Jersey Shore: Family Vacation fans know that while Jenni “JWoww” Farley and Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi can still hang with the rest of the original Shore squad, they’ve added an extra item to their Gym, Tan, Laundry rotation: Mom Guilt. The moms (Farley, 32, has daughter Meilani and son Greyson, while Polizzi, 30, has daughter Giovanna and son Lorenzo) wept at a boozy brunch in the season premiere about missing their kids – but as they tell People, their return to the Shore was so important to maintaining their identities outside of being parents. Read on for their thoughts on being true to your inner “meatball” while still loving your kids like crazy – then tune into Family Vacation Thursday at 8:00 p.m. on MTV.
On Partying Through the Pain:
Polizzi: Me and Jenni always stress that even though you are a mom, it doesn’t mean you are dead. I always say, you need to just get out once in a while and just find yourself and be you. I feel like that makes you be a better mom.
Farley: I really think Bad Moms, as funny of a comedy it was, really paves the way for people like Nicole and I to say it’s okay to have fun as a mom. I feel like there is a huge stigma: the moment you have kids, you are not allowed to drink, you are not allowed to put makeup on, how dare you take time to work out. There is just this stereotype that Nicole and I love to shut down and prove that you can be a phenomenal mother, but at the same time you can find time for yourself and it’s okay.
Polizzi: That’s not to say Miami wasn’t harder than expected. The first day we were so excited – we were drinking before we got to the house – but by day 2 I was like “Oh my God, we have three more weeks here and I already miss them.” I started crying, then she did, and it was like a chain reaction. But we ended up looking at each other being like, This is our mom vacation, let’s go enjoy it. I think we got drunk that day.
Farley: For me it’s like a light switch: I can turn it on and off. If I keep thinking about the kids, then I’m going to get upset and I’m going to ruin everyone’s time. So there is a time where I flip the switch: They’re good, they’re having fun, they’re with their dad. Everything’s fine.
On How Motherhood Has Changed Them:
Polizzi: Jenni being like 10 years older than me, she definitely couldn’t hang.
Farley: These a–holes were up until, like, 5:00 a.m. I’m normally in bed by 9. And at home I rarely drink because we still have responsibilities the next day.
Polizzi: When I’m home I never go out and drink just because I know I have to wake up at 6:00 a.m. and be a parent. Being hungover – I did that twice and I’ll never do that again. It’s the worst! You are not there for your kid, you are laying on the couch you are being a bum. So I think we took advantage of being by ourselves and going out. Jenni drank straight tequila, and after four of those, she was out.
Farley: Yep, it’s like my Nyquil!
On Keeping the Peace at Home:
Polizzi: We found our husbands on Jersey Shore, and we have our kids because of Jersey Shore. If it wasn’t for that show and my roommates and the success of it, I wouldn’t ever have what I have. Of course we would never miss out! And I truly think our husbands would have had just as much guilt [leaving us at home with the kids].
Farley: I never really looked at it as what [husband] Roger would think of the show! I always looked at it as, what my kids would think of me in 15 years if they saw it.
Polizzi: [Husband] Jionni was just like, Can you not get arrested. Obviously we weren’t going there to find guys – we were just there to actually enjoy ourselves – but my husband did say “Please don’t get arrested” and I didn’t!
On Making Time For Themselves:
Farley: It’s so rare that Nicole and I “go out” outside the show. Big “going out” to us now is dinner.
Polizzi: If we are going out with the girls we will have a nice dinner, we will have alcohol, we will have a good time and then we will go to bed. You can’t catch me at clubs at this point.
Farley: Unless it’s on Jersey Shore!
Polizzi: And date nights – Jionni and I are homebodies and we co-sleep with the kids (so do Jenni and Roger), so we basically get the kids to sleep and meet each other in the spare room with a bottle of wine and we watch movies.
Farley: That’s ours too. Even if we went out to dinner all my husband will talk about is the kids and how much he misses them – and he cries – so I would rather just have wine inside the house.
On How They Coped With Mom Guilt:
Polizzi: Basically alcohol. Facetime was good for the kids, but it was way worse for me and Jenni. We would cry with each other, oh my God.
On Teaching Their Kids that ‘Sometimes Mommy Has to Let Loose’:
Polizzi: I’m basically raising my kids to not be judgemental and to always just have a fun personality and to understand that sometimes Mommy has to let loose. Even daddy has to let loose – I let him go out all the time. It’s basically just like, Adults like to have fun with their friends sometimes. And you will know that one day … when you are 45.
Farley: We don’t want our kids to judge, but at the same time we are doing no harm. We are having fun and they should be proud of their moms because we are able to provide a great life for them and kind of be cool while doing it. Even though our kids probably won’t think we are cool.
Polizzi: No matter what, kids are always embarrassed by their parents.