"I've learned from my mistakes and have a great life," LeAnn Rimes tells The Boot of her new family with husband Eddie Cibrian and his two sons, 8-year-old Mason and 4-year-old Jake. The couple share custody of the little boys with Eddie's ex-wife, model and 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' star, Brandi Glanville. And the relationship between Mom and Stepmom has been anything but harmonious. Ever since Eddie and LeAnn were first spotted together on a romantic date back in 2009 -- while Eddie was still married to Brandi (and LeAnn to Dean Sheremet) -- there has been war of words between the two blond beauties, mostly over Twitter but also in the press. But LeAnn insists she has been taking the high road lately, trying to set a positive example.

"I don't want to talk negatively about anyone at all," LeAnn tells Nashville's Tennessean. "It's not in my nature. And I don't want the boys to see me ever speaking badly about anyone in their family. It's hard not to go, 'Here's the truth,' but then it's someone's word against my word and people will be split, it will be a big drama, and I don't want that."

The multi-platinum-selling singer and budding actress says that being a "bonus mom" to Mason and Jake is the best role of all. "It's not like we just have them on the weekends," she explains. "I do homework and I make lunches and I do normal things you would do as a mom and I enjoy it, that normal life that I've never had as a wife or as a mom. I never really knew if I wanted kids or not, because I was so business-focused and now I have two that aren't my blood, but really at the end of the day, I love watching them grow and learn, and I love to be a part of teaching them that."

But LeAnn's public adoration of her stepsons sometimes doesn't sit well with their mother. "@leannrimes I told Eddie to please tell you that I think it is highly inappropriate for you to sing in my son's class on Friday. Boundries!!" Brandi once tweeted (though, in fairness, that was before LeAnn became Mrs. Cibrian).

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LeAnn has, for the most part, refused to acknowledge such tweets, but does admit it's difficult not to fight back. "It's really hard. I'm not going to lie," concedes the singer. "But I feel the need to actually talk about it sometimes, my happiness with his children, because I do love his kids and because I don't feel like I could love Eddie and [not love his children]. I don't believe that a marriage and family will work without a step-mother walking into that role and fully giving themselves of time and love. And it's really a fine line when I have to talk about ... when I say 'my kids,' but that's honestly [how I feel]. I say that very politely and tread lightly on that because I don't want to hurt anyone. When I say that and anything I share on Twitter, it's all out of happiness ... This is my life and our life now."

Brandi even took the high road herself this fall, admitting to HuffPost Celebrity that "the kids love [LeAnn]. I'm happy that they love her."

LeAnn hasn't been shy in her regret for how her relationship with Eddie began as an extramarital affair, but maintains the outcome was worth the public pain she endured. "It's changed me," she concedes. "You have no idea how much it's changed me, but in a good way."

Still, the newlyweds are already bracing themselves for the inevitable questions the young boys will eventually ask. "I know Eddie's kids will have many questions we will be more than happy to answer, and hopefully they will learn from our mistakes and not make them," says LeAnn. "But, it's really not anyone's business."

LeAnn released an album of cover tunes, 'Lady & Gentlemen,' co-produced by Vince Gill, earlier this year. She is working on a few movie roles, as well as a new album, which she says will be released next summer. The songbird will also play several shows throughout the next few months, including a holiday concert in Nashville, Tenn. tonight (December 8). Keep track of her concert schedule here.

Watch LeAnn on the CMA Red Carpet