Kate Gosselin and her kids open up about how finding reality TV fame more than 10 years ago changed their lives forever. Subscribe now for an inside look at how they’ve overcome setbacks and remain hopeful for the future, only in PEOPLE!
“If I could go back, I wouldn’t spend so much time worrying about the messes and the obsessive compulsiveness and needing to be so in control,” Gosselin, 41, tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “I would spend more time nibbling little feet and cuddling up. I worried about so many things I just didn’t need to be worrying about when they were still so young, and I came on way too strong. I should have just rolled around on the floor some. I wouldn’t have melted down as much.”
On May 14, 2006, Gosselin and her then-husband Jon opened up their home to viewers around the world. The Jon & Kate Plus 8 stars gave fans a glimpse of what life was like raising 5-year-old twins Mady and Cara and 16-month-old sextuplets Aaden, Alexis, Collin, Hannah, Leah and Joel.
• For more updates on the Gosselins – and how the kids are handling Collin’s absence – pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday
On top of starring in a reality show, raising eight children was not easy for the couple. Kate and Jon later divorced in 2009, which in turn, rebranded the show to Kate Plus 8.
More than a decade after opening the doors to reality TV, Gosselin and her 8 children have had time to grow – physically, mentally, and emotionally.
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Despite the many tribulations – the judgments that have been made regarding her parenting style, the past struggles of her painful divorce, and raising a child with “special needs” (son, Collin) – Gosselin remains encouraged.
“When you’re younger, you may have more energy, but when you’re older, you’re wiser,” she says. “We’ve been through so much, from the divorce to issues with Collin, and now I see that the other things I thought were important are just not.”