I don't mind being totally open and honest about the fact that relationships have struggles. There's nothing shameful in acknowledging them. In fact, and on the contrary, in order to grow as individual human beings we must be uncomfortable. A sure-fire way to grow, of course, is within relationship. As a lifelong learner, I'm never done evolving, and the things I learned from my relationship struggles that make me a better mom are part of that constant, never-ending, necessary evolution.
In our 15 year relationship, my partner and I have had our share of struggles, conflict, and heartache. We grew up together, for all intents and purposes. I like to think we've lasted this long because we've grown, and supported each other's growth, each time we've faced hardship. I also like to think that we'll continue to last because when we face hardship we do grow. This growth isn't something that happens passively. Once kids are in the picture so many other things can take priority over your relationship, so it requires intention and attention to keep things on track.
But the good news is that because my relationship struggles actually make me a better person, they also make me a better mom. To me, life is about perpetual self-examination, self-exploration, and self-growth. None of us is ever done forming therefore we can always improve on ourselves which, be definition, helps us improve as parents. Specifically, here are the ways relationship struggle has actually made me a better mom: