Mindy Kaling on being locked down with a 2-year-old: It’s ‘actually bonded us’

Mindy Kaling does so much! She’s currently promoting her latest book, a collection of essays called Big Shot (Nothing Like I Imagined). She’s also the writer/producer/creator of Never Have I Ever, and she’s got lots of other writing work. On top of all that, she’s a single mom of a 2-year-old who was supposed to start preschool this fall. And then the pandemic happened, and Mindy has been in relative lockdown for seven months. To promote all of her projects, Mindy chatted with People Magazine about pandemic life, exercise, time with Katherine (who she calls “Kit”) and more. Some highlights:

Lockdown with Kit: “A lot of the stuff I thought was going to drive me crazy about being cooped up with a 2-year-old for seven months has actually bonded us really close together.” With a support team that includes her father, Avu (her mom, Swati, died of pancreatic cancer in 2012), and her best friend, actor B.J. Novak, 41, who’s Katherine’s godfather, Kaling, 41, feels lucky. ″I’m most grateful for the fact that I’m blessed enough to have the resources to help take care of my daughter, so I can work full-time at the job that I love.”

Kit is doing preschool at home: ″My child was supposed to start preschool this year. And we were so excited. She was going to go to this school that I love. Now I have the writers’ rooms filling up for two of my shows on Zoom, while I’m also leading my child through her day-long preschool. I’m so lucky because I have help. I’m at home all the time, and I don’t want to eat takeout every single night. I have to be a full-time single parent who has to make the money for this household. So it’s been challenging.″

How she’s been spending time in lockdown: ″Watching so much TV. And working in TV, I absolutely love TV. So for me, it’s like catching up on Succession and Rick and Morty. I always give myself about 90 minutes before I go to sleep just watching TV in my bedroom. I’ve also been going for pretty long walks around my neighborhood and getting to know my neighbors.”

She still gets on a treadmill 3-4 times a week: ″You know my whole philosophy with exercise is I tell myself I’m going to do it every day because inevitably I won’t be able to. But when I exercise, I jog very slowly and I try to do it for 30 minutes. I jog what is like probably a fast walk to an actually athletic person. It’s not like that has these major health benefits, but it has really good mental health benefits.″

Whether Kit is like Mindy: ″So far, no. She is not very much like me. I was a very shy, diffident kid who was really suspicious of people and new situations. And she is not at all. She’s very chatty. I remember even at 5 or 6, the idea of trick-or-treating was terrifying to me. So we took [Kit] last year and she had zero problem marching up to people’s houses and saying ‘trick-or-treat.’ Our temperaments are pretty different. Which has been a surprise, but I’m so happy for her that she’s not like that.”

[From People]

She’s talked about that “slow jogging” thing before and I always find it a bit strange. I mean, why not just… walk? But it sounds like she is walking a lot now too. She’s talked before about moving into her forever-home before Kit was born, and how much she loves her neighborhood, so I imagine that’s been really nice for her, to just talk outside with Kit and have that time together. I’ve felt so bad for parents during the pandemic, but I imagine if your kids are really small and you don’t have to be on Zoom working all the time, it’s probably really nice to have this time with your kids.

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Wearing my power colors today. ❤️💗

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9 Responses to “Mindy Kaling on being locked down with a 2-year-old: It’s ‘actually bonded us’”

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  1. Sojaschnitzel says:

    Slow jogging is awesome. I do it too. Not because I want to, but because of health issues. I can imagine that it is easier on the knees, too.

  2. NΞΞNΔ ZΞΞ says:

    Hmmm, it looks like she’s messing with her face… right?

  3. StrawberryBlonde says:

    My son is 19 months (tomorrow). I went back to work (from home) in April after 13 months off. He was supposed to go to daycare but of course that didn’t happen. And he barely saw people other than his parents for the longest time. He missed out on playing with other little ones. And the worst was it was so hard to get any work done with him here. I had to rely on so much Wiggles. It was really depressing. He started daycare on Sept 8. He has blossomed. And I no longer feel guilty that he is spending so much time watching The Wiggles while I try in vain to work.

  4. Alexandrajane says:

    Whilst it’s been so hard having no childcare this was6the most time I’ve ever had with my two year old and there has been some really enjoyable aspects. It’s such a fun age

  5. wildwaffles says:

    I have a senior in high school and a sophomore. I love that they come and find me during passing periods and tell me little things about their day. While I want the world to get back to normal for them, it’s going to rip a little bit of my heart out to have them not home as much.

  6. E.D. says:

    I’m not very tall, 5ft 2 and because I have such short legs I just can’t seem to manage fast-paced walking so I slow jog instead.

    It’s the only exercise that comes naturally to me.

    In Australia in the 80’s there was an elderly dairy farmer who won an elite level ultramarathon and became a celebrity as a result of the win and his style of slow jogging is referred to the ‘Cliff Young Shuffle’ over here in honour of him – and that’s exactly what I seem to do.
    It ain’t pretty but it gets the job done!