As a parent of twins, I’ve always taken an interest in the TLC television show Jon & Kate Plus Eight, which follows the daily lives of Jon and Kate Gosselin and their twin daughters and sextuplets.
There have been many days when my twins and older son are crazy busy when I step back and think, “What would Kate do?” and some evenings when I watch an episode of the show on the DVR and realize how easy things are around here!
My husband got me Jon and Kate Gosselin’s new book (co-authored with Beth Carson) called Multiple Blessings: Surviving to Thriving with Twins and Sextuplets for Christmas.
The book, narrated by Kate, talks about the family’s transformation from a young couple struggling with fertility issues, to surviving the arrival of eight children in three years.
I realize that I usually review books about personal finance and frugal living, and this book is not at all about those two things. However, I was so impressed by the strong message of determination and faith throughout their story, I wanted to share my thoughts with you. I think the powerful message conveyed in this book can easily translate into your approach to frugal living and your family.
The book has a few lessons anyone can learn from:
1) A strong faith can help carry you over tough times. When you don’t have money, a job, or good health, it’s important to remember that the best things in life are free.
2) Don’t wallow in self-pity. The Gosselins experienced unemployment while having 6 preemies and twin 3-yr-old girls at home. You can feel sorry for yourself and watch everything slip away, or you can pull yourself up, dust yourself off, and fight to protect all the blessings in your life.
3) Reach for help when you need it, and be sure to reciprocate when you can. You can’t do everything yourself all the time, and neither can anyone else. Remember that.
4) It is hard to be frugal all of the time. At one point in the book, Kate talks about using disposable bottle liners for bottle-feeding the babies. She says, “Sometimes time is more valuable than actual money.” And she’s right. You have to determine what your time is worth and what conveniences may be worth paying for in your family.
5) Learn to let go. I can relate to Kate’s personality – she’s smart, organized, and likes to be in control. But sometimes life hands you major curveballs; you get socked with a health issue, lose a job, have more children than limbs… and you have to learn to accept that you can’t do it all. Just do your best and that will be more than enough in the end.
I enjoyed Multiple Blessings. It was a fun, quick read, and helped me to see my own family in a different way. It made me appreciate the fierce love inherent in strong families and recognize the sacrifices parents make for their children.
I’m so grateful for my multiple blessings, too.