Being one of reality TV’s most famous single ladies doesn’t necessarily draw in men in droves, especially when you have eight kids underfoot — that’s the cold, hard reality single mom Kate Gosselin revealed on TODAY Monday.
“I feel like I have my life together pretty much, but let’s be honest; it’s going to take a strong person to wrangle this mess,” 36-year-old Gosselin told Matt Lauer live on TODAY. “If [a suitor] can pass the test, he’s got to be Superman.”
Gosselin first came to fame with husband Jon and their twins and sextuplets on the TLC reality series “Jon & Kate Plus 8” in 2005. But as they became a ratings juggernaut, the family imploded: Jon and Kate separated near their 10th wedding anniversary in June 2009.
Now, Kate shoulders the bulk of parental duties and also soldiers on solo with the show. In between, she has made a cottage industry of her fame — writing two books, competing on “Dancing With the Stars” and guest-hosting on “The View.”
The damage of divorce
But she told Lauer that none of that is why she's only been on “half a date” since her split with Jon — it’s tending to her two 10-year-olds and six 5-year-olds that’s to blame. And she fears her love life might be hopeless.
“You start out the first time around, and you’re some single with not a lot of baggage or issues,” she said. In contrast, Kate now has issues to spare — including a sometimes stormy relationship with ex Jon and emotional issues centering around two of the sextuplets, Colin and Alexis. Kate pulled them out of their private kindergarten last December — refuting media reports they were expelled for aggressive behavior — and now home-schools them. They also receive therapy that Kate says was needed after the divorce.
“Every child whose parents are divorced will go through some negative behaviors,” Gosselin said, adding there were also “medical issues we dealt with” for Colin and Alexis. But she quickly added that the children have thrived in home-schooling, and she plans to integrate them back into regular school “in the imminent future.”
“They’re doing amazingly well,” she told Lauer. “I know, looking back, I made the right decision, I did the right thing and they’re blossoming.”
Relationship with Jon
But Gosselin was a little less upbeat in describing the status of her relationship with her children’s father. While she raises the children back home in Pennsylvania, she says Jon has the children two weekends a month. “I wish that he would see them more, to be honest; so do the kids,” she said.
Still, Kate refrains from casting blame. “I think the important thing is that I control my reaction, my behavior, my attitude and my words,” she told Lauer of her relationship with her ex. “I’m doing what I can to reach out and communicate. What I receive back is, you know, not in my control.”
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And even though “Jon & Kate Plus 8” is now just “Kate Plus 8,” Gosselin told Lauer the kids are as happy as ever to let film crews follow them around — for five years now, it’s been life as they know it.
“It is a very positive fixture still in our lives,” Kate said of the reality series. “It’s normal, it’s exciting; they still cheer when the crew comes in the door. I would not say that if it were not true.”
The new season of “Kate Plus 8” — not a regular reality series now so much as a series of specials — kicks off tonight with the show chronicling the family’s trip to Australia last Christmas. Lauer expressed disbelief that Kate could put eight children on a 21-hour flight while avoiding a major family meltdown, but Kate said she herself was surprised by how smoothly it all went.
“It was one of the best flights of our lives,” she said. “I’m not kidding; I’m shocked to be sitting here saying that.”
“Kate Plus 8: Australia Adventure” airs at 10 p.m. (ET) tonight on TLC.
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