Shakira and her boyfriend, Spanish soccer player Gerard Piqué, happily welcomed their first child into the world in January, but the singer admits that motherhood has been much tougher than she anticipated.
Although the couple's son, Milan Piqué Mebarak, has brightened up their lives for four months now, Shakira confesses that her motherly duties have been more taxing than she predicted.
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"I didn't expect babies to need so many diapers! Nobody told me they needed to be changed so often!" she told US Weekly. "I mean he's a great, great baby. He's an easy one, I think, but nobody told me it would be this hard. It takes a lot of energy from you."
Despite the challenges she's faced in motherhood, the 36-year-old Colombian singer and new judge on The Voice said that being a mother has also brought her plenty of joy as well.
"I love it. I'm really enjoying every bit of it," she said. "It's just that it's not as idyllic as everybody tells you, but also not as horrible as everyone tells you."
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Motherhood may not be as pleasant as Shakira imagined, but she reveals that she has plenty of support from her boyfriend, who is helping her balance her family life with the demands of her career.
"Thank God the father is very involved. He has been amazing. The baby spends as much time with me as he does with his dad," she said of Piqué, center back for Spain's national team and FC Barcelona.
"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. ... 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."
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In addition to her motherhood duties and her career, Shakira has also had to work hard to regain her normal fitness level at a rapid pace. She revealed that this has been something new for her because her mother was never pressured to lose her baby weight like she is.
"It's different. I have a career, and that's the only part that's been a bit stressful because I knew that I'd have to come back here to do 'The Voice' two months after I delivered a baby," the "Waka Waka" singer said.
"I didn't have my four months maternity like every woman on earth has. So I'm not trying to complain, but it's been a process full of challenges in my life."