Snooki says the guilt she felt over leaving her two young children was "the worst part" of filming Jersey Shore Family Vacation

By Jen Juneau and Mariah Haas
March 30, 2018 12:15 PM

While filming Jersey Shore Family Vacation wasn’t Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi‘s first tussle with mom guilt, it was certainly one of the more difficult examples.

The 30-year-old star and mother of two opened up at the reunion show‘s premiere Thursday evening in Los Angeles, telling reporters the guilt she felt while filming “was the worst part” of being away from daughter Giovanna Marie, 3½, and son Lorenzo Dominic, 5½.

“Obviously, I was excited to be with the roomies and have fun and go out and rage, because I never rage anymore, I’m a 24/7 mom,” she said. “But I missed [my kids] the night I got there. ‘Cause I co-sleep with my kids, so not sleeping with them, I had mom guilt 24/7.”

“But the roomies helped me a lot, being like, ‘Listen, this is your time to enjoy yourself. Go out, be a fool, you have no responsibility. Just have fun,’ ” Polizzi explained. “So I had to keep telling myself that and I was like, ‘Yeah!’ So I woke up and I just kept drinking.”

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Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi and daughter Giovanna
Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Haddad
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi’s kids Giovanna and Lorenzo

The star admits it’s “inevitable” that her kids will one day see her adventures on Jersey Shore, since they’re “always on their iPads anyway” — but it might be a while.

“We just went to the grocery store before we came here with my son, and someone goes, ‘Hey Snooki,’ and my son goes, ‘What’s a Snooki?’ It’s already happening,” Polizzi said. “I was like, ‘You know, Mommy’s on TV and she does work.’ ”

“I basically explained to him that I’m an actress, it’s scripted (which it’s not), and I’m gonna lie to him until he actually finds out the truth that it’s actually me,” she added. “I’m just gonna lie to him! And say I’m an actress. And it’s a fake show.”

Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi

The mother of two also took some time to shoot down rumors of marriage troubles between herself and husband Jionni LaValle, saying the couple are “totally fine” and admitting she’s not sure why or how the rumors started, but guesses it’s because LaValle dislikes being on camera.

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Of her husband’s encouragement of her career, Polizzi said, “He’s totally supportive, but he’s like, ‘So how long are you gonna be gone? I’m stuck with two toddlers. How long is this gonna be?’ Because they’re hard, they fight.”

“I laid all my daughter’s outfits out because he’s the worst with changing them,” she told PEOPLE of helping LaValle before leaving to film. “So I laid all the outfits out, I tried to get groceries sent, like, every few weeks with Peapod. So yeah, I was trying to help him, but obviously, you know, it’s hard.”

Jersey Shore Family Vacation premieres April 5 at 8 p.m. ET on MTV.