The grass isn’t always greener! Kate Gosselin and Kendra Wilkinson switched lives on the Tuesday, Feb. 26 premiere episode of the new season of ABC’s Celebrity Wife Swap and both hand their hands full.
Wilkinson, a 27-year-old mother of one and wife of former NFL wide receiver Hank Baskett, traded her lifestyle, family and home with Gosselin, a 37-year-old divorced mother of eight.
In the episode, Wilkinson quickly becomes overwhelmed by all of Gosselin’s children – shedding tears along the way — while Gosselin butts heads with Wilkinson’s husband.
Us Weekly chatted with former Girl’s Next Door star Wilkinson about her struggles playing single mom to Gosselin’s twins Cara and Mady, 12, and sextuplets Aaden, Collin, Joel, Leah, Alexis and Hannah, 8, whom she shared with ex-husband Jon.
“Finding out that I was switching with her with eight kids — I wanted to run!” she admitted to Us. “I wasn’t necessarily thinking about the domestic side of things — and trust me, I needed a lot of help with that.”
Meanwhile, Wilkinson’s husband Hank was having his own challenges with Gosselin acting as his “wife.”
“When he heard it was Kate, he said, ‘Wait . . . isn’t she a bit . . . strict?’ But Hank’s a very good guy -– a perfect guy -– he’s so nice to everybody,” she explained to Us. “But when Kate started to talk a little bit about me, he got really upset.”
Gosselin’s main criticism of Wilkinson: she supposedly didn’t spend enough time with her son, Hank. “By you focusing so much for caring for Kendra’s every need and desire, I almost feel like you’re enabling and allowing her to focus mostly on herself as well,” the mother of eight argued to Baskett.
“Hank is extremely protective of me. When Kate says something about me and asks him why he allows me to do certain things . . . there was [some] drama!” Wilkinson told Us. “Anybody that talks crap about me, man, he’ll make sure that they know how he feels about that! He’ll go off! That’s when you see the bad side of Hank!”
“We’re complete polar opposites,” the former Playboy model said. “She believes that pretty much one minute away from your kids is something you’ll regret. I believe the opposite, that you sometimes have to spend time away from your kids to be happy.”
Though Wilkinson’s husband ultimately told his wife he didn’t want her to change, she concedes that Gosselin made some valid points. “She said you only get this moment once with your kid — this time, this age,” she recalled. “I have a nanny and stuff like that and she doesn’t really have a lot of help. She said, ‘Don’t let anyone take your moments from you’ — and she was 100 percent right. But I still believe in having a social life! I do!”
And the pairs have, against all odds, remained close after filming the show.
“The time we had on Wife Swap will probably stick with us forever. After the show ended, we didn’t just fly back and go to our homes and never speak again. Kate invited us over to her house and we had lunch with them and got to spend some time with them,” Wilkinson tells Us. “It was such a cool thing. They are a truly great family and Kate has done so good with those kids.”