Teresa Giudice on Raising Her Four Girls Alone While Joe's in Prison – and How They're Coping

"We're a strong family, Giudice tells People. "We'll get through it"

Photo: Gillian Laub

Since she was released from Danbury Correctional Facility on Dec. 23, Teresa Giudice has jumped right back into her pre-prison routine. She’s up early making breakfast for her four daughters Gia, 15, Gabriella, 11, Milania, 10, and Audriana, 6, before driving them all over town to gymnastics, cheerleading and soccer.

“I can’t wait for Joe to get home,” the star, 44, tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week’s issue of her husband. “He needs to help me.”

That help will not be coming any time soon. Joe, 44, is currently incarcerated for mail, wire and bankruptcy fraud, serving a 41-month sentence at Federal Correction Institute in Fort Dix, New Jersey.

After serving her own 11- month sentence, Teresa is raising her girls alone until Joe is released in 2019. Still able to communicate with him a “million times a day” via email, the Real Housewives of New Jersey star says the visitation process to see Joe has become simpler for the family.

For more on Teresa’s life without Joe, pick up the latest issue of People on newsstands Friday

“I’m not going to say it’s easier, but the girls went though it with me already,” says Teresa, who recounts her jail time in the memoir Turning the Tables, which comes out in paperback with an additional chapter on July 5. “We get in and out. They’ve got it down pat.”

While Joe’s future after jail is still undecided – he was born in Italy and never became a U.S. Citizen, so he could face deportation after serving his time – Teresa is remaining strong and optimistic despite everything they’v gone through in the last few years.

“We all miss Joe tremendously,” she says. “But I try to remind them, ‘Now that mommy is home, didn’t it go by fast? That’s how it’s going to be for daddy too.’ ”

The Real Housewives of New Jersey returns July 10 at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.

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