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Parenting

17 Thoughtful Parenting Quotes From Shakira

The singer and her partner, Gerard Piqué, have two sons.
Shakira and Gerard Piqué have two sons.
Shakira and Gerard Piqué have two sons.

Shakira is open about her journey as a mom.

The singer and her partner, professional soccer player Gerard Piqué, have two sons, Milan and Sasha. Since becoming a mother in 2013, she’s spoken about the challenges and joys of parenthood.

In honor of her birthday, we’ve rounded up 17 quotes about parenting from Shakira.

On How Motherhood Changed Her

“It’s shifted the axis of my universe. Everything is centered around them now. It’s a new dimension of love, at least for me, that’s indescribable. It’s also helped me be more disciplined overall about sticking to a schedule now, because you’re forced to prioritize. Before I was my own boss, but I have two tiny bosses to answer to now.”

On The Best Parenting Advice She’s Heard

“That the foundation of every level of development ― social, emotional, cognitive, physical ― depends on an abundance of love. You can never show you love them too much. A sense of security from early on gives them limitless room to develop their abilities and become responsible, caring adults.”

On Technology

“It’s nearly impossible to deny the myriad ways technology has become integrated into even the most mundane activities, and kids are naturally attracted to things like iPads because they offer stimuli. I don’t think it hinders development and there are many educational apps that can be useful as teaching tools, but addiction isn’t good either. No matter what, kids still need time to be outside and play with others, and just be kids. I view technology the same way I view television: everything in moderation.”

Shakira's two sons are named Milan and Sasha.
Shakira's two sons are named Milan and Sasha.

On The Music She Plays For Her Kids

“We listen to Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Green Day, Pearl Jam, Carlos Vives, old-school salsa ― something for every mood. Milan loves songs with a lot of percussion. I think babies are naturally drawn to those kinds of rhythms.”

On Magical Moments

“More so than one particular instance are probably all the little moments that we’ve spent on language together ― reading, learning to recognize numbers and letters. I’ve been doing it with him since before he could sit up on his own and I’m continually astonished when I see that little spark of recognition in his eyes of understanding, even at such a young age. When he was finally able to verbalize the words he was recognizing around the 18-month mark, it was one of the greatest moments ever for us as parents.”

On The Challenges Of Motherhood

“I’m one of those tiger moms, who is all the time looking for help and information online and researching and reading. It’s not easy to be a mother. It’s one of the most difficult things I’ve done in my life. I’ve been on the most challenging stages performing in front of really demanding audiences and I’ve been meeting with world leaders who sometimes make you a little bit apprehensive, but nothing has made me so self-conscious as being a mom. Every day I wonder if I’m doing the right thing. I just want to improve in the job, the hardest job on earth.”

On Blending Colombian, Spanish And U.S. Cultures

“In Spain, parents speak to their children as equals, and I feel that the children respond in turn. But in all three cultures, parents are attentive to their children. Their dad and I both grew up in very close-knit families, and that has made us openly affectionate parents.”

The singer is raising her children in a bilingual household. 
The singer is raising her children in a bilingual household. 

On Parenting With Her Partner

“He’s got his feet on the ground and is very practical about problem-solving. When I get stressed about how to organize things or juggle it all, he helps put it all in perspective. And he is my biggest support. We’re both very hands-on parents, so it never feels like one is carrying the entire load on their own. He probably lets them have a little more chocolate than I’d like, though.”

On Shifting Priorities

“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.”

On Raising Sons Today

“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.”

On Traveling With Kids

“Before taking them on a long trip, I really try to weigh the pros and cons of what will be best for them, though if it were up to me I would bring them everywhere. Otherwise, I make sure to take all their vitamins and meds and things that are familiar to them, so the change of environment isn’t so jarring.”

On Documenting Every Moment

“One of the most memorable moments with Milan was when he started being able to identify items on flashcards. We started when he was 6 months old and he caught on right away. With Sasha, I’ve found that he’s really musical and has an innate capacity for it; he even plays the drums! I’ve documented those moments and countless others. I’m a serial documenter.”

"We’re both very hands-on parents, so it never feels like one is carrying the entire load on their own," Shakira said of her partner. 
"We’re both very hands-on parents, so it never feels like one is carrying the entire load on their own," Shakira said of her partner. 

On Raising Bilingual Kids

“It helps if they are able to associate a person with a language at this early stage, to minimize language confusion. Their father, for example, always speaks to them in Catalan. I try to speak to them in mostly English, but if I switch, I try to not mix two languages in one sentence. Their first words were both ‘mama.’”

On Preparing For Kids

“Well I will admit that I am definitely one of those mothers. I probably read every book and downloaded every pregnancy app out there. And they are informative, and I am glad I read them. I think it’s an advantage to inform yourself. But trying to predict what your child will be like is about as effective as consulting a crystal ball. There are no shortcuts, in the end, to learning how to be a parent. I’m sure I’ve made mistakes, and there are probably many things I will continue to try doing better. But if one thing could stand out to me as something no book could have prepared me for, it’s the way your heart explodes over and over, in the best way possible, from the first moment you meet your child and every time after they begin revealing their personality as they grow.”

On Growing With Her Children

“The older they get, the more interesting the challenges — I’ve only gotten to the toddler stage so far, but each one keeps me on my toes and forces me to educate myself further as I’m working to educate them along with their teachers.”

Shakira has been open about the challenges and joys of motherhood. 
Shakira has been open about the challenges and joys of motherhood. 

On Reevaluating Her Career

“For one thing, it shows you a whole other dimension to love that’s like nothing else. But there are also other, smaller changes that although they don’t seem as profound, carry significant weight too. Since I became a mom, it’s obligated me bit by bit to reevaluate my priorities; I no longer sit in a studio till 3 a.m. tweaking a single drum line, because I’ve had to learn to let go of the reins a little bit. Now I have a family at home, and they need me. But instead of feeling like I’ve had to choose between one and the other, having a child has really helped me reorganize my time and give everything I do more purpose ― it’s brought more discipline and structure to my life, which have contributed to an overall feeling of balance.”

On Her Biggest Goal As A Parent

“Love is the most crucial thing. It’s what really will help them thrive later on in life. ... That is the question that I ask myself every day when I wake up. ‘Am I making my kids feel loved?’ This is the daily bread in my life. The everlasting question mark ... because I know that that is going to be the most vital component and sense of security in life.”