Earlier this fall, Blake Shelton announced his difficult decision to leave “The Voice” after 23 seasons. Now, the country singing coach is opening up to People about how his decision was mainly persuaded by his fear of missing out on life back at home.

“If I walked away from my career at this point, the only thing that I run the risk of is having regrets that I’m missing out on some more important things in life. For now, that’s our kids,” Shelton tells the magazine in this week’s cover story, referring to his wife Gwen Stefani’s sons — Kingston, 16, Zuma, 14, and Apollo, 8 — whom she shares with ex-husband Gavin Rossdale. “As the boys get older, there’s more stuff to not miss.”

READ MORE: Gwen Stefani Tears Up Thinking About Her And Blake Shelton’s Final Season On ‘The Voice’ (Exclusive)

“Even though I’m a stepparent, I take that job very seriously,” Shelton continues. “The kids see me as a very important person in their life. [When they ask], ‘Why isn’t Blake here?’ I take that stuff to heart… You can’t buy time back. I don’t want any regrets.”

Blake Shelton
Blake Shelton — Photo: Courtesy of People

When the 46-year-old singer is back home in Oklahoma, that’s where he feels the “most comfortable, happy and safe,” he tells People. 

He also shares how Stefani’s sons have taught him a “different kind of self-worth.”

READ MORE: Blake Shelton Honors Gwen Stefani On Their First Wedding Anniversary: ‘Thank You For Saying Yes’

“They’ve taught me something about myself that I never knew: I’m more than just a country singer or a goofy guy. 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,” Shelton admits. “It’s a different 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’s People cover story hits newsstands on Dec. 9.