The DIY Network star opens up about parenting and being an example for her two boys, 21 and 3

By Mackenzie Schmidt
July 18, 2018 09:10 AM
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On her hit series Rehab Addict, Nicole Curtis can be seen shoveling concrete and busting through walls, but the mom of two has lately been showing her softer side — and that’s okay with her, too.

“I think it’s really really important that young woman coming up know that you can be feminine and you can be harda–,” the DIY Network and HGTV star tells PEOPLE while chatting about the show’s new season.

“I can drive a Bobcat, but I want somebody to open the door for me. I want someone to bring me flowers,” she says. “I think it’s okay to be a nurturer and a builder, and I really hope that message comes across.”

Fans of her show, which this season sees Curtis putting her powers of renovation to use in her hometown of Lake Orion, Michigan, are used to seeing her on the job in a field that is still male-dominated. So her presence on social media, where she’s become a vocal advocate for mothers’ rights and normalizing breastfeeding can be startling to some.

“[Followers] see me wearing a baby sling with a boob out at the zoo making jokes about a red panda. It’s a little surprising,” she admits.

Credit: courtesy DIY Network

Curtis, who has two sons — Ethan, 21, and Harper, 3 — is also candid about the sometimes hilarious, often trying reality of being a single mom. (She and Harper’s father, Shane Maguire, are currently in a dispute over custody.)

“I always say this is my second journey of motherhood. I want to be the best I can be,” she explains.

RELATED VIDEO: Nicole Curtis Shares the One Thing Any Expectant Mother Should Ask for

And despite the success of her series — season 8 premiered last week — that means keeping it real with her children.

“We’re doing the best we can and the memories are so fun,” she says. “That’s what’s most important: when my kids think about their life, I want them to remember we had fun. And if anyone says anything about me, I don’t want them to say, ‘My mom was at work all the time,’ or, ‘My mom had a TV show,’ or any of that. I want them to say, ‘My mom was fun.’

Watch new episodes of Rehab Addict Wednesdays at 9PM on DIY Network.