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"Am I a Good Enough Mom?"

Ditch the people who bring you down.

Feeling a certain amount of self-doubt about our mothering is normal, says Borba. But when your friends actually add to your parenting insecurity, it might be time to find a new mommy group. For Patty Kamson, 44, a nearly 20-year friendship had to end because her pal kept criticizing her parenting skills. "She thought I was soft on my kids and had no qualms voicing her opinion," says Patty, who lives in Los Angeles. While the criticisms never led Patty to change her mothering style, there were times when "I wondered, What if she's right?" she says. But when Patty's daughter had a meltdown during a get-together, her now former friend "began to lay into me about how my kids and I need to toughen up," she says. So Patty cut her loose. "Riding you about how you mother? Nothing cuts deeper than that," she explains. "I feel better about my parenting — and myself — without that toxic relationship."

Stay true to you.

All mommy, all the time isn't good for your kids, and it isn't good for you either. To keep your own inner voice from being drowned out by the cacophony from underminers, you have to stay connected to the woman you were before you became a mom. Taking just 15 minutes a day for yourself for some quiet reflection will help you hone and trust your instincts. "You're much less affected by what others say if you trust your own gut," says Simpson. And while you'll never be totally free of folks who carp about your parenting choices, the only critic who really matters is the one you tuck in at night.

 

Originally published on November 18, 2008

 

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