February 25, 2016 09:30 AM

Nicole Polizzi has certainly come a long way since her days as Jersey Shore‘s resident meatball, Snooki.

Polizzi, 28, stopped by SiriusXM’s Wake Up! With Taylor podcast Wednesday and opened up about how she got her act together after she found out she was pregnant with her son Lorenzo Dominic, now 3.

“I always wanted to have kids but I wanted to wait till like, I don’t know, 27. But I got pregnant at 24 — so I was like: ‘S—, I’m not ready, what am I going to do? I don’t even know how to hold a baby. I hate kids!’ ” the reality star explained. “I wasn’t ready to make that transition.”

“[People] were like: ‘Do you want to hold my baby?’ I was like: ‘No, I’m drinking a beer, go away,’ ” joked Polizzi, now mom to both Lorenzo and her daughter Giovanna Marie, 17 months.

Courtesy Nicole Polizzi

The reality star went on to explain the instant the pregnancy test came back positive, her motherhood instincts kicked into gear.

“We have this switch that goes off. But it’s before the baby popped out — it was right when I got pregnant,” Polizzi said, explaining that she threw the alcohol and the cigarettes away because she was determined “to be a better person for my baby.”

“Thank God for nature!” host Taylor Strecker said.

“Yes, right?! Because I’d probably be in rehab,” Polizzi admitted.

As for how Polizzi will explain her wild experiences on the hit MTV show — like that time she got punched in the face at a bar, or arrested for public drunkenness — the mom said she plans on keeping it real with her children since she feels like “they’re going to see it anyway,” especially once kids at school start bringing it up to them.

“I’m literally going to just be honest with them because that’s the relationship that I want with them: to be honest but them to know that I’m the parent,” she said. “[I’ll] just be like: ‘You know, Mommy just turned 21, it was the first time she could get into bars and clubs and she went nuts. You’re going to experience that when you’re 21, but wait till you’re 21 and learn from my mistakes.’ ”

And while her Jersey Shore days are well behind her, Polizzi has remained a regular presence on the reality television scene, most recently snagging a new FYI series with her husband Jionni LaValleNicole & Jionni’s Shore Flip.

So does that mean she hopes her kids will follow in her footsteps?

“I’d rather not — that’s Mommy’s job, you guys do something else!” Polizzi said. “But if they truly wanted to do it, I would support them. I’m like every other mother, I want them to be a doctor, a lawyer or an astronaut! Something crazy.”

— Aurelie Corinthios

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