13 Butterflies and Barbed Wire Your home is not your own, and it is not easy being a wife, moth- er, and childminder. It is not easy keeping on top of housework, and the necessary paperwork for your business, and then opening the door with a smile. —Marilyn Farlow deep breaThIng Is helpful because it can create calm when life is most cluttered and hectic. Cleansing breaths help encourage calm and create space between you and whatever is stressing you out. Sometimes life is overwhelmingly complicated and in your face. Big and little stressors build until you feel like you are walk- ing around with butterflies and barbed wire in your belly. Your neck and shoulders ache. Your head throbs. Your chest tightens. You feel empty or lost or about to burst or spent or exhausted or apathetic or ungrounded or edgy or adrift or underwater or like you just can’t take it anymore. Sometimes you might even start thinking about trees. “I knew I was losing my smile when I started thinking about the trees.” After I give a talk about stress and burnout, I ask caregivers and parents to share their stories and experiences. “I saw them every morning in a big, inviting clump along the road as I drove to work.” The people sharing these stories often feel their smile fad- ing and know it influences the quality of their interactions with