Blake Shelton Says Gwen Stefani’s ‘Pretty Special’ Kids Helped Him Discover Instinct He Didn’t Know Was In Him

Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani have been trying to have a baby for quite some time now. Stefani is already a proud parent of her boys with her former husband, rocker Gavin Rossdale. As for Shelton, the country music superstar had no child of his own yet but said recently that he believes he knows what it’s like to be a father.

Blake said that having a relationship with the 48-year-old Gwen and her children, Kingston, 11, Zuma, 9, and Apollo, 3, opened up something in him that he never knew was there before. The 41-year-old Shelton told PEOPLE that he discovered that he had dad instincts thanks to the three boys. But while everything seems fine between Blake and Gwen’s children, it wasn’t like that at first.

“For a long time, it was awkward trying to figure out what my place is and in their mind too,” Shelton said. “The best part for me, selfishly, is discovering a part of myself that I guess I never really knew was in there.”

Shelton, who was recently named PEOPLE‘s Sexiest Man Alive for this year, said life with Stefani and her children makes him feel like a real parent. Blake said that sometimes having three young boys around takes a bit of a toll on him. That feeling quickly disappears, however.

“There’s days where you go, ‘Oh my God, when does school start?'” Blake said. “An hour later, you’re going, ‘God, I can’t wait ’til they get home.”

“They’re so damn funny. It’s just my first time being around it, and it’s easy to fall in love with those kids. They’re pretty special.”

The bond with the three boys is likely an important factor why the relationship between Blake and Gwen is still getting stronger more than two years after hitting it off in the set of The Voice.

“It just feels like it gets stronger all the time, you know? ” Blake said. “It’s crazy.”

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Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani are not just a superstar couple madly in love with each other. The two are also busy with their respective careers. Blake has a new album out called Texoma Shore, which is another reason why Shelton is on cloud nine right now. Texoma Shore is headed for success as it recently reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums. This is Blake’s sixth album to receive that distinction.

Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani have also joined forces for a song on the latter’s Christmas album, “You Make It Feel Like Christmas.” Gwen will have a Christmas special on Dec. 12, 9 p.m., and the two will likely perform their song live.

[Featured Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]