Jon and Kate Set The Record Straight

Filed under: Celeb Parents

In real life, if a couple is having marital problems, they might seek help from a counselor. Or friends. Or just take some time to talk. But in the world of reality TV, they call their publicist.

Jon and Kate Gosselin want people to know that things are fine at home. Well, mostly fine. In an interview with Ladies' Home Journal, Jon says that he now spends his "whole life counting to eight." PopEater gives us some other highlights: Kate does most of the talking, telling us that their TV show "is the realest reality show there is. You get the good, the bad and the ugly," and she wouldn't go back to the way things were before they were on the air. She says that the family thinks of the show as "our family job, one that lets us stay home together."

Kate Gosselin of Jon and Kate Plus 8

    Do you ever wonder what life would be like if you had one more child? How about two more? How about SIX more?

    Four years ago, Jon and Kate Gosselin went from being parents of two to parents of eight, and their lives have never been the same.

    Getty Images

    Today we all have a window into that life on TLC's Jon and Kate Plus 8. And of course, part of peeking into someone else's life is hypothesizing how we might do things differently or better, because it's always easy to imagine what you would do in someone else's shoes.

    What is harder to imagine is what it would really be like to walk in those other shoes -- what's it like to wake up every morning and be Kate Gosselin? ParentDish had a chance to ask her just that recently.

    In a normal week, the Gosselins have a television crew in their house about half the time, which is a lot, if you think about it. And while they will occasionally opt out of filming specific moments with their kids, the Gosselins have no editorial control over the show -- what you see is what you get, packaged by a team of folks at Discovery and TLC. But, Kate says, this is reality TV, and it accurately reflects life at the Gosselin house; nothing is pre-planned or made up. "We don't have time to memorize scripts," she jokes.

    I believe that.

    "We set out to show the truth," Kate says, "I couldn't watch it if it weren't true." What you see, in every televised moment, is precisely what is happening -- no stage directions or do-overs. This is life at the Gosselin house.

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    Kate Gosselin has gotten quite a bit of flak, both from the media and from viewers, for the way she treats her husband; the two are often shown bickering during the show. Kate says the criticisms don't bother her; she doesn't Google herself or make a practice of reading about herself on or off line. "Everyone has an opinion," she says, "and I'm only paying attention to my own." But she does admit that the way the show is edited affects how people see her family and her marriage. "If Jon and I have three spats over a two day period, they're going to edit it to make it look like those happened in the 22 minute period." The show is just a small slice of her family's life, after all.

    Kate is clearly focused not on what goes on outside her family but on her children. Her goal, she says, is to treat each child like an only child -- a hard thing to do when you're the mom of eight. "I hold myself to a very high standard," she says. At the same time, though, she's not trying to be perfect, or even to appear perfect to viewers of the show. She's just living her life.

    And yes, she's living it with television cameras in her house, but it's still her real life. Kate says that while the experience of being on television has changed her life, it hasn't changed who she is. She says the same about having eight children -- "It's hard to live through what we have lived through and not change. We are the same -- it's how people treat us" that is different.

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    One of the hardest things about her family, Kate says, is the noise; there are days when the older girls, Cara and Mady, come home from school and their reports about what they have done are drowned out by the noise of the sextuplets. More than anything, she says, she longs for peace and quiet -- otherwise, she would not change a thing about her life.

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    Kate finds the humor in her life -- recently, she partnered with P&G to help promote some of their brands, including Bounty paper towels, which she refers to as "my weapon of choice." She also laughs about the end of nap time at the Gosselin house; the sextuplets are four now and no one, Kate says, naps any more. But it's a rare night that the family gets through dinner without someone dozing off at the table. Recently, Jon said, "I think we can kiss goodbye ever having a family dinner again." A good night, Kate said, is when the kids push their plates out of the way before they fall asleep.

    You have to laugh about that, and Kate Gosselin does.

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    The Gosselins have a strong faith in God; they are often seen on the show wearing t-shirts with scripture on them and attending church. But despite the fact that the show doesn't highlight their faith, the Gosselins see it as an opportunity to share what they believe. Their website, The Gosselin 10, includes prayers and devotionals, and Jon and Kate travel around speaking to various churches and groups about their life and faith. The show, Kate says, has given them this opportunity to share what they believe.

    And for the Gosselins, being on television is about opportunity, not fame. The show has opened a variety of doors for them; Kate and Jon both work from home, which makes their life as parnents of eight more manageable. But it's not easy by any means -- there are days, Kate says, when she and Jon work until midnight.

    Kate has three pieces of advice for other parents. "Every morning, before my feet hit the floor," she says, "I pray for strength, just enough to get through that day." She reminds parents that a sense of humor can get you through nearly everything -- laugh, she says, don't cry. And finally, the most important lesson of all: "Always remember that bedtime comes, every single day."

But what people really want to know is what the heck was up with those photos of Jon playing beer pong with college girls. Jon calls those ladies "fans" and tells Ladies' Home Journal that he is "not perfect. This struggle has definitely put some tension in our marriage." Bottom line for us, he says: "I never cheated on Kate. Kate and I are together."

When you put your life on display, you open yourself up to being judged. And judging by the number of comments on the thousands of blog posts that the Gosselins generate, people seem fascinated by this family, and have very strong opinions about them as well. Here on ParentDish, the over 400 comments on this post range from digs at Kate ("I HATE yes HATE the way Kate treats Jon. She treats him as if he is one of her kids") to digs at Jon ("You are suggesting and condoning a man to cheat on his wife? What kind of people are you?") and even outright denial (" look at that picture of 'Jon' with those two girls at that party, you can see that he is not Jon Gosselin").

No matter what you think of the couple, all of this controversy seems to be translating into higher ratings. In fact, the recent season finale of "Jon & Kate Plus 8" garnered the biggest numbers ever for the show. So while all of this nonsense is probably not good for their marriage, it's clearly good for the bottom line.

What do you think? Will Jon and Kate Gosselin work things out? Or are they done?

Brett Singer is the editor-in-chief of

Reality TV Moms

    Alex McCord
    "Ultimately there's not a lot of difference between me and most other moms. We all want the best for our children, to love them, educate them and provide them with the tools needed to launch themselves successfully into the world." -- Alex McCord, The Real Housewives of New York City

    Getty Images

    Michelle Duggar

    "I'll put it the way my daughter, Jill, said it: 'Mama, they just don't understand or know what it's like to be in our large family and how much fun we have and how sweet is it to have these little ones that look up to us and want to be like us. -- Michelle Duggar of "17 Kids & Counting"

    Beth Hall, AP

    Amy Roloff

    "Those moments [on the show] don't represent the last or the next 20 years of our lives, whether we are going through the best times or the most horrible times. You almost want to say, "Can I put a mirror in your face?" -- Amy Roloff, "Little People, Big World"

    Thos Robinson, Getty Images

    Kate Gosselin

    Kate Gosselin didn't set out to create a family of eight, but her genes had other plans. Managing her set of twins and sextuplets with ease, this model mother makes having eight children look manageable, and maybe even a little bit fun.

    Amy Sussman, Getty Images

    Amy Wolff
    "I know I will get bigger, and I know I will have a lot of baby weight. But I alsoI know it won't be this huge, insurmountable thing. If I had gotten pregnant six months after the show, I would have been in the head space of worrying about my weight, and being really focused on that." -- Amy Wolff, "Biggest Loser"

    Trae Patton, NBC

    Denise Richards

    We've been hearing about Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen drama in the tabloids for years, but when Richards decided to get her own reality TV show, "Denise Richards: It's Complicated," we learned she wasn't kidding. Between her messy, public divorce, raising her children and maintaining her status as a sex symbol, Richards' life is certainly more dramatic than the average mom.

    Jason LaVeris, FilmMagic

    NeNe Leakes

    Arguably the most popular of the "The Real Housewives of Atlanta," it's not surprising that NeNe Leakes upstages her two sons with social drama and her outspoken personality. Despite the controversy, Leakes says she still makes time to help others through her organization, "The Twisted Hearts Foundation," which promotes knowledge about domestic violence in the community.


    Tori Spelling

    Although she was often upstaged by her late pug Mimi La Rue in the past, Spelling is a force to reckon with as she pursued entrepreneurship and stayed in the spotlight all while eight months pregnant with her second child, Stella. Now, as a mother of two back in L.A., Spelling continues to take on Hollywood at full steam with her role on the newly renewed 90210 series.

    Chris Polk, FilmMagic

    Mommy Meerkat

    These moms are wilder than most of the other matriarchs on reality TV, but they manage their families with the same loving care. Dominant female Flower rose to power and led her pack, the Whiskers, for more than five years. These tough mommas are experts at multi-tasking, as they are filmed foraging, caring for their young and fiercely battling enemies to protect the pack.

    Animal Planet

    Renee Wilson

    Appeared on "The Biggest Loser" with daughter Michelle Aguilar. Renee, 47, lost 45 pounds in seven weeks. "She was the quintessential yo-yo dieter," Michelle, 27, told "Prevention." Luckily the mother-daughter team was able to use familial motivation to break their old habits and start living a healthier lifestyle.

    Trae Patton, NBC Photo

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.
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