05/02/2012 at 01:00 PM EDT
Get too close to her family and you might just hear Khloé Kardashian
"I have always been like a mama lion and I have treated my family like they are my cubs," Kardashian, 27, tells PEOPLE
. "I'm the same way with my baby sisters, older sisters, brother, and now my husband."
Kardashian, who is taking a break
from her show with husband Lamar Odom, adds, "It is just something that I was born with I guess. I'm incredibly over-protective."
As for enduring the constant speculation about whether she'll become a mom herself one day, Kardashian says she lets chatter about her personal life roll off her.
"I have to remember I chose to be as honest and open as I am, so I can't let the rumors really bother me," she says. "People will always create what they want when they want. I keep my circle close and my family closer. As long as we all are doing well then I couldn't be happier."
For more on Khloé's decision, and their plans to start a family, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday