Like most moms, Katie Holmes admits to wrestling with moments of self-doubt as a parent.
"Am I enough? Am I doing enough? Have I seen her enough?" she tells PEOPLE of the questions she faces while raising her 8-year-old daughter, Suri. "Guess what? You're not enough, she hasn't seen you enough, you're horrible: That's how it can feel sometimes."
But, she adds in this week's exclusive cover story, "You do the best you can. Some days you feel really good about yourself and some days you don't."
In addition to assistance from her own "ready and willing" mom and a nanny, Holmes, 35, has "girlfriends of all ages, who have children of all ages. I lean on them."
That help has come in handy lately, as she has been gearing up several big work-related projects, including the new black comedy Miss Meadows (out Nov. 14), a return to her role as Jackie Kennedy in a Reelz Channel miniseries, and her upcoming feature directorial debut.
"So I do have help, yes, but it's your baby, you know?" Holmes says. "You want to be the one who is there."
Fellow moms, she adds, are often the best source of reassurance when self-criticism creeps in. "You really need to support each other, help people through whatever it is they're going through – whether it's 'My kid just threw a tantrum' or 'I was late for graduation' or whatever it is, you know!"
"I think we all need to just ease up," she adds. "Ease up on the expectations, and the worrying. We're all trying to do the best we can."
For much more on Katie Holmes, including her feelings on falling in love again, pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday