Kate Gosselin: I'm Not Choosing Fame Over My Kids

04/13/2010 AT 09:00 AM EDT

Responding to her ex-husband's accusations that she's an absentee parent, Kate Gosselin says she has no choice but to work, which takes her away from her eight kids – but that she tries to make every moment with them count that much more.

"I've got to work harder now than ever because I am a single mom," the former Jon & Kate Plus 8 star, 35, said Tuesday on NBC's Today show. "In my heart I'm always in my kitchen, baking and cooking for my kids, and I'll always be there. It's a struggle to be here [in New York], to be anywhere. The emotion that you see is because I would rather be at home with them."

But that's not always possible, she says. "I have to work. I have to provide for them. And it's a struggle that every working mom, especially single moms, go through, and I'm really feeling it now, and it's really hard."

The best she can do, Gosselin says, is carve out as much time with them as possible. She says she leaves Los Angeles, where Dancing With the Stars is filmed, every week to spend time in Pennsylvania.

"If I had 24 hours a day seven days a week with eight kids, it wouldn't be enough time in my book," she says. "So, to minus out the working days is really hard. But I make the most of every minute I have with them … When I'm home, we make those little spots of time really big in our memories."

Gosselin speaks to her kids directly in her new book, I Just Want You to Know, and offers them "advice for now, advice for the future and for always, kind of like a legacy." She says the children are doing well, though of course divorce is tough on any child.

"I don't think any child likes it," she says. "They still say things like, 'I wish Mommy and Daddy could be together.' They still have their same innocent love for each of us, and I appreciate that.

See what other readers have to say about this story – or leave a comment of your own
MORE ON: Kate Gosselin

From Our Partners