“I’m freaking out. Big time,” she tells PEOPLE in the new issue.
Her kids, twins Cara and Mady, and sextuplets Alexis, Hannah, Aaden, Collin, Leah and Joel “weren’t ready,” to leave the show, which has been airing since 2005, she adds. “Nobody was. I’ve never quit a job in my life without having something else lined up. I don’t know what’s next.”
But Gosselin, 36, whose messy divorce from husband Jon played out in the tabloids – and on TV – in 2009, vows to work hard to keep the lifestyle she’s provided for her kids.
“I told them I will work my fingers to the bone to make sure that they can stay here and go to their school,” she says. “There are no guarantees in life for anyone, but they know that I’m giving it my best shot.”
The final episode of Kate Plus 8 airs Sept. 12 on TLC.
For more on how Kate Gosselin and her kids are adjusting, pick up this week’s PEOPLE magazine, on newsstands Friday