Not many of us look in the mirror after having a baby and like what we see. Parts of us are stretched, parts of us are saggy … and a part of us despairs that we’ll ever see our pre-baby body again.

That’s when we need to hear most from women like Tiffany Burke. The US photographer, who has given birth to five babies, has shared the most powerful message about her postpartum body with the world. 

Come and read it yourself. It may just be the thing you need today, to put things in perspective, to get rid of the mummy guilt and to prove that happiness isn’t defined by your body.

Not an easy share:

Tiffany is an American photographer, a mother of three and a surrogate for two more babies. She recently turned the camera on herself to reflect on the idea of postpartum perfection. And it’s time we all took three minutes to ourselves and reflect on what she has to say:

“This is what 70 lbs  (almost 32kgs) overweight looks like. This is what exclusively breastfeeding, yet gaining weight looks like. This is what a working mom, with no make-up and no time for self-care looks like. This is also what my happiness looks like,” Tiffany writes.

“What my body looks like does not determine my happiness or my success. My body is my temporary shell. My life is truly beautiful.”

Surrogate and working mum

Image: Instagram @tiffanybourkephotography

Tiffany reveals that while she has given birth five times, she was a “healthy weight” before getting pregnant the last time.

“My body does not look like this “because I’ve had 5 babies,” she writes. “I can’t workout hardcore like I have in the past or I will lose my milk supply. I am also eating all the food because I’m just starving. Some weeks I eat so healthily, other weeks I’m downing a sleeve of Oreos and feeling giddy.”

In the end, she says, her children are more important than her dress size. Words we can all do with remembering, every day.

“I work a lot and choose my free time to be with my kids. My body can wait a bit and I’m proud to make that choice. It’s mine to make. They won’t be little much longer and I will have missed it all.”

The ebb and flow of motherhood

Image: Instagram @tiffanybourkephotography

“My body is the home I keep. And like my home, it ebbs and it flows as the seasons of my life do. My home is sometimes messy, sometimes clean, sometimes both. Our bodies ebb and flow in the seasons of our lives.

“The season of weight gain from pregnancies, of angel babies lost and our bodies not willing to let go just yet. The season of a divorce, or depression, of eating disorders or a death, of addiction or toxic relationships. So much affects our wonderful shells.

“Our bodies are important to love, but not so important to invest so much hate into. SO MUCH MORE MATTERS. Be healthy. Be strong. Make a change when you can. Be you. Be unafraid. Ignore the rest.”

And she finishes with this final truth: “It’s okay if someone thinks I’m not pretty. I’m not here on this planet to please their eyeballs. I am worth so much more and so are you. Baby Quinn agrees.”

And so do we. Wise words from a one very smart mumma! Thanks for sharing, Tiffany – it’s messages like this that we all need to hear every once in a while (and especially after an Oreo binge).

For more wisdom of mummyhood, check out This Mum’s Post Post Baby Photos Going Viral for All the Right Reasons.

Author

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe, including her son, daughter, cat, dog and partner. When she’s not writing, you can find her lounging by the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach or nagging her kids to put on their pants.

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