Mindy Kaling on being a mom: We carry guilt about needing help


I really like Mindy Kaling. I love her books. Her humor is very similar to mine. She’s a rom com fan and she loves fashion. Plus, she’s a mom of two kids, Katherine, three, and Spencer, 10 months. If I was a decade younger and wildly more successful, we’d be twins. Seriously, though, Mindy is a driven and very successful businesswoman. She’s found a life balance where she writes, produces and raises her kids as a single mother. But Mindy, unlike some, acknowledges she can only strike that balance because of the incredible support she receives from her father and nanny. Mindy is partnering with TJ Maxx to launch a pen pal network to support women through the changes in their life (we’ll discuss that more below). She spoke to People about being afraid to ask for help because we feel like we should be doing it all ourselves.

Mindy Kaling is opening up about the incredible support she has received as she navigates getting back to work as the mother of two young children.

The Mindy Project actress and creator, 42, admits it “absolutely takes a village” to raise her 3-year-old daughter Katherine “Kit” Swati and 10-month-old son Spencer Avu, especially as she is back to producing and developing multiple projects.

“I wouldn’t be able to keep my full-time professional career and have two children under the age of 3 without the incredibly strong relationship I have with my nanny,” she tells PEOPLE. “Also with my dad, who comes over to the house at least twice a day to take my son out for walks and to pick up my daughter and bring her home. My village is small and I wish it was bigger.”

Kaling feels “incredibly lucky” to have the resources she needs, but admits it took her a while to get to a place where she felt comfortable asking for support.

“We carry guilt about needing help and most women in the country don’t necessarily have the same resources,” she reveals. “A lot of people are lucky because they have family who can help them, but my mom passed away in 2011, so I really didn’t have a choice.
Particularly during the pandemic, we really got to see how precious and how indefensible childcare providers are.”

The Never Have I Ever creator depends on the “feedback and advice” she receives from other moms in her life, both famous friends and those she’s had since college and childhood. She explains that it was only heightened when she welcomed Spencer amid the COVID-19 pandemic and realized how much of her support network had been stripped from her.

“If I didn’t have the advice and comradery of other women and other moms, I would not be able to do my job as a mom, as the breadwinner in my house, as a writer, as a performer,” she admits. “It’s particularly indispensable for someone like me.”

[From People]

I’m interested to see how child rearing will be affected post pandemic. I think many of us, at least in the US, were shocked by the number of women who were expected to quit their positions to take care of the children after schools closed. I probably shouldn’t say this but having my family home opened their eyes to how much I do around the house while also having a job. As a result, they volunteered to take on chores. However, to Mindy’s point, I should have asked them to help long ago. Why did I feel I had to give up my days off to laundry and housework on my own? If anything good comes from lockdown, I hope it’s the shattering of the idea that the mother is the only one who runs the household.

I’m intrigued by The Change Exchange that Mindy’s promoting. She is supposedly one of the pen pals. You can read up on it here, but in short: it’s a way to connect with women from all over who are going through the same issues/changes you are. When you sign up for the program, they match you with someone so you get the most from the relationship and the kit they provide offers writing prompts in case you get stuck. I love the idea. It looks like you choose paper or email letters, although Mindy’s video shows her video chatting with someone. Hopefully that’s a choice and not a requirement. I haven’t signed up yet, but I am seriously considering it. I could use a woman to talk to.




Photo credit: Avalon Red and Instagram

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

13 Responses to “Mindy Kaling on being a mom: We carry guilt about needing help”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Tootsie McJingle says:

    I would love a woman friend to talk to. We’ve gone through some pretty big changes around here. I had twin girls three and a half weeks ago. I also have a five year old and a six year old. I love them all more than life itself, but it’s a lot. My husband is a great help, but he’s been on paternity leave for a month and goes back to work next week. I struggled emotionally the first couple of weeks and I know it’s going to happen again when he goes back to work. I struggle with feeling lonely and isolated, especially with the pandemic. I also left my job at the beginning of summer because it made more sense financially for us for me to be a stay at home mom. We have family in the area that helps us when they can, but they all still work and have lives and commitments which I totally understand. I don’t really have any mom friends around. So having someone to at least reach out to and share what I’m going through would help with the feelings of loneliness. I hope Mindy’s project is successful! Oh and she calls her daughter Kit? One of my twins is Kathryn and we call her Kit!

    • OriginalLala says:

      Congrats on the twins!! that is a huge life change for sure!

    • Chaine says:

      Congratulations on the babies! Hopefully things will settle down soon and you can meet some other moms to become friends with. In my local area there is a “moms of multiples” group that offers support and camaraderie with other people who have twins/triplets—maybe there is something similar where you are.

  2. Wiglet Watcher says:

    She’s still a Tiegen defender to the end because that’s her mom friend. Yes, being a mom looks beyond difficult. But how can she also defend someone that alienated and abused children without remorse?

    She speaks out to mom struggles, but stayed silent when her voice could have brought awareness to the suffering of children.

    • NCWoman says:

      Maybe we need to stop having the attitude that a woman can’t speak out on any issue if she’s not perfect on one issue. No person on the planet always has a perfect response. She knows Tiegen. We don’t. If she sees some good in that woman that’s worth sticking with, that’s her choice and it doesn’t make her a bad person. I hope this project turns into a positive force for a lot of women even if it is corporate-driven.

    • yellowy says:

      Agreed. Then again, I’m not a fan of The Mindy Project and Mindy at all so I’m liable to be harsh on her.

  3. JustBitchy says:

    I appreciate her sentiments and goal. She is honest about this but I still find issue with her airbrushing and not owning up to her cosmetic enhancements.

  4. Mely says:

    I love the idea of this- I’m an introvert and I communicate best in writing to people. What a great idea to connect people.

    • JJ says:

      As a fellow introvert, I love this too. I really wish this had existed when my kids were first born ~ ten years ago. Looking back I realize how isolated I was..

    • Christine says:

      I am signing up, I had penpals when I was a kid, and I loved getting mail from the other side of the world!

      I love getting real letters in the mail, and not just the debris of life.

  5. Runaway says:

    I love love mindy so much and I love that this post comes today of all days. As an intentional solo mom myself, I totally understand how hard it is to accept and ask for help, especially because I chose to do this on my own, you feel you need to do everything on your own. But as my mom reminds me everyone needs help and as my kids only grandparent, my dad died 5 years ago too, she wants to be there and help, but it definitely takes time and learning to accept that help.
    I love that she is doing this partnership, I have found such solace and support finding and connecting with other single parents by choice. It’s amazing and so rewarding to have someone to share in those experiences with just today and yesterday I happened to meet 2 more single mom’s by choice, just by chance. My tribe is growing and I love it.
    And I love Mindy being so open and normalizing this way to parenthood and family life. She did it after me but she has the reach to really show people that when you do this with intention and love it can be so amazing.

  6. Shannon Prestridge says:

    I adore Mindy so much it’s stupid LOL. And yes, she’s right. When asked about advice for new mothers, I’m always like, “Learn to move past guilt.” Mothers are shamed so much for everything we do and everything we don’t do. At some point, you have to learn to dump it.