Christina Aguilera on Life As a Mom

Christina Aguilera on Life As a Mom
Andrew Macpherson

04/27/2009 AT 06:00 AM EDT

She's known for her powerful pipes, ever-changing image and empowering anthems, like "Beautiful" and her most recent single, "Keeps Gettin' Better." But these days, Christina Aguilera, 28, is busy working on her most important project yet – being a mom to son Max, 15 months, whom she and husband Jordan Bratman, 31, welcomed last year. Find out all about Max, how Christina's changed since becoming a mom, her favorite thing to wear and more in these exclusive outtakes from her PEOPLE interview!

How's the little guy? Does he say any words yet?
He's absorbing everything like a sponge right now. We have to be cautious what we're saying around him! He's speaking a little Spanish too. He said mama and papa months ago. Vacuum was one of his first words! He has a cleaning fetish and he loves to run around with a rag and dust and clean, and he loves to clean his high chair after he's done eating. It's so cute! I'll lift him down and the first thing he does is to take a rag and clean off his chair. He's mommy's little helper.

How have you changed since having Max?
My whole goal in life is to better myself as a person. One thing I've learned is patience. Having a child is a real eye-opener. It also gives you a new sense of beauty, because you feel more centered. I feel a deeper sense of happiness. And it's funny, I get more done now! I know there's a limited amount of time for everything now, and that really motivates me to cram as much in as I can in the amount of time I have. It's made me balance and schedule things better.

What do you want to pass on to Max about beauty?
As for physical beauty, the three things I want to teach him are: Drink lots of water, get your beauty sleep and stay out of the sun! All three of us have very fair skin, so staying out of the sun is extra-important for him. As for inner beauty, I encourage him to have a sense of himself. That's so important to me. I encourage him to express himself and find what he's passionate about. Looking back at my own past, even though it was very chaotic at times, I always had a really strong sense of self. I stayed connected and I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I was focused and it kept me on a good path. In the long run, it helped me make good decisions. Having a good home base and a good sense of self is really important. To me, that leads to outer beauty. I want to support him to be an individual. When you have that inner confidence and a good center, it makes you beautiful.

What makes you feel beautiful since becoming a mother?
Since becoming a mom, I feel I have more knowledge and that makes me feel beautiful. I feel more centered, which makes me feel confident and sexy The other night, my husband and I were in the bathroom getting ready for bed. I mentioned something on my body that was different before I had the baby. I said, "That was never like that before!" And he said, "Are you kidding me? That's what makes you even sexier. The fact that you're a mom and that your body has gone through all those changes, that makes you even sexier." It was such an amazing compliment.

When you have to do a red carpet event now, is it extra special to get dolled up?
I happen to love comfort! Yes, I love the hair and makeup part. I love experimenting with makeup and color; that's always been fun for me. But sometimes wearing those gowns is a little confining and stressful! I'm a huge fan of comfort, so I'm ultimately the happiest when I get to be in comfortable clothes. It doesn't have to be sweats and a T-shirt, but comfortable materials and loose clothing is when I'm happy. And completely naked is the best! That's my comfort zone.

For more on Christina, pick up PEOPLE's 100 Most Beautiful issue, on newsstands now!

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