It's been more than two years since Kate Gosselin and her brood of eight – twins Mady and Cara, 12, and sextuplets Alexis, Collin, Hannah, Joel, Leah and Aaden, 9 – appeared on their own TV series, and the single mom is decidedly humble about her circumstances.
"I'm living very carefully these days," Gosselin tells PEOPLE in its latest issue, on newsstands Friday.
Now that her TLC reality show is a thing of the past, the matriarch is making ends meet "piecing and patching together" an income from a variety of projects, she says.
Now that Kate Gosselin's TLC reality show, Kate Plus 8, has been canceled, she may be looking toward her next career move. In addition to being a reality star, Kate is a registered nurse and a best-selling author – not to mention a super mom. So, what should she do next? Here are some ideas:
Kate serves up healthy meals for her eight children and prefers organic, so why not become a natural foods chef? She can certainly handle cooking for picky customers – and lots of them.
She and her ex-husband Jon Gosselin weren't afraid to squabble in front of the cameras while filming Jon & Kate Plus 8. Maybe it's time to put that experience to good use and have straight-shooter Kate sit down with bickering couples as their marriage counselor.
Kate Gosselin's days as a reality star are done for now.
TLC – the network that gave viewers a firsthand glimpse of Kate's tumultuous and highly publicized split from ex-husband Jon Gosselin while they continued to raise their eight children – will no longer follow the 36-year-old and her brood with cameras.
"TLC has decided not to renew another season of Kate Plus 8," a network rep told PEOPLE in a statement. "By the end of this season Kate Plus 8 will have hit the 150 episode mark (including Jon & Kate Plus 8); an exceptional milestone. TLC hopes to check in with Kate and the family periodically with specials in the future."
– Dahvi Shira
Jon and Kate Gosselin had the end of their marriage play out in the tabloids and on their reality show, Jon and Kate Plus 8, but the single mom says tensions have finally calmed between the exes.
"It's just naturally gotten more peaceful, which is good," Kate, 36, told PEOPLE on Friday. "He's working now, which is great. He has somewhere else to put his attention, which is good."
Although Kate considers her parenting skills "very different" from Jon's, she believes whatever he's doing is working.
Summer is a time to get things done in Kate Gosselin's household. "I'm home now, post Dancing with the Stars, here I go," she said during Sunday's double episodes of Kate Plus 8.
The first order of business: construction of a chicken coop and starting her own little egg farm. "I buy four, five, or more dozen eggs a week," she said. "That's it, we're getting chickens."
And so they did – with the help of Farmer Dave and Farmer Dan, who trucked in an easy-to-assemble coop for 16 chickens and one rooster.
The whole clan pitched in to help, a phenomenon Kate dubbed the "Farmer Dan Effect."
"The kids were willing to carry pieces of the coop and in no time all of those pieces were in the field," she said. "These are moments that make me very happy. The kids were suddenly very willing to participate ... It was a family event – we're putting together our chicken coop."
The Gosselin gang is about to get bigger!
On a one-hour special of Kate Plus 8, Kate Gosselin gets chickens for the family -- as pets.
And now that the supermom has hung up her Dancing shoes, it's time to get to work. "I don’t want to get wet," she says, as she pressure cleans the side of her house. "Whoa, I got wet!"