She just won The Voice on her first try and loves touring the world singing her hit songs, but at the end of the day Kelly Clarkson's true passion is more rocking chair than rock star. "My favorite part of the day," she reveals, "is bedtime stories with River Rose," her four-year-old daughter, whom she calls her "little nugget." River and her brother, Remington, 2, in fact, bring the original American Idol, 36, more fulfillment than any award she’s won.

"While I love music," Kelly explains, "my family comes first. There are days where s–t hits the fan, and I’m crying because there’s not enough time to do everything. But that’s [every] mom. You're molding lives and you don't want to suck at it!"

By all accounts, she’s not. The stepmom to husband Brandon Blackstock’s daughter, Savannah, 16, and son, Seth, 11, admits she does push herself to the max, but she’s happy with her work-life balance. "I’m not going to be able to be there for everything, and that’s OK," she says of keeping any mommy guilt at bay.

"It's important for my girls, especially, to see me as a woman accomplishing all these things while nailing it as a mom. I always come back to that," she adds. It’s no surprise many of Kelly’s side projects have been inspired by maternal instincts. In 2016, she penned the kids’ book River Rose and the Magical Lullaby, which was followed by 2017's River Rose and the Magical Christmas. And earlier this year, she recorded "I've Loved You Since Forever," a song inspired by pal Hoda Kotb’s book for her daughter, Haley Joy.

"I'm going to teach my kids to do what they love. Love what you do," she says, making sure she sets a good example by taking her own advice along the way. "I’ve accomplished a lot," she says, "but I guess the biggest success I want is that whenever I die, people will say, 'She was so successful as a mother and as a wife.' That's kind of my big goal."

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