Adele opens up about postpartum depression, motherhood, and the guilt of being a working mom in her new Vogue interview
Adele is on the cover of Vogue this month, and her cover story is so damn refreshing — it should be required reading for new moms. Because new motherhood isn’t always sunshine and roses. And every time someone like Adele — with such a huge audience — has the courage to admit that, it allows another mother out there who could be in the trenches right now to feel less alone.
“One day I said to a friend, ‘I fuckin’ hate this,’ and she just burst into tears and said, ‘I fuckin’ hate this, too.’ And it was done. It lifted,” Adele tells Vogue. “My knowledge of postpartum—or post-natal, as we call it in England—is that you don’t want to be with your child; you’re worried you might hurt your child; you’re worried you weren’t doing a good job. But I was obsessed with my child. I felt very inadequate; I felt like I’d made the worst decision of my life . . . . It can come in many different forms.”
I cried every day for three months after my first child was born. We’d been trying to get pregnant for five years, and when the day finally came that I was delivering my first child, when I saw him that thunderbolt of overwhelming love that everyone talks about just didn’t hit me. I was broken. I wasn’t a real mother, I thought. Why didn’t I feel this overwhelming joy? What was wrong with me?
I hated early motherhood. I hated the sleepless nights. I hated not knowing if I was doing anything right. I hated everyone chiming in to say things like “isn’t it amazing?” It wasn’t amazing. It was the hardest time of my life. I wish I had a friend like Adele near me to say “I fucking hate this.” I think it would have snapped me back into reality. I may have actually felt something, and realized I wasn’t alone in not absolutely loving new motherhood — or motherhood in general, for that matter. It’s okay to miss your life before kids. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your children.
“I think it’s the bravest thing not to have a child; all my friends and I felt pressurized into having kids, because that’s what adults do,” Adele admits. “I love my son more than anything, but on a daily basis, if I have a minute or two, I wish I could do whatever the fuck I wanted, whenever I want. Every single day I feel like that.” How often do you hear moms admitting this? It’s like the thing that shall not be uttered — but how many times have we all felt this way? There’s nothing wrong with longing for freedom, ladies. It’s totally normal.
“Eventually I just said, I’m going to give myself an afternoon a week, just to do whatever the fuck I want without my baby,” she explains. “A friend of mine said, ‘Really? Don’t you feel bad?’ I said, I do, but not as bad as I’d feel if I didn’t do it. Four of my friends felt the same way I did, and everyone was too embarrassed to talk about it; they thought everyone would think they were a bad mom, and it’s not the case. It makes you a better mom if you give yourself a better time.”
If you feel overwhelmed — here are some resources to help. Reach out — you are not alone.