One year after the divorce that launched a thousand headlines, Kate Gosselin finally has her TV show back and feels that life is good again. But unlike her ex-husband Jon, who has been showing off a new girlfriend, she has no intention of re-entering the marriage market.
“I don’t feel like it’s time. I feel like my kids need so much of me, that I need to be there with them,” Gosselin told TODAY’s Meredith Vieira Friday in New York. “Personally I don’t feel ready to move forward.”
Indeed, if she had it to do all over again, Gosselin said, she would not have gotten married at the age of 24 back in 1999.
“Whenever I meet a young girl now, my challenge to them is to be really sure. I got married very young, and I just want to be that person in their ear saying, ‘Be really, really, really sure,’ ” Gosselin told Vieira.
“What’s the rush to be married young? That would be my advice to my daughters,” she added. “I’m already telling them, ‘30 and beyond.’ ”
Even so, her kids wonder when and if Mommy will start dating and maybe get married again.
“They bring it up. They wonder, am I going to get married again and all those things. And I’m open and I talk to them about it,” Gosselin told Vieira.
2009: ‘A shambles’
It’s been a tumultuous year since Jon and Kate Gosselin sat down and faced the TLC cameras filming their reality show, “Jon and Kate Plus 8,” and announced that they were getting divorced. Their twins, Cara and Mady, were 8, and the sextuplets — Alexis, Aaden, Collin, Leah, Hannah and Joel — had just turned 5 on May 10.
The divorce was messy, replete with recriminations and lawyers and fights over money and the kids and everything else that people fight over when they break up a partnership that had been together 10 years.
For Kate, there was a new, best-selling book, a makeover, a highly publicized run on “Dancing With the Stars,” and now, a return to reality TV as the star of not one but three shows.
Returning Sunday on TLC after Jon dropped his legal objections is “Kate Plus 8,” followed by “Kate’s World,” a behind-the-scenes look at her daily life and visits by special guest personalities. Yet another TLC show, “Twist of Kate,” in which she spends each episode experiencing the life of someone else, has started filming, but won’t air until the fall.
Kate freely admits 2009, which she has called “a shambles,” was not a good year for her.
“The year 2009 was maybe one I’d prefer to erase if I could. 2010 was the marker for me that it was going to be a better year, the shambles no more, and we were moving forward. So far, I feel like we’re in a good place,” she told Vieira.
‘Just another day’
On June 11, she would have celebrated her 11th wedding anniversary. Last year, thoughts of such things reduced her to tears. This year, she said, the day has lost its emotional power.
“I feel like it’s just another day in this year of positivity and moving forward,” Gosselin said. “I’m not going to sit and spend a whole lot of time thinking about what could have been. I’m going to plunge ahead as is customary for me, just to move ahead, move on and think good thoughts.”
It’s a little easier to do that now that her volatile relationship with Jon has settled down. He has dropped a recent effort to get full custody of their eight children, and is apparently happy with new girlfriend, Ellen Ross.
“At this very moment, things are peaceful. He’s amicable at this moment. I never know when that’s going to change. It changes often,” Gosselin said. “But at this moment, the kids are spending time with him at his apartment, and I feel like things are moving along the way they should in more of a normal — if you can call it that — divorce situation.”
Crew like family
After both filed for divorce last year, Jon succeeded in a court battle to prohibit Kate from continuing their television show without him. When he finally dropped his objection, Kate invited the TLC crew back into her home in rural Pennsylvania. She didn’t tell her kids the crew was coming back, and when they showed up at the door, the children leaped on the cameramen, soundmen and technicians like long-lost friends.
“I am very happy that I was able to put that back into their lives,” she said of the film crew. “There’s nothing negative about it. I love our crew. The cameras are off and they’re helping me around my house. My crew is an all-man crew. They can’t help me enough. For that, they are family. They are absolute family. Some of the production assistants come and baby-sit the kids sometimes. It’s family.”
Their first big trip for “Kate Plus 8” was to Orlando, Fla., and all the theme parks. The kids are primed for more adventures, Gosselin said: “They can’t wait to see what we have coming this summer.”
It’s been a big transition, she added, to go from stay-at-home mom to working single mother.
“It’s hard to say goodbye to those quiet, peaceful moments of years ago. But I’m a mom who has to have a career and a job, and all moms have bittersweet feelings about that,” she said. “It’s just about walking through it and dealing with it. Whatever my kids need, I’ll do. That’s what moms do.”