefit our kids today and in the future, so we don’t take any decisions concerning them lightly. I want my kids to look back on their childhood knowing that they had two parents present and involved and understand that we did everything to better their lives.
What one ‘parenting trick’ or gadget is your favourite?
Most recently? Single serving snacks for kids (organic, of course). When we are travelling, it is a luxury to have them and makes my job much easier.
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