CelebrityParents Shakira on Protecting Her Sons amid Gerard Piqué Split: 'My Number One Mission in Life' Shakira shares sons Sasha, 7, and Milan, 9, with ex Gerard PiquéByAngela AndaloroAngela AndaloroTwitterAngela Andaloro is a Parents News Writer at PEOPLE. Angela has also written about entertainment and parenting at LittleThings, Mom.com, BuzzFeed, and more. In her spare time, she enjoys competing in fantasy sports leagues and watching too much reality TV.People Editorial GuidelinesPublished on September 22, 2022 10:13 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Jaume de LaiguanaShakira is trusting her motherly instincts as she navigates her split from longtime partner Gerard Piqué. Appearing on the October 2022 digital cover of ELLE, the "Hips Don't Lie" singer, 45, opened up about protecting her kids amidst her split from the soccer star. The two share sons Sasha, 7, and Milan, 9. Noting that "it's hard to talk about it, especially because I'm still going through it," the singer explained that the constant presence of paparazzi outside her home and the various headlines have made a tough situation in the public eye much harder. "There's not a place where I can hide from them with my kids, except for my own house. You know, we can't take a walk in the park like a regular family or go have an ice cream or do any activity without paparazzi following us," she said. Despite the difficult circumstances, Shakira has done what she can to "conceal" the situation from her kids. "I try to do it and to protect them, because that's my number one mission in life," she continued. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.Jaume de LaiguanaShakira Shares Photos from 'Unforgettable' Disney World Trip with Sons Milan, 8, and Sasha, 6 The situation in Barcelona — where the former The Voice coach planted her roots in support of Piqué's career and her kids' education — has been frustrating to Shakira as a mom. "They deserve a normal life. It's just a total circus, and everyone is speculating about all of these aspects of our, and more importantly, our children's, lives, and a lot of it isn't even true," she said of the situation as it pertains to the kids. The pressure is also difficult as she works to establish a co-parenting relationship with Piqué. "Regardless of how things ended or how Gerard and I feel about each other as ex-partners, he is the father of my children. We have a job to do for these two incredible boys, and I have faith that we will figure out what is best for their future, their own dreams in life, and what is a fair solution for everyone involved," she said, adding, "And I hope and would appreciate if we were given the space to do that privately." shakira/ instagram Shakira manages the situation with her kids as she deals with her own feelings about the split. "For those women like me who believe in values like family who had the dream, the big dream of having a family forever, to see that dream broken or shredded into pieces is probably one of the most painful things that you can ever go through," she noted. Elsewhere in the interview, Shakira reflected on the time she's taken away from her career, saying she has no regrets. "I mean, one of the two of us had to make a sacrifice, right?" she said, later adding. "And I did it. I put my career in second gear and I came to Spain, to support him so he could play football and win titles. And it was a sacrifice of love." "Thanks to that, my kids were able to have a present mom, and I have this amazing bond with them that is unbreakable and that sustains us," she said. "You know, that is it. That's all I can say."