— -- In the span of one year, Kelly Clarkson's world changed "in the most awesome way" when she became a wife and mother of three.
"My whole life took a big 180," the "American Idol" winner told People for this week's cover story. "I never thought I was going to be a mom, so it’s very much changed my world in the most awesome way."
Clarkson, 32, married husband Brandon Blackstock, 38, in October 2013, becoming a stepmom to his two children, Savannah, 13, and Seth, 8. Then, in June 2014, the couple welcomed their own daughter, River Rose, now 8 months old.
In addition to promoting "Piece by Piece," her first non-holiday album since 2011, Clarkson's life is a mix of diapers, homework and date nights.
"I love what I do, but I feel like I relied on my career a lot for my self-worth. And now I’m more than that," the pop star told People. "I’m a mother and a wife and have this whole other thing going on."
Amid the chaos, Clarkson has experienced an unexpected emotion.
"I have a certain level of peace I didn’t know was going to come with it," she told the magazine.
"My best friend always says, ‘You just want to create the family you never had.’ I might be doing that," said Clarkson, whose own parents divorced. "In defense of my family, it happens. People fall out of love, and people go separate ways. People are human. I’ve accomplished a lot, 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."