In the latest issue of Vogue, Adele talks about what motherhood means to her and how her son gives her life purpose.
A parent saying their child gives their life purpose is not always a popular sentiment, particularly among those who don’t have kids. To be fair, there are some parents who say it in a condescending way, insinuating that people who don’t have kids lack meaning in their lives. And of course, those people are horrible. But some parents say their children gave their life purpose and they mean it –but only for themselves, not suggesting anyone else should feel the same way.
Adele is on the cover of the March issue of Vogue and in an interview, was quoted saying her son Angelo gave her life new meaning. Of realigning her priorities after he was born, she says, “I can’t have any other junk in my head to worry about as well.” She goes on to say that Angelo “makes me very proud of myself. When I became a parent, I felt like I was truly living. I had a purpose, where before I didn’t.”
First of all, let’s take a moment to appreciate how absolutely stunning Adele looks on this cover. She looks ridiculously amazing. Bravo.
The cover is gorgeous but it’s Adele’s quote on becoming a mother and how it gave her purpose that’s intriguing. Typically, the child-free pounce on comments like this as though it’s somehow a slight against them. A parent saying their child gave them purpose and made them feel they were “truly living,” as Adele says, is often met with a chorus of people saying how wrong that is. That a parent would dare say their child gives their life purpose.
And allow me to call bullshit on that.
The world applauds a person who says their career or volunteer work gives their life purpose. It’s even acceptable to say a litter of puppies to care for makes you feel your life has meaning, but the moment a parent says, that for them in particular, having a child made their life more meaningful? They’re usually attacked or it’s met with eyes rolling. Why is it so unacceptable to say that?
Naturally, it’s awful to suggest the opposite — that a person who doesn’t have children leads a fluffy and meaningless existence. But that’s not what Adele and most parents who echo her sentiment are suggesting. To a lot of parents, Adele saying her son made her feel as though she was truly living made complete sense. And I happen to be one of them.
It’s not that I thought my life would never have meaning without a baby, but when I had my daughter at 25 years old, I was flailing a little bit. Only a few years out of college and yet to find a job I truly connected with, having my daughter gave my life a new direction that gave it more meaning. That’s not to say I started going out in public wearing a sandwich board that read “Having a baby is the only thing that matters in life,” but for me personally, it absolutely gave my life new and deep meaning. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Having a baby is a big freaking deal and it’s totally ok to say it makes you feel you have new purpose.
Those who say this to a child-free person in a condescending way, one that outright suggests life only has meaning if you have a baby, are ridiculous fools to be ignored. Any intelligent person knows there are so many ways to lead a meaningful life that don’t involve having children. But a parent like Adele stating that having a baby gave them purpose? That’s nothing anyone needs to get offended over. She’s simply speaking of her own life experience and no one should judge her for it.