Blake Shelton has long felt comfortable in his role as country music's goofy, charismatic hitmaker -- but he says becoming a stepdad to Gwen Stefani's three sons has showed him a whole new side of his identity.

"They've taught me something about myself that I never knew: I'm more than just a country singer or a goofy guy," Shelton explains to People in a new cover story interview. "I'm someone they actually lean on, and that's not a responsibility that I ever had and not something that I ever considered even being into."

Now, the importance of spending time with family has inspired Shelton to adjust some of his career priorities. He's stepping away from his coaching role on The Voice after Season 23, for example, after being with the show since its very first season.

But being stepdad to 16-year-old Kingston, 14-year-old Zuma and eight-year-old Apollo has given the country star a new perspective on what's important."It's a different kind of self-worth. Maybe it's the opposite of self-worth, because you put yourself way down on the rung, and they move up ahead of you," Shelton muses.

Having kids in the mix shapes how Shelton view marriage, too. "It got to a point quickly with Gwen and I's relationship that there was never a time where I thought, 'Well, I wonder if this doesn't work out.' That never crossed my mind, and I don't think it did with her, either," he goes on to say.

"Having kids, it truly does make you go, 'Oh whoa, wait a minute. This isn't about me anymore and never will be again,'" he concludes. "If you don't say that yourself, I think you're only hurting yourself because you're going to miss out."

Family might be the focal point of Shelton's life right now, but that doesn't mean he's retiring -- not by a long shot. Elsewhere in his People cover story interview, he said he had no plans to ever step away from his music career, adding, "you might as well just poison me."

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