Credit: People Magazine

It’s been years since Jon & Kate Plus 8 went off our TV screens, and yet Kate and Jon Gosselin are still somehow part of the pop cultural conversation. Between suing one another (Kate), writing tell-all books (Jon), attacking each other in the press (both of them), and starring on VH1’s Couples Therapy (Jon again!), we’ve hardly had a moment of rest between the former reality TV show couple’s antics. But what about their children — those eight kids that made them famous?

Well, twins Mady and Cara are all grown up at 13 — where does the time go?! — and they’re telling all in the new issue of People. While the sextuplets are still only 9 and a little too young to dig into the drama, Mady and Cara are old enough to have remembered the media chaos surrounding the show and their parents’ divorce — and to talk about it today.

“The stuff I remember now is stuff that I didn’t really see anything wrong with at the time.. but now that I look back, I can see, ‘Oh, that wasn’t a really good thing,’” Mady admits to the mag. “Like girlfriends, lots of girlfriends. Like maybe that wasn’t normal to have someone new, like, every week.” (She’s referring to the spree of romantic escapades that Jon had in the public eye, following his divorce from Kate.)

Things may have not been ideal at the time, but the girls maintain that they’ve come out normal and well-adjusted on the other side of the reality TV bubble.

"People expect us to be damaged," Cara says. Mady agrees, "People think we're supposed to be messed up, like, 'Oooooh, the poor Gosselin kids, they're going to be scarred for life, waaaaah.' Here's the big news: We're not messed up." In fact, Cara states that they’re “better than ever.”

“I feel like it made us more normal in some ways. We realized just because there are more of us doesn’t mean that we don’t have the same feelings that everyone has. We’re not that different than anyone else.”

The girls jokingly refer to their mother as “annoying,” like any typical teen girl. Explains Cara: “But she’s annoying on purpose! Like, she does it just to bother us.” Sounds familiar... But really, while Kate may face her fair share of critics in the media, her eldest daughters are her biggest fans.

“My mom is fantastic,” Mady declares. “She’s a better parent than anyone realizes.” And Cara agrees. “She really wants the best for us.”

So what’s next for the twins? Outgoing Mady says she wants to be an actress someday, while brainy Cara hopes to become a doctor. And, surprisingly, both would be okay returning to reality TV.

Can you believe that Mady and Cara are so grown up? Share your surprise in the comments below.

Source: People

Samantha Lear is an Assistant Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!