"To think that when the little kids are in college and my house is empty? I can't fathom it," Gosselin admitted

By Natalie Stone
August 04, 2017 04:30 PM

Kate Gosselin can’t “fathom” the thought of her house one day being empty.

For the past 16 years, the Kate Plus 8 star’s home has been anything but quiet. But within the next half decade, all of her children will be graduating high school and contemplating next steps, including college.

On May 10, Kate’s sextuplets — Aaden, Alexis, Collin, Hannah, Leah and Joel — turned 13, which was a monumental day for the mother of eight.

“It’s the day I have feared since they were born,” she said in a recent Kate Plus 8 promo.

“To think that when the little kids are in college and my house is empty? I can’t fathom it,” said Kate, who is also mom to 16-year-old twins Mady and Cara.

For the sextuplet’s 16th birthday, Kate, 42, threw a “camping and glamping” themed party to mark the occasion. But there was one notable absence: Kate’s son, Collin.

Last August, Kate exclusively opened up to PEOPLE about how she came to the decision to enroll Collin in the program away from home, which she said “is helping him learn the skills he needs to be the best him he can be.”

“Collin has special needs,” the TLC star said. “[There’s] a fairly fluid diagnosis of what those needs are, but he needs to learn certain strategies to help him deal with things. This has been a struggle we’ve had for a very long time, and it’s one I’ve dealt with on my own. I’ve felt very alone in this. By the same token, it’s not something that has only impacted me or him – our entire family has been impacted.”

“I am comforted with the fact that my kids, all of them, each unique child, is receiving exactly what they need and that hasn’t changed,” she shared on Kate Plus 8. “I’ve said that before, I’ll say it again. It’s a bittersweet moment [and] we’ve had many of them.”

“You can’t do anything without realizing he’s missing,” she admitted on the series. “So we may not say it, but it’s always there.”

WATCH: Story Behind the Story: A Lesson Kate Gosselin Had to Learn the Hard Way

With her empty nesting days ahead of her, Kate’s kids are hopeful that she’ll start dating again soon.

Kate, who’s been divorced from ex Jon Gosselin for nearly eight years, revealed in a recent Kate Plus 8 promo, “Now, more than ever, my kids actually are getting annoyed that I’m still single.”

But is she open to dating again? “If I had the avenue, I’m all in,” she said.