I'll admit it. I wasn't prepared to like Kate Gosselin. Seemingly everywhere in the media for so long now, she no longer seemed like a real person. I was like many of you out there: I was judgy. Super judgy.
Mom ChatBut when Kate and I sat down to chat, we talked about normal mom stuff, like two moms on the playground. I was reminded of why I liked her in the first place, before the media circus. She's a mom in difficult circumstances doing the best she can. She has faults, she struggles, and she keeps going. And what mom can't relate to that? I realized we had a lot more in common that my prejudgment had allowed me to see.
Divorce. Single motherhood. Working in media, with the accompanying hustle and constant worry of how to provide for your children financially and emotionally. The common ground accumulated and my judgment faded.
Kate & Diane in studio
So who am I, or who are any of us to judge her or how she's trying to put food on the table for her family, or raise her kids?
Read on for an excerpt of our conversation, where I found Kate to be real, relatable, and…likable.
DM: It's a daily question at our house: "what to make for dinner?"- how do you manage 8 different appetites?
KG: It's what's for dinner. I do take requests from the kids…I kind of sometimes run out of ideas, this week for example, Leah requested chicken Caesar salads, so within a few days they'll get their request, there's no system to that, it's like, "hey what do you guys feel like eating," if I'm out of ideas.
DM: Do you get them involved in cooking with you? I love cooking with my son.
KG: You know, it gets a little crazy. Mady and Cara make lunches and breakfast, and help - they're to the age now where they can chop certain things. But as a rule, it's sort of like the home from school: homework, chores, showers, bed….
DM: It's like a runaway train…
KG: Daily, there's not time for that.
DM: I'm a single mom too, and I feel stretched even trying to manage the needs of my one child and my career. How do you meet the needs of your kids?
KG: It's a challenge. There's um,…I'm well aware that there's not enough of me for 8 kids, so, it's a constant struggle to honor their requests, their needs, their wants. I try to make it a priority because I've always said, just because I have 8 kids doesn't mean I can't treat them like I have an only child- which is a huge thing to try to pull off…but I honestly do.
DM: That's setting the bar really high…
KG: It is setting the bar really high. The other day, Alexis had a locket that she got, and she wanted a picture of me in it, which was cute, but I made it priority to put that into my errands that day to shrink a picture down, print it off, put it in the locket and give it to her. I'm pretty good at remembering that kind of stuff because I want to make what they want important.
DM: Totally. So you just make the time to do it, right?
KG: I mean, I can't do everything immediately, and they understand that and I tell them that a lot. A lot of times, my answer is yes, but it's going to take me some time, and they get that.
DM: What are you most looking forward to in the future? And what keeps you up at night?
KG: Most looking forward to would be my next big job, so that I don't have to worry about how to provide for them. I think that, that definitely keeps me up at night right now because I am primarily responsible for them, physically and financially.
DM: I go from job to job too, and as a single mom, you're like, "…we've got college on the horizon" you know, let's make this happen! And I'm the same way…I'm waiting for the big one… but I string together lots of jobs, you know, you just do what you can.
KG: As long as they keep stringing that would be great. But it would be nice to have…the one, where you can breathe for a few months, or years. It's the business that we're in.
DM: It is.
KG: And I don't worry excessively about it, cause I know good things will happen because…well, they have to. I've got a lot riding on it.
DM: I know. I feel the same way. Thank you so much for your time and chatting with us.
KG: No problem!
-Diane Mizota, Host of This Week in M.O.M
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