Over the past 20 years, Kate Gosselin has learned a thing or two about raising children.
“I am a very protective parent, as you probably know. It comes from a place of love,” the Kate Plus Date alum said during the Television Critics Winter Press Tour in February 2019. She explained, “I do think that I care so deeply that I have been, at times, overzealous.”
Her attitude toward child-rearing, however, often comes with criticism. Back in 2009, Kate addressed the backlash on Jenny McCarthy‘s radio show, shutting down rumors that she’s mean to her kids.
“Am I a mom with high expectations? Absolutely. Am I a mom who wants the absolute best for my kids at all cost? Absolutely. Do I drive a hard bargain? Sure,” she said in the interview, via The Ashley’s Reality Roundup. “But the truth is that, within that, my kids know that it’s out of love. Literally, from day one, wanting the best for them, and I don’t apologize for it. My life is for my kids, and I really want the best for them.”
The reality TV mama shares eight children — 17-year-old sextuplets Aaden, Alexis, Leah, Joel, Hannah and Collin, and twins Mady and Cara, both 21 — with ex-husband Jon Gosselin. Audiences first met the couple when they starred on Jon and Kate Plus 8 and later Kate Plus 8. In 2009, Kate filed for divorce after 10 years of marriage.
The former couple have had a tumultuous relationship, and more than a decade after their divorce, they’re still butting heads. Back in 2010, Kate fired back after an attorney for Jon said he planned to sue for primary custody of their children because Kate’s appearances on Dancing With the Stars turned her into an “absentee parent.”
“I am not willing to comment in public on the custody discussions regarding my children,” Kate said in a statement at the time. “What I will say is this: I am and always will be a mother first, but as a single working mom, I will do everything necessary to provide for my kids despite the opinions of others.”
While he did, in fact, sue her, Jon gave an update on their custody battle in April 2020, noting that it’s “done.”
“It’s like chickens, it’s free-range now. You can do whatever you want and there’s nothing we could say,” Jon told The Sun. “If Hannah just said, ‘I’m going to go live with mom,’ there’s nothing that I could say. I could ask her why, but I can’t physically stop her.”
Keep scrolling to see all of Kate’s parenting quotes — before and after their breakup.