From Laundry Piles to Microwave Burritos On-the-Go: What Carrie Underwood's Life Is 'Really' Like

"I do a lot of laundry," says the country star, opening up in this week's issue of PEOPLE

Fame, glitz and glamour aside, Carrie Underwood‘s real world revolves around ordinary life with her family.

“We’re just really normal people and I’m so thankful that we are,” Underwood, 37, tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue, speaking of herself, husband Mike Fisher, 39, and sons Jacob, 13 months, and Isaiah, 5. Sharing details from her new health and wellness book Find Your Path, the star says life on stage and off are totally different.

“I feel like if I were the person that I am on stage when I’m at home, I just don’t know if that person would like have too many friends,” says the “Cry Pretty” singer with a laugh. “I enjoy getting to play that role, but you can’t be that big of a personality all the time. Well I guess you can, but it’s gotta be exhausting.”

Carrie Underwood Find Your Path
Cameron Premo

When it comes to her mornings, “My kids are my alarm,” says Underwood. “My husband and I are trying this thing where we get up earlier so we can have a little quiet time before the kids wake up. Then we have breakfast together, and it’s all about the mad dash out the door. I have a calendar-journal that I look at for the day and week ahead. It’s nice to see it laid out in front of me.”

Carrie Underwood

One thing to check off her list every day is a good old, reliable pile of dirty clothes. Outside of childcare as needed and a couple who deep-cleans her home once a month, Underwood manages her own household. “I’m terrible at asking for help,” she says, “I don’t like a lot of people in my space.”

  • For more on Carrie Underwood’s at-home life and new health and wellness book, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday
Mariska Hargitay
Cliff Watts

That said, “I do a lot of laundry. Isaiah just thinks my job is doing laundry,” says Underwood. “How one little person has so much laundry I don’t know.”

Another staple on her calendar: at least a 45-90 minute workout. “I’m a health nerd. It’s a passion,” says the creator of CALIA athleisure line and the new Fit52 fitness program and app that corresponds with her book. “I don’t pamper myself often—and maybe I should be a little better at that—but working out to me is that. It helps me balance. Some days I have to make myself, but I always feel better afterward.”

Underwood, a vegetarian, is super healthy when it comes to her diet as well, but she does find herself grabbing food on the run often. “I feel like I’ve been eating the same microwave burritos when I’m in a time crunch,” she admits. “I don’t ever get tired of those.”

Still, dinner means “proteins and vegetables” and most importantly, quality time with her family. “We have dinner together six nights a week,” she says. “I feel like that’s something really important. What my husband and I talk about more than anything is how to make sure our children have a ‘normal’ childhood. That’s hard with this particular life.”

But when the little ones are down by 8 p.m., the couple takes a load off — and tunes in. “Mike and I sit on the couch and catch up and watch The Bachelor or The Walking Dead. That’s my balance, work hard and then veg.”

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