Kate Gosselin Talks Summer Plans, Eating at Talula’s Garden and She Clears Up a Rumor About Being From Philly

We caught up with the Kate Plus 8 star at this weekend's TLC Block Party at Penn's Landing.

Kate Gosselin takes a break to pose for a photo at Penn's Landing. | Photo by Alyssa Mutryn

Kate Gosselin takes a break to pose for a photo at Penn’s Landing. | Photo by Alyssa Mutryn

Over the weekend, dozens of TLC stars were in town for TLC’s first summer block party event at Penn’s Landing. Among those who showed up was Kate Gosselin and her 14-year-old twin daughters Mady and Cara. We got a chance to sit down for a chat with Gosselin. She shared anecdotes about raising eight kids in the public eye, how she spends most of her days at Target, and how she wishes she could visit Philly more often.

You live in Pennsylvania. Do you come to Philadelphia often?
Every once in a while, I’m not here often. I usually stay within a 5-mile radius of my house, but occasionally I do different things down here. Just to clear up the rumor: Everyone says I am from Philadelphia, but I’m not. I live in Hershey, PA. Philly is the next big city, so everyone just says that.

Do you have a favorite restaurant in Philly? A favorite store?
I don’t know all that is available in Philly. There is nothing in my area, so I don’t get out enough to have a favorite restaurant. I am usually at Target or the grocery store. That’s the truth. But, when I do get to Philly, it is very beautiful, and I should come more, because it is right in my backyard.

TLC 22Recently some paparazzi shot you enjoyng a meal at Talula’s Garden.
I’ve been there, I think, twice. So I do like that restaurant.

Being a single mom with eight kids—two of them teenagers—do you have any advice for other single moms who are trying to carve out time for themselves, to date or to get out?
I don’t, because as your kids get older, the demands are different from when they were toddlers. The homework hits, they have become teenagers. I have just gone through a lot of phases where I had no time for myself, not enough time to get a shower, not enough time to run. … I eat a lot of my meals in the car and I am literally doing all the logistics of how to pick up the kids at their activities, and hoping I don’t forget one! So really, across the board, I don’t think another mom can give other single moms advice, because it’s all different. It all falls on you.

I guess the only stable advice would be that there are going to be times when you do not have time for yourself. Hang on, it will come back eventually. Just really do your best. A lot of moms act like they are an expert on the subject—or they are the opposite and are really hard on themselves.  I just can’t do it all.  Realize that you just can’t do it all. It is a lot like my old job as a nurse-triage: prioritization, there are things you need to get done now and things you need to put on the back burner.  There is just so much from the kids that comes in, they need so much: This dress, or that thing. I literally say to them, I can’t process all of this right now, come to me tomorrow, so I [can] deal with this or that today.

Next Thursday can feel like next year, because a day can feel like a week in and of itself. So, I mean, just hang on. We are right now in an extra, super, crazy phase which even I’m having trouble getting a handle on just because all of their stuff. Even the emotional stuff, you know dealing with life, situations, and being a child whose parent’s are divorced is a whole issue in itself. I am resident mom, cook, chef, therapist, whatever, and that is so emotional.

I can’t imagine.
I can’t either! My friends say “I wish I had advice for you, but I don’t know how to help you.” And when you hear that nearly daily, it is really scary, because that just means, “Honey, you are in a land somewhere else. Nobody has any books or advice for you.”

So what are your plans for the summer? Are you all going on any trips?
At this point, we are trying to get through the end of school. The only solid plans I know of is sleeping in as many mornings as we can and spending as much time by our pool and next to our grill. Although, I say that every year and then things fill in and we end up doing this and that (laughs), but as of right now there are no hard and fast plans. I know that we’ll be filming, but other than that … as many days as we can do nothing, the better! I love summer. People say that I must go crazy as a mother. But I have eight kids and I look forward to summer!

Yeah, cause you don’t have to drive everyone everywhere … 
Moms of three kids dread school ending, like what are we going to do all day, and I think “Are you crazy? That means 5 am mornings go away!” I’d rather have them home saying (whines) “Mom, what’s for lunch?” than shuttling them about, and having to do homework and projects. Summer should last forever!

 TLC 23

You have eight kids. Two are teenagers. We see the long line of people who are waiting to talk to you. The kids that are throwing themselves on the ground when they see you. Is it hard being a mom and raising kids in the public eye? Do you read what people say about you? How do the kids react to the cameras and the press?
I have done it long enough now but in the first couple of years it felt weird. I reacted weird. It felt strange. I guess it was because I didn’t ever seek this out. I didn’t say like “Hey, I wanna grow up and have everybody know my name,” so when it became that way I was focusing on raising small children and babies so it felt weird when suddenly people freaked out when they saw us. I reacted to it differently. Now, I have gotten used to it over the years. It is kind of a part of it and while I am still a person who enjoys very much being alone—I am a very much a sit in a room alone person—I think I have adjusted to being around people and being ok with it.

I didn’t want my kids to make that same mistake. They saw me modeling that strange reaction in the first years, so in recent years I’ve worked on teaching them that this is a part of it. They all, as a rule, are ok with it, probably because they grew up with it, but in different circumstances, there is a lot of maneuvering to talking about it as a family, “saying, OK, that was weird.” My kids will tell you that they can tell if someone wants to be their real friend or just their friend because they are on TV. Even at a young age, they can size that up. They say, “Mom, she really didn’t want to be my friend. She just wanted to be my friend because she knows I’m on TV.” And so, they understand that. But we talk about a lot of those things as a family. It has come to a point where it is normal and okay.

The part that is not okay with me and is never okay with me—and I teach the kids what the difference is—the paparazzi taking photos without your permission and selling photos, versus us and our crew having permission to be taking photos and filming us. And my kids know the difference and it feels different. It naturally feels different to them. And, so that is a big part of our discussion. It’s weird, I guess most people don’t have these conversations at home. [laughs] We are okay with it and a lot of it is how I react to it and discuss it. And the other thing is, my kids are very perceptive. They know if people are sneaking photos of them. They have radar like you wouldn’t believe. They are right 100 percent of the time. I’m like, but you’re 7! [laughs] This is stuff that the public really doesn’t understand, but it is all a life lesson.

See more photos from the TLC Block Party at Penn’s Landing here.