Growing up, I had three brothers and loved it. In high school, I took the elective “weight training” only because I knew I’d be the only female. So, do I think Shakira can hold her own as the only female judge on The Voice? After watching a few episodes this season, absolutely! Then, on Monday, at an NBC event I attended, I got to see in person the banter between the amazing Colombian singer-songwriter and her fellow judges Blake Shelton, Adam Levine and Usher. Not to mention, right in front of me was Carson Daly and Christina Milian as well. As they answered questions, I knew we would soon get one-on-ones but the time would be brief and I’d have to choose wisely. Seriously, how DO you pick which of those amazing people to approach? In the end, For Kids Entertainment had to go with fellow mom Shakira who not only holds her own with the boys club, but also just had her own little guy three months ago, Milan, with soccer super star Gerard Piqué, the central defender for soccer’s FC Barcelona. From what she loves to read to her son and the music she plays for him to her honesty on motherhood and more, here’s the scoop.
Do you have any favorite children’s books you like to read to your son yet?
Right now I am reading anything that comes — I’m receiving lots of gifts obviously for little Milan — any children’s book I get I just read it to him even though he doesn’t understand because they say it’s really good to stimulate him and help with his language skills.
Something I have discovered recently are those Baby Einstein videos and he loves them. He can watch them for a long time. He’s three months old today, actually, but he’s very focused. I think he’s going to have a lot of concentration skills. Anything I give to him that I’m reading to him or that his father reads to him or a movie I play him, he really watches.
What about music?
Yeah! I play him a little bit of everything. A little bit of rock n’ roll, some Latin music as well …so he gets acquainted with the music that I grew up listening to when I was back in the day living in Columbia — especially when he’s crying. He gets irritated and I play music and he stops crying.
Does he have a big voice?
Yeah. He’s starting to … I think he’s going to have a thick voice like his father. His father has a nice, masculine voice [laughs].
What was a surprising part of motherhood for you?
I didn’t expect babies to need so many diapers. Nobody told me that they needed to be changed so often [laughs]. He’s a great baby. He’s an easy one but nobody told me that it would be this hard. It takes a lot of energy from you. But I love it. I’m enjoying every bit of it. It’s just that it’s not as idyllic as everybody tells you.. or as horrible. It’s just like life – it comes with the full package. It comes with lots of joy and lots of fear. You wonder if you will ever be your old self, you wonder if you’ll get your body back.
I guess our mothers and grandmothers weren’t under the pressure we are today because my dad says there’s nothing better than meat over the bones. He likes her a little chubby [laughs]. She was never under the pressure to get back to her old weight… and she never did actually [laughs].
It’s been a little bit stressful because I knew I had to come back here and do The Voice, two months after I delivered a baby. I didn’t have my four months maternity leave like every woman has… I’m not trying to complain but it’s been a process full of challenges like everything in my life.
How do you balance everything?
Thank God the father [Gerard] is really involved. He has been amazing. The baby spends as much time with me as with his dad. He’s the kind of dad who is hands on. He changes diapers, he bathes him, he enjoys playing with the baby — all of that stuff. It’s great help for me. I can’t imagine doing all of this and having the father not doing his part of the job.
You stole two of Adam’s [Levine] singers [on The Voice] — what do you think they bring to the mix?
You wait and see. I have a really good feeling about my steals.
For more info on The Voice, visit: http://www.nbc.com/the-voice