By People Staff
Updated September 15, 2009 12:00 AM
Credit: Winslow/Meinelt/Splash News Online

On Monday’s new episode of Jon & Kate Plus 8, Kate Gosselin settled into life as a single mom.

“The new normal is I’m here a lot of the time, Jon is here some of the time and there’s no rhyme or reason to that,” she said on the show. “All I feel now is constantly, completely overwhelmed … I can’t deal with it.”

Since she and Jon Gosselin decided to divorce, the parents of eight children have been taking turns at their home in Wernersville, Pa., sharing custody of their children and appearing separately on their TLC show.

“It’s sad. I’m lonely at night being here by myself,” Kate said in a voice-over as she prepped a dinner for her kids. “This is really a true test of survival, of perseverance, of determination.”

But Kate did more than just put dinner on the table. She planned a fun-looking night of grilled chicken and an outdoor movie complete with a cinema-style popcorn maker. “I’ve got to use every minute that I’m here and I’ve got to do everything big and make memories because I only have half the time,” she said.

Grilling the chicken may have been “one of my biggest fears,” but she managed to serve up a tasty dinner without having “to rush off to the hospital with salmonella poisoning.” There was some trouble with the popcorn maker but all the kids had a snack for the movie, although not all of them stayed awake until the end. “The girls were able to walk to their beds,” she said, but the boys, whom she had to carry back inside, were a different story.

“That’s the moment when I realize I’m a single mom.” Kate said. “Typically Jon would have done that he would have done all the carrying of kids and when they’re asleep of course they weigh twice what they weigh. I had to lug Collin up to bed and he was heavy. He was cute. It was very sweet.”

But it went from “movies to moving” for Kate, who had tears in her eyes as she spoke about leaving her kids while Jon took over.

He had an “awesome” plan for a fun activity. “You take a barbed wire, you stick it on the end of a rope and you let your kids whip this thing around and hope to god they don’t stick each other,” he said. They were going fishing in their backyard. Hiking in the heat and mud didn’t pay off, though. None of the kids caught any fish. They mostly complained of the heat, got muddy and asked to go home to watch TV.

“I expected all this. I didn’t care,” Jon said. “I’m taking my kids fishing. They have to get over that fear and comfort of their own house and get out and experience things.”

Back at home, Jon had the kids (except Mady who was with her grandmother) prepping homemade grilled pizzas. “They aren’t round pizzas,” Jon said. “They’re like Picasso pizzas but the kids actually had a good time.”

The next day, Jon brought the kids to a local (stocked?) pond. “I wanted them to reap the benefits of fishing and have some reward by actually catching something,” he said. And they did! Aaden caught one and then wacked his brother Joel in the head with it.

“It is really stressful,” Jon said of being with the kids alone. “It’s like bittersweet. I seem them here but then I have to leave.” –Aaron Parsley

Tell us: What did you think of the new Jon & Kate? Which activity looked like the most fun?Winslow/Meinelt/Splash News Online