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Christina Aguilera, Women's Health

Brian Bowen Smith

What a girl wants is some balance.

In the March issue of Women's Health (on newsstands Feb. 9), Christina Aguilera speaks candidly about the pressure society puts on mothers to do it all for everyone but themselves. The Voice coach, who has an 8-year-old son, Max Bratman, and a 17-month-old daughter, Summer Rain Rutler, says she wants to give a voice to mothers everywhere who are tired of trying to be everyone's everything.

"Mothers are constantly expected to be the nurturers, the givers, the providers of a comfortable home. We're expected to be pregnant, have the kids, breastfeed once we have the babies. And we're expected to look amazing after baby, right?" Aguilera tells the magazine. "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."

To keep her sanity, Aguilera makes herself a priority from time to time. "Having children is the ultimate joy, and I love my kids, but women have to find time to nurture themselves," the pop star says. "If someone has a baby, the first thing I'm like is, 'OK, are you taking care of you?'"

Christina Aguilera, Women's Health

Brian Bowen Smith

Being a mother is "the joy of my life," Aguilera adds. In fact, she finds the experience so joyful that it nearly inspired her daughter's name. "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."

Aguilera is filled with brightness and happiness, too, and she hopes other women will feel that way. "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," the singer, 35, says. "I'm into enjoying life, being conscious and aware, but also breathing into yourself and owning what you got."

Christina Aguilera, Women's Health

Brian Bowen Smith

The singer credits yoga with boosting her self-esteem. "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," Aguilera tells Women's Health. "My whole life, I feel like I've lived many years growing up in this business, from 7-years-old on, and very much a fight-or-flight mode and its things like yoga that brings you outside of that chaotic moment and then draws you inside to connect with what really is meaningful to you and sort of your inner light which then connects with your confidence."

To feel her very best, Aguilera also indulges in spa treatments. "On my days off, if I can plan some quality spa time, that is like my heaven. A spa vacation that literally is not just a spa day, with a massage and maybe a bath, but a spa 'experience' is the ultimate," she says. "It's everything."