If there’s anyone who knows what it’s like to raise a large family, it’s Kate Gosselin.
The star of TLC’s Jon & Kate Plus 8, who is mom to 8-year-old twins and 4-year-old sextuplets, is offering parenting advice to the woman who gave birth to octuplets on Monday in Bellflower, Calif. – and who reportedly already has another six children at home.
From one mother of several children to another, the Gosselin matriarch shares with PEOPLE her eight tips for raising eight kids under one roof:
• You must have help – accept it. It can be very difficult especially for someone like myself who likes to be in total control. That will continue until your kids are grown!
• Schedule, Schedule, Schedule – create a schedule very early on and stick to it. Kids like a routine, and for me it removed the guesswork. (Are kids hungry? Are they tired? etc.)
• Choose your battles – let little things go! You can’t control everything.
• Make every moment count – use the time you are wiping their hands and face or changing a diaper to connect.
• Plan ahead – think the plan through and find pitfalls … Change accordingly.
• Encourage teamwork – it gets the job done faster and more efficiently while fostering a deep family bond. (Involve kids in chores – it develops a strong work ethic.)
• Save and spend smart – lots of kids means lots of saving is necessary! Use coupons, buy in bulk, watch for sales! It’s a must!!
• Above all, take a few minutes for yourself … Don’t let mommy guilt get to you. Even if it’s just a 10-minute shower, which at the beginning seems like a luxury.
To see more of the Gosselins, check out their page at TLC.com.
• How raising twins & sextuplets turned the Gosselins into stars
• Read about the McCaughey septuplets & more miracle babies