Why Adele’s Three Words About Parenting Mean So Much

Adele might be a poet when it comes to her lyrics, but when she talks about parenting, she doesn’t mince words: “It’s f***ing hard,” the Grammy winner and mom of 3-year-old Angelo tells ID magazine.

She went on to admit, “I thought it would be easy. ‘Everyone f***ing does it. How hard can it be?’ Ohhhhh, I had no idea.”

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There are plenty of good parts, too, she adds. “It is hard, but it’s phenomenal. It’s the greatest thing I ever did,” Adele, 27, said. “He makes me be a d***head, and he makes me feel young, and there’s nothing more grounding than a kid kicking off and refusing to do what you’re asking of them. It used to be that my own world revolved around me, but now it has to revolve around him.”

To promote her new album, 25, the singer — who is mom to her toddler with partner Simon Konecki — spoke with the British fashion culture mag (giving her first interview in three years) and touched on how being a “mum” has changed her life. And her brutal honesty has sparked excitement and admiration from folks across social media.

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“This makes me love her even more,” gushes a baby-sleep expert on Twitter. Other supportive tweets include, “Love it!” and “She keeps it real and we love her for that,” while bloggers praised her “truth bombs” and the way she was “hilariously candid.” Facebook fans posted praise too, with comments on her page including, “Adele is so down to earth” and “I admire your work ethic as a mom.”

Parenting expert and Pittsburgh-based pediatrician Deborah Gilboa, MD, got a kick out of Adele’s candor. “I love it — I think it’s really valuable,” she tells Yahoo Parenting. “Parents need to hear over and over again that it’s not easy — and that it doesn’t mean you’re lazy or a failure or a bad mom. And here’s someone brash and affluent and resourced saying, ‘Yes, it’s hard.’”

Adele, refreshingly, is not the first superstar to admit that motherhood is not round-the-clock fun and easy. Despite Kate Winslet’s declaring to Marie Claire last year that celebs “should never be saying that it’s difficult because we are so bloody lucky,” several have aired their private struggles. Shakira told Us Weekly in 2013, “Nobody told me it would be this hard. It takes a lot of energy from you.” Victoria Beckham has spoken about how hard it is to leave her kids, saying, “It’s the same for any working mum out there. You just do your best, but constantly feel guilty.” Other famous moms — Alyssa Milano, Hilary Duff, even Madonna — have spoken out about parenting being a difficult, exhausting juggling act.

Though Gilboa does wish Adele would’ve had perspective enough to acknowledge that she actually has it easier than many moms with fewer resources — who could possibly feel “diminished” by the celeb saying it was hard — she believes her comments came from a good, honest place. “What’s great here is the universality of it — everyone struggles with parenting,” she says. “It’s kind of an ‘I’m with you’ eye roll, and that solidarity is comforting.”

And as far as why any new parent could still be shocked to learn how hard being a mom or dad actually is — you’re raising a human being, after all — Gilboa says a lot of that magical thinking is due to the preponderance of happy, perfect, “Anne Geddes-type” images that we get bombarded with. Plus, she notes, “Parenting is something that has to be experienced to be believed. So it makes sense to me that, before doing it, you wouldn’t quite believe its amazing depth and breadth.”

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