Adele opens up about postpartum depression and ‘mourning’ who she used to be

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  • Adele
    English singer and songwriter
Adele opens up about postpartum depression and motherhood (Getty Images)
Adele opens up about postpartum depression and motherhood (Getty Images)

Adele has spoken candidly about “mourning” the person she was before she became a mother while opening up about her experience with postpartum depression.

The Someone Like You singer, who shares nine-year-old son Angelo with ex-husband Simon Konecki, discussed her experience with motherhood during an interview with The Face, where she revealed that there are “definitely a few elements” of herself that she doesn’t think she’ll “ever get back”.

According to Adele, one of the biggest changes since welcoming her son in 2012 was the loss of freedom, with the singer noting: “More than anything, it’s the freedom of being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want. Going somewhere and not having to prioritise someone else.

“Whereas my number one priority with everything I do since I had Angelo, which is in life, in work, is obviously my son.”

The singer then acknowledged that she wasn’t “completely selfless” before she had Angelo, but that she did mourn some of her former freedoms after becoming a mother.

“I don’t think I was ever completely selfless before I had Angelo. I still have that thing where every decision I make, I think of him first. And rightly so. Some parents don’t do that. I do,” she said. “It still makes me mourn myself a bit every now and then. Maybe I’m not mourning anymore, maybe I’m more yearning. A little bit like: ooh, what would I do and where would I go?”

According to Adele, it was hardest when her son was young, as she reflected on how difficult it can be “giving, giving, giving” to a baby that “can’t even f***ing talk to you”.

“Giving, giving, giving, to a baby or a toddler, when they can’t even fucking talk to you, your brain goes a bit mushy,” she said, adding: “You’re not stimulated very much.”

The 33-year-old Grammy winner also revealed that she struggled with “really quite bad postpartum depression,” which she thinks was caused in part by the pressures and expectations that come with becoming a parent.

According to Adele, she would ask herself what kind of parent she wants to be, with the singer explaining that parenting is learned on the go and that books and the experiences of others aren’t necessarily helpful considering “it’s someone else’s experience of it and they’re all completely different”.

In addition to the pressure to live up to the parent she wanted to be, Adele also acknowledged that the day-to-day realities of new motherhood are difficult, and that she felt she didn’t have “access” to the things that she enjoyed “that make me who I am”.

“Having no time to even brush my teeth, let alone write a record or hang out with my friends. My friends, my hobbies, the things I like doing without a baby, are things that make me who I am,” she said. “And I didn’t really have access to that for a while.”

As Angelo has gotten older, the singer said that parenting has gotten easier, and that one of the most enjoyable parts is her son’s humour, with Adele claiming that the nine-year-old is “so funny” and a “f***ing comedian”.

She also noted that parenting is easier when the children are old enough to communicate their needs and wants, adding that now being a mother is “f***ing fun”.

This is not the first time that Adele has opened up about her struggles with new motherhood, as she told Vanity Fair in 2016: “ I had really bad postpartum depression after I had my son, and it frightened me.”

At the time, the singer also revealed that despite loving her son “more than anything,” she often wished she could do whatever she wanted.

“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 f**k I wanted, whenever I want. Every single day I feel like that,” she said.

The singer, whose new album 30 will be released 19 November, recently performed in front of her son for the first time during her One Night Only concert special on CBS.

After revealing to the audience that the concert marked the first time Angelo had seen her perform, Adele added: “It’s the absolute honour of my life to have you here tonight, baby.”

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