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Mindy Kaling opens up about how hard it is to mother without your mom

"Not having a mom around to support me was torture," shared Kaling.

mindy kaling mothering without mom
Mindy Kaling/Instagram

Mindy Kaling is an actress-writer-producer-comedian extraordinaire. She's also mom to 2-year-old Katherine and newborn Spencer.

In her new short story collection "Nothing Like I Imagined," Kaling has opened up about what it was like becoming a first-time mom and how it made her miss her own late mother, Swati, even more.




"When I was pregnant, I had enough time to visualize taking care of my daughter without a husband. That was easy. Most of my friends' husbands don't even change diapers," Kaling wrote in the essay, Help Is On The Way. "But not having a mom around to support me was torture."

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Kaling says that growing up, her mom balanced being an obstetrician with motherhood effortlessly. As happy as she was to be a mom, she was upset that Katherine wouldn't get to meet her grandmother.

"Mom wasn't there. She'd died eight years before, and now she wasn't going to meet her grandchild or help me do this thing that she had made look so easy."

Kaling ultimately hired a baby nurse named Rose who moved into her home temporarily and helped her raise Katherine.

Rose's Indian heritage and steady intelligence instantly reminded Mindy of her mom. Plus, she wore the same perfume that Kaling's mom used to.

"Between that and her scrubs, I was totally triggered, the association to my mother hitting me like a truck," Kaling wrote.

"And I needed that. Because at that point I was missing my mother viscerally, painfully."


Rose helped Kaling with breastfeeding, especially when she struggled with having a low supply.

"I felt like such a failure. I was a single working mom and I couldn't make enough milk?"

Rose also provided a sounding board for Kaling. She helped care for Katherine and listened to the comedian's deepest fears when it came to motherhood.

"All these fears were the worst I've ever had in my life, and Rose helped me keep them at bay. She was my mom when I needed a mom, and that wasn't even her job."

Kaling surprised fans when earlier this month, she announced that she'd secretly given birth to her son, Spencer, in September.

Kaling hasn't said whether Rose has returned to help care for baby Spencer. In the essay collection that was published this month, the comedian indicated she would love to hire Rose again.

"I told her I don't know if I'll have another baby, but if it meant she would come and live with me, I may just go ahead and do it."

We hope that Mindy, Katherine and Spencer are getting all the love and care they need while learning to be a family of three. Rose sounds like a rockstar that all new moms could benefit from – but especially ones who are missing their own mothers.

Jamie Orsini is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, military spouse, and a mom to two busy toddlers. In her spare time, Jamie volunteers with the Solar System Ambassador program with NASA/JPL and reads anything she can get her hands on. She’s currently working on her first novel.

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