Jason Aldean still cares about career recognition, but he's shifted his daily focus from collecting accolades to his wife Brittany and his four children

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Jason Aldean
| Credit: Joseph llanes

At 44 years old, country star Jason Aldean spends his days running after his 4-year-old son, Memphis, and his 2-year-old daughter, Navy — a marked change from his 20s spent clawing for the top of the country music charts or the marquee spot at the largest venues.

Aldean still cares about the accolades, but age and success allowed him to shift his daily focus from his career to his family.

 "It's a hell of a lot different," Aldean told PEOPLE during a Zoom from his tour bus. "I'm a lot more settled in my 40s than I was in my 20s. I'm in a different place in life. I don't feel so much like I'm trying to prove myself every single day and trying to chase this thing that seems so out of reach."

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Jason Aldean and Wife Brittany
| Credit: Rick Diamond/Getty

Aldean — who recently released Macon, the first album from his new double album Macon, Georgia — is also dad to older daughters Kendyl, 14 and Keeley, 18. He was present as much as possible for them, too, when they were babies. But his touring schedule required 250 days a year on the road and forced him to trade their milestones for the spotlight. His sacrifice paid off. Since Aldean's 2005 debut, he's earned 25 No. 1 country songs, 15 billion streams and sold more than 20 million albums. He's the Academy of Country Music's Artist of the Decade — and he picked up a Grammy nomination Tuesday for his new Carrie Underwood duet "If I Didn't Love You" that is featured on "Macon."

He wrote on social media that Grammy nominations are "hard to get" and said that winning one was "definitely on my bucket list."

"It feels good to know that for the last 16 years, I've had a chance to wake up and go do a job that I truly love to do," Aldean said. "If it all went away tomorrow, I'd be like, 'My kids are good. It's been great.' I got no regrets at all."

Kendyl and Keeley are Aldean's children from his previous marriage to Jessica Ussery. The pair split after 12 years, and Aldean married his current wife Brittany, the mother of his youngest two children. While merging the families was complicated, Aldean said watching his four kids together is "really fun."

"I feel really sorry for Memphis, though," Aldean said, laughing. "It's him and three sisters, so he doesn't have a chance. I never thought I'd be having kids again at 40, but now I can't imagine life without them. I was an only child … so having a big family was something I didn't really have. I love having them all there and just seeing them interact."

Aldean and Brittany, 33, were married in 2015, and he said he could always count on her to back him up. They share similar conservative values, and she helps keep him healthy with a cleaner diet of fish and chicken. His days of grilling steak are much less frequent, and if he wants to order a large pizza, he says he has to "mail it in." But he's not complaining.

"It's kind of what you do when you're married," he said. "The biggest thing with us is we're super supportive of each other. She's been really good at trying to carve her own path, starting little businesses and doing her own thing. I try to be as supportive as I can of what she's got going on. And she does that with me. It's a good little team."

CMA Awards Portraits; Bridgestone Arena; 11/10/21
Jason and Brittany Aldean
| Credit: Katie Kauss

The combination of maturity and success fits Aldean to a tee.

"I don't wanna say I've accomplished everything that I set out to do because I haven't, but I've accomplished a lot more than what I thought I would," Aldean said. "I got four beautiful kids. I got a beautiful wife and had a great career. I'm a lot more settled now than I was by far in my 20s. I'm just a lot more at peace."