If how we spend our days is how we spend our lives, how can special needs parents live their sometimes chaotic lives well? It boils down to what we choose.

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing.
A schedule defends from chaos and whim.
It is a net for catching days.
~Annie Dillard

I love Annie Dillard. Her books on writing like life preservers to me when I left teaching to follow my dream of becoming an author. I followed her advice for wannabe writers and wove my own net for catching days. I bought a planner, and made a schedule. After decades of caring for my dad with multiple sclerosis, our son with special needs, our creative daughter with dyslexia, and teaching young children for 25 years, I loved the order of my life as writer. I still do.

The lack of noise provides time to rest.
The lack of interruptions allows me to think.
The lack of one crisis after another means I can breathe.
The lack of caregiving duties means I can plan and write.

Every day I am grateful for the time I’ve given. But I often feel guilty for this respite because I remember being overwhelmed and exhausted when our son was small and very sick. Many caregiving parents are spending their hours and days in that place today. Maybe you are in that place today.

There’s no time to rest.
There’s no time to think.
There’s barely room to breathe.
There’s no way to plan because chaos reigns.

To read the rest of How We Spend Our Days As Special Needs Parents, visit Key Ministry’s blog for special needs parents.

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