In an Imperfect Women exclusive interview, Jenny Masche dishes on – sextuplets, love and moving forward.
This past week, I had the chance to speak with Jenny Masche of Raising Sextuplets. Below are her candid thoughts on everything from divorce to the possibility of filming again.. Her family has gone through a lot of change in the past year but life is looking good for this mother of six!
Can you give us an update on your life and where things are now?
I’m living about an hour and a half from where I grew up, I got a really good job down here- working in the emergency room. Last year, coming home from Florida, I didn’t know what was going to happen. Things are good today. The divorce will probably be final in about a month. Everything was agreed upon in March but he basically doesn’t want to sign the papers. It’s hard. It’s super hard but I believe it’s the best thing for me, it’s the best thing for my kids. It’s the best thing for my friends and family, they really suffered in my marriage because of the way he would act and treat them. It’s good for everybody. I feel healthy.
Can you tell us about your current relationship?
I’m in a relationship [with Levi], he’s someone I’ve known for twenty years but I hadn’t spoken to him in several years. I had wanted to separate, Levi came into the picture and we started talking. We definitely started talking too soon. There were some mistakes made but the bottom line is that he’s an amazing man and so good for me and my kids. My family adores him. It’s just like finding the person you feel like you’re supposed to be with your whole life. Any time a family breaks up its sad. The problem is, I knew at my wedding that it wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing but I didn’t know how to get out of it. I didn’t want to break anyone’s heart and my fault, my guilt lies in the fact that now I’m hurting him even more. But I have 6 precious, healthy children. Levi has 2 boys and blending a family has its own challenges but it’s been really good. Even through all the mistakes I see that God has been really gracious to us, and my family is really happy about where I am and where the kids are. The hardest part is that they go to their dad’s every other weekend, its hard for them, it’s hard for me.
What is a typical day like for you, juggling work with 6 kids the same age?
Well if you had nothing else to do but take care of six 4 year old- you’re busy! I’m fortunate- I work shift work and I try to do evenings. It’s good, it’s ideal. I have to be a working mom and I feel super fortunate to have the job that I have. I can provide for the kids, work how often I work. I can’t imagine if I had a Monday – Friday job what I would have to pay in child care. It’s often that I go to bed at 1 or 2 in the morning and get up at 6:30, I’m usually pretty darn tired. But it’s just the way it is, you have to count the blessings in all of it.
Do people in the ER ever recognize you?
All the time! I’ll be walking by a room and someone will yell “That’s the lady on TV!” It happens way more frequently than I ever thought it would because our show was popular but it wasn’t like Jon and Kate. I think it’s becoming more popular now because they’re playing tons of reruns and marathons. I feel like its gaining more popularity now that it’s stopped. I was just in Starbucks today and the barista was like “I know you, how do I know you?”
Do you have a favorite fan moment?
That’s a hard one. I’m overwhelmed every day by the amount of support I get from fans. They’re really supportive of the direction my life is headed.
What would you tell single mothers who are feeling overwhelmed?
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed whether you’re a single mom or a married mom. I think moms across the board have their days and their moments. When my kids were 16 months to 2 years I really thought I wasn’t going to make it. It’s a season of life. When your kids are little, sometimes you feel like they’re going to be little forever and you’re never going to have your freedom. It’s a season. They will grow older, they’re going to change and they’re going to be out of the house someday. I think if you can really wrap your mind around that, that this is a season and enjoy it as much as you possibly can, because once that season is over, its over. I don’t have the same freedom that someone with one 4 year old would have. I don’t take all six of them to the bank or the grocery store. There’s a lot of logistics in doing normal things but it’s going by so fast. I can’t believe they’re already 4!
What do you do to make time for yourself?
You have to be really intentional about it. I love to run, that’s my time. I just finished a half marathon, and there are a couple coming up in the fall. That’s my favorite thing to do for myself. Its time to pray, and think, and sweat and process. I feel so much better emotionally and physically when I get to do that. Whenever I can I love to travel. As my kids get older, it’s more fun.
Do you ever think about writing a book?
I would love to write a book one day. I don’t know what it will be on- if it will be my life or divorce, or remarriage, or blended families. It’s just the timing. My plate is so full. God gives us all a story. I’ve been doing more media lately because if my story can help other women, whether it’s what not to do or what to do, then it’s worth it.
Are the kids going through any phases right now?
They are so much easier than when they were two! The girls are way more dramatic. They’re better at some things, there are moments where they’re really good at sharing and playing together and then there are moments when they just want to tear each other apart. They’re all getting much stronger willed but you can reason with them so much more and I love being able to do that. That is such a joy for me, to be able to explain something and they “get” it. They’re potty trained and that’s such a blessing! They go to the bathroom on their own and I’m like, “Thank you Lord!”
The kids are in preschool- will they start kindergarten next year?
I haven’t really decided yet. They’ll be five in June but some people hold their kids back. I’ve even thought about home schooling. I still have a lot of deciding to do!
Would you be open to filming again at some point in the future?
I wouldn’t totally rule it out. For the last year I was totally against it, didn’t want any of the garbage and stuff that was going on… but I think there could be a really good show about the reality of blending a family. I think it’s so common but there really isn’t a whole lot out there about that. It has its challenges but it can be really, really good. It can be done. So many people give their opinions about filming, whether it’s right or wrong. For me- it was absolutely a blessing. It helped us financially- the financial burden of having 6 the same age. I got to work less because I was being paid to be home with the kids versus being paid to be away from the kids. It gave me tougher skin and I didn’t have tough skin before. I’m a people pleaser and if you’re going to put you’re faith out there you have to know that if God is okay with me and my family is okay with me- it doesn’t really matter what other people think.
Do you think the show contributed to the demise of the marriage?
I was talking to the producer of the show a month ago, he knew us from the time I was 12 weeks pregnant, I told him I thought the show kept us together longer and he said “Oh, absolutely!” It gave us something in common, it gave us something to do together that was fun. It did take some of the stress off financially and ultimately I don’t at all think it made things worse. I’m 100% fine without it too.
How has your faith gotten you through the tough times?
I was raised in a Christian home and always had a real relationship there. Always knowing that God loves us, He is in control, He has good plans for our lives – even when we make mistakes, and I have made so many. I’ve definitely in the last year walked in God’s grace and in the fact that he loves me despite some of my choices. I grew up hearing that divorce wasn’t an option and that’s been a hard thing to accept and be okay with. It doesn’t change God’s love for me but there are consequences, there are consequences for everything you do in life. But there are also consequences when couples stay together who shouldn’t stay together. The older I get- I feel like the less I know, but the more I know that God loves us. It’s really helped me accept where I am now. This whole situation has really helped me in my walk, in that it really is about God and His grace rather than me and my self righteousness. Getting to be a parent is amazing because it gives us an idea of how God feels for us. Think about how much we love our kids- yes we may not be happy with their choices but we adore them, and we would never abandon them and we’re human, so how much more does God feel that way for us?
Many thanks to Jenny Masche for sharing with us. We wish you all the best in this new season of life!
For those of you interested, Bryan Masche contacted IW and wanted to share his story. You can find his interview here.