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As a mother to son Max and daughter Summer, Christina Aguilera hopes fellow moms take care of themselves, too.
"Mothers are constantly expected to be the nurturers, the givers, the providers of a comfortable home," the pop star told Women's Health for its March cover story. "We're expected to be pregnant, have the kids, breast-feed once we have the babies. And we're expected to look amazing after baby, right? Keep our husbands and boyfriends interested — because we're supposed to get back to sexy and keep things exciting in the bedroom. There's such a long list. Having children is the ultimate joy, and I love my kids, but women have to find time to nurture themselves. If someone has a baby, the first thing I'm like is, 'Okay, are you taking care of you?'"
As she approaches the second anniversary of her engagement to production assistant Matthew Rutler, the five-time Grammy Award winner told the magazine they're not in a hurry to finalize wedding plans.
"We discuss it when we're snuggling in bed," said Aguilera, who got engaged to Rutler on Valentine's Day in 2014, "but it's a casual conversation."
Aguilera also discussed facets of her professional life, including her particular admiration for fellow songstress Adele. "She has a way of singing with such truth," Aguilera said. "I love how genuine she comes across in her songwriting."
Women's Health also shared several interview quotes that won't appear in the magazine.
Among the highlights from unpublished excerpts:
- On serving as a mentor on NBC's "The Voice": "My favorite part about being a judge is probably seeing just such excitement and happiness in the contestants that come on. The artists that are still growing and learning and you being given the opportunity to sort of help them become more individualized in their own artistry. It's really amazing to watch that process and be a part of it."
- On the best part of being a mom to Max, 8, and Summer, 17 months: "They both are the joy of my life. I swear if I hadn't called her Summer I would've called her Joy because she just lights up a room and she illuminates brightness and happiness."
- On her next album: "I've been loosely working on my album for the last couple of years, but I don't like anything feeling too contrived or forced. So, I now have given the time over the past few months to dive into my project on a very serious level and I'm super, super excited about the artists that are on-board, the producers, people that I haven't experimented with yet before. It's going to be a lot of exciting stuff to come."
- On yoga and how it can foster confidence: "It takes time, I think, to build confidence and to grow into feeling comfortable in your own skin. It is what you feel inside and how you can exude it and how you own it, sometimes in front of a camera. It's difficult on days when you don't feel it, but it is things like yoga that has helped me to know how to center myself and how to bring myself into that place of awareness and just being able to breathe into my own body."
- On advice she would offer all women: "I would say to any woman, don't be too hard on yourself! If you're not feeling confident on a certain day, you have to let that go, and own, 'Yeah, I'm not feeling confident today' and you move on and try to enjoy the best you can. I'm not into deprivation; I'm not into suffering into getting a great body or the body that you want. I'm into enjoying life, being conscious and aware, but also breathing into yourself and owning what you got."
The March edition of Women's Health arrives on newsstands Feb. 9.
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