Oprah: And you don't feel like you've lost yourself to your kids?
Kathryn: Not at all. Jim and I go out alone during the week, and our kids watch one another. We go for coffee on Saturday and Sunday mornings. We tell them, "We're going out, and don't call us on our cell phones." They know that's our time.
Oprah: All that and you still look great. Are you all made up when you're preparing breakfast every morning?
Kathryn: Gosh, no. I literally just brush my teeth. And unless I'm meeting someone for lunch, I often stay in my workout clothes and sneakers all day.
Oprah: Do you put on a little makeup before Jim comes home?
Kathryn: I make myself look presentable. Maybe I'll throw on some lipstick. I'm always clean. I don't make up my face and go to the malls all day—I'm too busy for that.
Oprah: Friends with two kids say it's difficult to make each one feel important. How do you make nine feel validated?
Kathryn: On vacations my husband and I set aside special days for each of them—one may go to breakfast with us, for instance. And every day, I find one-on-one time while we're riding in the car. I'll say things like "I'm proud of you" or "You're awesome." There are always opportunities to give each child attention: One can help me cook, another can be my special laundryperson, and someone can drive with me to the grocery store.
Oprah: Kathryn, we have another visitor—hi, Jimmy. [Fifteen-year-old Jimmy passes through the room.]
Kathryn: Jimmy, say goodbye to Oprah.
Oprah: Where are you going?
Jimmy: I'm going to my brother's game. Bye, Oprah.
Oprah: Nice to meet you. Good luck through adolescence—may it treat you well.
Jimmy: Thank you.
Oprah: All the kids seem to like one another so much.
Kathryn: They love one another. And in a sense, they've raised one another.
We Hear You!