Adele’s child was born in the thick of her success – from the outside it seemed like another gift in an already charmed life.
But privately, the singer was struggling to cope, so much so that it’s put her off having a second child.
“I’m too scared. I had really bad postpartum depression after I had my son, and it frightened me,” the 28-year-old told Vanity Fair.
Little Angelo was born to the Brit and her partner, Simon Konecki, in October 2012, and the period that followed was a tortured, twisted mix of love and regret.
“My knowledge of postpartum 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,” she told the magazine.
“It can come in many different forms.”
At first, she was reluctant to open about her experience, to share her struggles, even with other mothers.
“My boyfriend said I should talk to other women who were pregnant, and I said, ‘F*** that, I ain’t hanging around with a f*****’ bunch of mothers’,” she told Vanity Fair.
“Then, without realising it, I was gravitating towards pregnant women and other women with children, because I found they’re a bit more patient.”
While the 28-year-old’s other friends would get irritated with her, it was other mothers with whom she could talk “absolute mush” without judgement. Ultimately, it was one of those conversations that dispersed the fog.
“One day I said to a friend, ‘I f*****’ hate this,’ and she just burst into tears and said, ‘I f*****’ hate this, too.’ And it was done. It lifted,” she said.
"It really frightened me". Image: Getty.
From then on, it was about carving out some time to maintain her sanity and forge an identity separate from motherhood.
"Eventually I just said, 'I’m going to give myself an afternoon a week, just to do whatever the f*** I want without my baby'. 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'," she said.
These days, that joy comes from touring. But the guilt still lingers, particularly when she's not able to tuck her little boy into bed.
"You’re constantly trying to make up for stuff when you’re a mum. I don’t mind, because of the love I feel for him," she said.
"I don’t care if I don’t ever get to do anything for myself again.”
For help and advice about perinatal depression or anxiety, call the PANDA hotline on 1300 726 306.