I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that my mum is staying with us for a month or so after having knee replacement surgery. It has been a steep learning curve having her living in our (previously) empty nest and it has made more of an impact on my relationship with my husband than I would have expected.
We are normally quietly content in our little world of the two of us - and my husband is an introvert of the first order. Having a loud, somewhat demanding, chatty mother-in-law around 24/7 has made him pull into his shell more and I can feel the loss of the ease we usually have around each other. I feel like I'm checking that he's okay and that mum's okay and that all my ducks are in a row and meanwhile those little blighters are running off in all directions (or hiding under a rock trying to find some peace and quiet!)
We have to remember to find time for each other that doesn't revolve around my mum being the centre of attention. We need to find those quiet moments just for the two of us to remember that we are in this together. It's easy to lose each other in the hurly burly of each day and I have huge admiration for couples who stick together and support each other through life's trials.
I remind him that I need space every so often - but not from him! At the end of the day (or at the end of the next few weeks) we will be back to our little world again and if we keep remembering to connect through this messy time then it will be easy to find our rhythm again when life settles back into it's usual routine.