Shakira is a well-known celebrity, in part because she’s a talented singer and dancer, but also because she is incredibly likable. For these reasons, her star has continued to rise, and throughout her work, she has accomplished a lot. But in addition to being a nice person, she’s also relatable because she’s more than an A-lister, she’s also a mom.
Putting her professional duties aside for a minute, there is another role that occupies Shakira’s time, and that role is being a mother to her two sons, Milan and Sasha, who she shares with longtime partner Gerard Piqué. Together, the pair is raising their little family, and Shakira’s sons have become the center of her universe. She’s willing to get her hands messy and enjoy playtime with them, but she’s also honest about how no one warned her of just how hard motherhood would be, and also, just how many diapers require changing.
There is a lot we have learned from Shakira, like the importance of speaking to children as equals, and often, her comments remind us that as mothers we are often all going through the same things and experiencing similar emotions, A-lister or not. Below are 20 things we learned about motherhood from Shakira.
Shakira shares two sons with her longtime partner, Gerard Piqué, and the way she is raising them is a mixture of three cultures. She was born and raised in Colombia, and then the United States and Spain is where the family spends their time. All of these experiences have taught Shakira something about parenting, which she shared during an interview with Parents.
“In Spain, parents speak to their children as equals, and I feel that the children respond in turn,” she said. “But in all three cultures, parents are attentive to their children. Their dad [Piqué] and I both grew up in very close-knit families, and that has made us openly affectionate parents."
It's hard to juggle motherhood and other commitments, whether that be work, spending time with your partner, or finding time for yourself. This is because when you become a parent, your children become your whole world, so much so for Shakira, that she realized her life was no longer was centered around herself.
“I formed a family, and it’s the most wonderful thing, the most important thing to me,” she told Billboard. “And before, I used to be the center of my whole world and the beginning and the end, the alpha and omega of my whole world, and now my kids and my family are that one priority.”
The first time your child smiles, or says a word, or learns to crawl, these are all moments that parents tend to treasure (and try hard to document, so they can remember them long in the future). One of Shakira’s most relatable comments has been about her excitement of seeing her children develop, something which most, if not all moms will probably agree with.
According to Latina, she had this to say on the topic: "Watching how your child develops and reaches new milestones is one of the most exciting things that you can do as a mom.”
Many things change afterward after having a child; Some are obvious, for example, we know that having weeks to yourself becomes a thing of the past. But you also sleep lighter and wake up at the slightest noise, and you learn to love in a completely new way.
After becoming a parent, your priorities change, and suddenly you get a new perspective. This is the way Shakira felt when she learned she was pregnant for the first time, and she used her pregnancy announcement as an opportunity to tell people how much this moment meant to her. “At this time we have decided to give priority to this unique moment in our lives and postpone all the promotional activities planned over the next few days,” she wrote on her website, Fox News reports.
When pregnant you understand that you’re going to change diapers and it’s one of the most normal parts of being a mom -- you also find that bodily fluids will no longer gross you out, and your nose becomes tolerate to even the most unpleasant smells. But before that tiny, screaming, little human comes into the world, we may not realize just how much they need us, and just how many diapers they go through. Seriously.
Shakira reminded moms everywhere that one of the most unexpected things that happen with newborns is how many times they need to be changed. She told Us Weekly, “I didn’t expect babies to need so many diapers! Nobody told me they needed to be changed so often!”
Shakira has given multiple interviews over the years about motherhood, and it seems that she loves this role more than any other. But she is also not under any illusions of it being easy.
She gave birth to her first son, Milan, in 2013, and the new mom gave an interview to Us Weekly that same year. In the interview, she spoke about her journey into motherhood, and admitted that no one had told her “it would be this hard.”
“It takes a lot of energy from you," she continued, "But I love it, I’m really enjoying every bit of it. It’s just that it’s not as idyllic as everybody tells you, but also not as [bad] as everyone tells you.”
The older you get, and the more children you have, the more you tend to learn about motherhood (and you may even start to feel like a seasoned pro). Still, can you ever really know everything about being a mother, considering that everything is always changing and each child is unique?!
In an interview with Elle (via Cosmopolitan), Shakira touched on this subject, saying, "I'm still trying to figure it [motherhood] out. And I have a feeling I will try to do the same for the rest of my life. Some people put it like it's very idyllic, some people put it like it's a torturing experience, but it's not quite one thing or the other. It's like life – it comes with everything."
After giving birth you may miss those days when you could spend hours cuddled up with a good book and nothing else to do. Or you may have enjoyed working and meeting tight deadlines, without experiencing any mommy guilt. Motherhood changes us all in different ways, but the one thing most moms can probably agree on is that you will have less time for yourself (or maybe, you just want less because your child becomes your everything).
Shakira has spoken out about this with HOLA! USA, telling the publication how her priorities have changed. “I used to be the center of my world, and now I am only a satellite of my children,” she said.
A mother has 101 different roles, and when your life is not taken over with trying to parent, then it’s important to remember that you can just spend time with your child. And playtime is something that Shakira has reminded us is not only fun, but also messy. HOLA! USA, noted that she admitted that “she sticks her hands in the dough,” and perhaps this is one of her most endearing quotes because it reminds us that celebrity moms, minus the fame, are often exactly like everyone else. They don’t have it figured all out, and they’re also not afraid to get their hands messy.
You may think that as a parent you are the one imparting wisdom, teaching your children about life and helping them to grow. But, a lesson you learn from parenting is how children also teach their parents about themselves.
Shakira’s life has changed in many ways since becoming a mother, and she spoke about some of them during an interview on the Lorraine show (via Mother and Baby). “I've become a student of his [her son, Milan] in a way,” she said. “He has taught me to let go of the reins a little bit and be more punctual too. And all of that has to do with the fact that he’s just a wise little creature.”
Although there are many positive things that can be said about motherhood, it is not easy. It can also feel like a job, and a never-ending one at that, because unlike work, you cannot clock out at the end of the day. And there is no end to this shift. Still, parents are like superheroes and somehow manage to find the energy and the patience to raise children.
But, if we’ve learned anything from Shakira, it’s that it's OK to admit motherhood can be challenging, and in an interview with HOLA! USA, she said being a mother is the “hardest job” she had ever had. “I never thought it’d be so difficult, because it takes a lot of your energy,” she explained. “I think of my family a lot; I’m concerned about them all day. It’s physical, emotional, and intellectual wear and tear.”
It’s easy to let your children take up all your time and forget to pay attention to your partner, but Shakira reminds us that you’re in this together. She and Gerard Piqué are a team, and despite having demanding work, they try to prioritize their family over everything else.
“We try to do the best we can,” she told HOLA! USA. “There’s a lot of love; that’s the foundation of any family. You have to take care of it and dedicate time. Family is the most important thing for me; the rest is secondary.” The keyword here is family, not children, so she’s included her partner into the equation.
In addition to prioritizing her family, Shakira also values her longtime partner and appreciates all that he does, especially when it comes to caring for their sons. She told Us Weekly that Gerard Piqué is a very hands-on dad.
“He has been amazing,” she said, after giving birth to their first son. “The baby spends as much time with his dad as he does with me. He's the kind of dad who's full hands-on. He changes diapers, he bathes him, he enjoys playing with the baby, he enjoys feeding him, all of that stuff. So that's great help for me, you know. I can't imagine doing all of this and not having the father do his part of the job. So that's a huge help to me.”
Celebrating big milestones is important, but sometimes, even the little things about a raising a child are rewarding, and Shakira wants to be around to experience as much of these moments as she can. It is for this reason that her approach to life changed after having a child, and she is much more focused on enjoying the present.
“When it comes to living, it’s all about the present,” Shakira told People. “I’m finally able to really savor all of those little moments that, in the early days of my [work], I was too busy thinking about the next thing to just stop, take it all in, and enjoy.”
But despite living in the present and taking the time to enjoy the precious moments in her life, Shakira also worries about the future.
“Maybe the biggest change is that I think about the future more, what the world will be like for him when he grows up,” Shakira told People, after giving birth to her first son. As parents, the things that matter the most are having happy, healthy children, and having them grow up in a world where that is possible is something most parents think (read: constantly worry) about.
Although moms never truly feel like they have learned everything about being a parent, because, as we mentioned earlier, each child is different and scenarios are always changing, we can probably all agree that things get easier after the first child. Maybe that’s because you know more, or you’re simply more confident in your abilities, something which Shakira has spoken about, according to E! News.
While pregnant with her second son, Sasha, she said, "This time around, during my second pregnancy, like many mothers, I felt more confident. The questions that kept me up at night with my first now seem more manageable and I have more perspective about their importance in the bigger picture.”
It can be hard to ask for help, it can be even harder realizing the areas in which you need help. But at some point after becoming a mother, Shakira learned the art of delegating, as well as prioritizing what is important in her life.
“Becoming a mom forced me to re-prioritize and make room for the things that are most important, while recognizing that there are things I can let go of and the world won't crumble around me,” she told Parents, in response to a question about how she being a mother has helped her delegate.
Shakira is a strong, independent woman, and she is raising her two sons to respect women and view them as their equals. In an interview with Parents, the publication noted that their culture can be “machista” (basically, the traditional ideals of masculine pride) and how she planned to raise modern men. In response to this question, Shakira said: “Growing up with a working mom is a start. I also think their dad is a good example of a modern man to emulate. Gerard and I pretty much share all parenting responsibilities, although I'm definitely the disciplinarian.”
Shakira cares about the world and the people living in it, and she’s discussed her passion for early childhood development with the World Economic Forum. She has spoken about the link between early childhood development and future opportunities, explaining that if growth is inhibited, it can lead to “lower educational attainment, lower adult earnings, and chronic disease.”
She has a mission for all children to receive education, and noted how a study had shown how "disadvantaged children who received support from early childhood development programmes earned 25% more as adults than disadvantaged children with no support.”
If there was any doubt about just how much motherhood has impacted Shakira’s life, then we need look no further than this; She has dedicated her time to share her thoughts, and raise awareness for child development, as part of the World Economic Forum.
Speaking about raising children and early childhood development (as mentioned above), she explained that knowledge really is power. And to ensure children in disadvantaged areas get the support they need, their parents need the knowledge and tools to do this. She called to “give new and expectant mothers and fathers the knowledge, opportunities and time they need to be the parents they can be.”