Kate Gosselin claims she "never had a clear picture" for how Jon & Kate Plus 8 would end, however she feels Monday night's finale of the TLC reality series came "too soon."

"It's sad. It's needless. It's useless. It was totally avoidable. I think that I was able to always see the good and I always say that every job has its plus and minuses -- and this one to me had a huge plus because not only did the kids get to travel and do stuff and see the world that they would otherwise haven't seen, but I basically could go to work and my kids could go with me is how I saw it," explained Kate during the finale broadcast.

"This is a very bittersweet goodbye for me because the kids are already missing it... Our show provided opportunities that we wouldn't otherwise have. I feel like it's been taken from us -- from me and the kids."

TLC confirmed in October that estranged Jon & Kate Plus 8 star Jon Gosselin's "epiphany"-fueled demand that the network stop filming his children had derailed its previously announced plan to begin featuring him on a "less regular basis" and re-brand the reality series Kate Plus 8 beginning November 2. 

Instead, the network -- which agreed to the demand and has since filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Jon -- had confirmed Kate Plus 8's debut has been postponed indefinitely and the show's last original Jon & Kate Plus 8-branded episode would air Monday night.

"It's sad, it's cut short, it's too soon -- and it's been a great run," said Kate during the finale.

"I'm very grateful for the opportunity for the memories, for the memories on tape. I'm thankful for the support, for people who took us into their living room and watched my kids grow up, supported them, supported us from the beginning... It's been a unique opportunity, it's been a crazy life. It's not over yet."

Jon -- who has since countersued TLC -- said that he's been focusing on "moving forward" since he and Kate filed for divorce in June.

"I know what I have to do to save our family from being dissolved, and I know what I have to do to become friends with Kate and I know what I have to do to continue my relationship with [girlfriend Hailey Glassman] and move on. There's a whole bunch of things going on, but they all tie together," he said during the finale.

"I think I've become more educated about myself and what I've learned in the past couple months about myself. I always looked for blame and never really took blame and now I'm taking blame and I can own up to it. I've got to stop being a kid. I've got to grow-up some day and start taking initiative and be a man. That's the basic facts of it."

While Jon said he's focusing on his relationship with Glassman, Kate said the kids are unaware of the relationship.

"They don't know about girlfriends at all. That's just too warped for them. It's too unhealthy for them to know," she said, during the finale.
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"They're learning at this age by watching us what it's like to be an adult, and that's the last thing I want them to know. But I really just think that relationship is a situation that's just a symptom of the real issue. So I don't envision a future there involving my kids."

In addition, Jon reiterated previous comments that his separation and impending divorce from Kate has given him a "sense of freedom."

"Our marriage fell apart and I felt like I was free. I kind of took advantage of it for a while and didn't really think about my actions until I started getting paparazzi and written about," he explained. "But that's maturing. That's growing up."

The finale broadcast featured footage of the eight kids holding a lemonade sale with Jon to raise money for the local fire station and going on a trip to a small dairy farm next door to their house with Kate.

"At the time I had no idea this trip to the dairy farm would be our very last shoot," said Kate.

"Whatever Jon comes up with on his time is his deal -- I don't have him as a teammate anymore. That fact is not lost on me. Don't kid yourself into thinking that when I'm driving to get school supplies with the kids or to try on shoes or anything that you've seen us do recently, it always crosses my mind that I should be in the passenger seat and Jon should be driving. Every single time. To clarify, I never wanted that to change. Maybe I wanted roles to change and people to step up and stress loads to shift, but I never wanted him absent from that drivers' seat."

Kate said the kids "ask a lot of questions" about Jon, and she tries to answer them to the best of her ability.

"I need them to see a hard-working parent that is not just saying they want the best, but really I want the best for my kids," she explained.

"So they come to me with questions and I answer them, but I answer them matter-of-factly and when a behavior is unacceptable, I'll tell them that. But I try not to do it in a disparaging way. I don't want them to look back and remember me as tearing their father apart who they love. It's not beneficial."

While she tries to not disparage Jon, Kate added she can't help but wonder about the kids well being when they are with their father.

"I always wonder, 'Are they safe? Are they protected? Is it well thought out?' Jon doesn't take them many places alone without me... I do worry about his intentions and his motives for things. Is this a publicity stunt? What is the bottom line of it? So I don't like when my kids get caught in the crossfire of that stuff. I do like it better when they're just at home," she said.

"They love him and they need to see him, but my goal has been to remain neutral, state the facts, not say negative things about him. He's still their dad. I will never discourage him from being with them."

After the divorce filing, Jon moved into a New York City apartment, which he described as a "big eye opener."

"It's three hours from my house -- where my kids are -- which means it's like work. It's like I have work again. Although I live there, it's not like I'm at my house and works at my house," he explained.

"Everything was just crashing down. Now it's like I have a place to go. When I get sick of the city -- and all the press and the media and everything like that -- I cross the [George Washington bridge], I go back to my country place and I'm chill. So it's like I've got the best of both worlds right now."

Jon described the moments he spent with Kate and the kids that were documented for Jon & Kate Plus 8 as "precious."

"It's unfortunate that our marriage failed. But our family shouldn't fail," he said. "We're going to strive to do better and be the best parents we can -- whether we're married or not, as we're definitely not going to be married ever again -- but we're going to have to strive to be the best parents we can, not for our sake but for our kids."

Now that Jon & Kate Plus 8 has ended, Kate said she hopes people don't lump her into the same category as her estranged husband.

"I think through all of this scrutiny I wish that people could see that maybe I've been thrown in the same boat with Jon, but certainly I'm in a completely different boat going a completely different direction -- and my heart and my choices and my end goals have not changed," she said.

"I want the best for my kids. I want them to be happy, productive, fulfilling members of society and I'm going to do everything I can as a mother to ensure that happens."

Last week, Jon and Kate attended a day-long divorce arbitration hearing and his lawyer subsequently stated "it's possible" their divorce could be finalized by the end of the year.