You’d probably recognize Kate Gosselin more easily if you saw her surrounded by her gaggle of children than by herself. She’s the Kate in TLC’s hit reality show, “Jon & Kate Plus 8,” which follows Kate and her husband, Jon, through the joys and struggles of raising their eight children-8-year-old twins Cara and Mady and 4-year-old sextuplets Leah, Hannah, Alexis, Aaden, Collin, and Joel-all of whom were conceived through Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), a form of infertility treatment.
While the Gosselins and another popular TV family, “The Duggers” (an Arkansas family with 18 children) have been in the media spotlight over the past few years, another mother of multiples has recently become the focus of our attention–Nadya Suleman, a single woman who recently gave birth to octuplets via in vitro and who already has six other children besides (also conceived via in vitro). Many media outlets have reached out to Gosselin, coauthor of the recently released “Multiple Blessings,” for comment on Suleman’s decision. Shortly before Suleman’s rise to fame, Gosselin spoke with Beliefnet. In this interview, she talks about raising a large family on a budget, how she deals with sibling rivalry, and the one thing she’s dreading about her children getting older.
Of all the concerns you had when you first realized you were pregnant with sextuplets, what was at the forefront of your mind?
Probably how we were going to provide for them. Obviously their health. I can’t really pick one. There were a million. [We were concerned with] going from two kids to, at that time, it would have been nine, and how we [were] going to do it financially; their health—I didn’t think much about my own health
What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned as a mother of multiple children, or just as a mother in general?
Many. First of all, I think, before I was a mom or when I had two kids, I tried to control their every movement, their every outfit. Honestly, I controlled down to the color socks they were wearing, their hair accessory, how their hair was going to be. I planned it all out. I think I’ve learned to chill out. I could lose my mind, or I can step back and say, “Ah, well, they’ll be fine. As long as they’re safe, they’re fine.”
We’ve obviously learned in those hard beginning years to trust that God has our best interests at heart. He will provide for us. He will take care of us. We just need to give the control to Him, which is actually very comforting to know, that it really doesn’t rely on me.
The lessons…I could talk for an hour just on the things that we have learned because, in such a short period of time, we’ve been through so much. We’ve been thrown into so many different circumstances that I just feel like this whole time in my life is nothing but learning.