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Mindy Kaling let go of her mom guilt—and you can, too

She's not letting it hold her hostage and neither should you.

Mindy Kaling let go of her mom guilt—and you can, too

It creeps up on you like heartburn during pregnancy. Mom guilt is an annoying, burning feeling we'd be better off without, but so many of us suffer from it. Unfortunately, getting rid of it isn't quite as easy as popping an antacid. It takes some practice.


New mom Mindy Kaling knows what we're talking about. Since welcoming daughter Katherine in December the first-time parent has felt guilty—and she's teaching herself to let it go. "I've had to learn to release myself from mom guilt at least a couple times a day," Kaling recently told InStyle.

We're happy to see Kaling talking about how mom guilt impacts her on a daily basis, because talking about why we feel mom guilt might help take some of this pressure off.

According to a 2013 survey of 2,000 moms by NUK, 87% of us feel guilty at some point, with 21% feeling this way most or all of the time. Sixty-nine percent of moms feel guilt over the ratio of their work-life balance, and 40% worry they're not devoting enough time to their children, also according to Nuk.

Adding to that, according to a 2015 survey by Fisher Price, is that American moms "seem to feel more pressure than moms in the other countries surveyed based on a higher level of agreement with statements reflecting parental confidence." In that survey, 42% of U.S. moms polled felt that "properly caring for baby while taking care of myself and my responsibilities is a big challenge."

Because it is. And that's okay to admit—no guilt, necessary.

Kaling isn't letting her guilt take her hostage. Her new comments suggest this pumping, working, mama is fighting back and recognizing that she is doing what's best for herself and her daughter.

Being a mom can be as challenging as it is amazing, and on the days when it feels like you need to grow a pair of extra hands just to make it through, it's okay to say you can't do it all. That's another thing Kaling is teaching herself. "I'm also learning to feel better about asking for help, whether it's from family or hiring help," she says.

In Kaling's case, asking for and accepting help is helping her feel less guilty about time that she spends away from Katherine. "It's not profound, but I love my career and I don't want to make myself feel bad about pursuing both," says Kaling.

And she shouldn't. No working mother should be beating herself up about having a career as there's plenty of research indicating having a working moms is good for kids. (In Kaling's case, having a working mom means her daughter gets gifts from Oprah, so it's definitely a good thing).

We're glad to hear things are looking a little more balanced for Kaling these days. Back in March she described motherhood as "a constant state of worry," noting that she was "anxious constantly," and was hoping that would change quickly. Weeks later, it's clear that change has come. "Just cutting myself some slack has been very helpful for me," Kaling says.

Mamas who want to cut the mom guilt might do well to follow suit. Be kind to yourself, the way Kaling is, accept that there are hard days, and accept help wherever you can get it.

And know this: You're doing a great job, mama. Let that guilt go.

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Create a school-ready capsule wardrobe for your kids

Dress for success whether virtual learning or in the classroom!

Tina Meeks

Going "back to school" this year may be less of a literal statement than in years past—but there is just as much reason for your kids to celebrate moving on to new grades. Just like in every new school year, a big part of the fun is refreshing your kids' wardrobe with clothes that allow them to express themselves.

Even if finding back to school clothes this year doesn't include a trip to the mall, you can still make an event of it by shopping H&M's kids collection from your computer. Pull up another chair for your shopping buddy and get the cart started with these fave capsule wardrobe options we've already scouted.

Here are our favorite picks:

A t-shirt made for play

H&M t-shirt

Call them essentials, not basics. A graphic t-shirt aces the test when it comes to being perfect for school. And because your little student will probably want to wear something that expresses their personal style as often as possible, it's great to know the shirts can stand up to school time, playtime, downtime and everything in between!

$4.99

Dressed-up casual shorts for total comfort

H&M boy shorts

Whether pulling up a chair for a virtual meeting with the class or heading back to the school for in-person learning, some comfortable, yet stylish, shorts will help your kid focus on the real tasks at hand: learning—and having fun while doing it!

$19.99

Layers for when seasons change

H&M sweatshirt

When it comes to feeling comfortable at school, layers are the MVPs. Whether the AC is blasting or the day started off cool and is warming up quickly, having a unique sweatshirt to shed or add will help your kid look cool while staying warm.

$9.99

A bit of flair with distressed denim

H&M distressed jeans

A school staple for generations, denim is both classic and continually fashionable with updates like distressing and new wash colors. If you're shopping online for jeans this year, take note of H&M's generous return policy—your kids can try on the orders at home and return anything that doesn't fit without a trip to the store.

$24.99

A fashion statement piece

H&M girls skirt

What's better than expressing yourself through a stylish outfit when school is back in session? Still feeling perfectly comfortable and ready to tackle anything the day holds while looking so good. With so many fashion-forward looks available at budget-friendly prices, H&M's children's collection means every kid can find an outfit that speaks to them.

$14.99

Some comfy kicks

H&M boys shoes

A sure way to put a little pep in your child's step this year, cool and cozy shoes are a staple on all back-to-school shopping lists for good reason. (Plus, it's fun to compare them to last year's shoes to see how much your kid has grown!)

$19.99

Anything-but-basic blouses

H&M girls blouse

Whether in the classroom or showing up for a video call with the class, a styling blouse or button-down shirt is a great way for your student to comfortably dress up the day. Better yet? Style doesn't have to come at the expense of comfort with so many made-to-move tops designed just for kids.

$14.99

A shirt ready to go whatever the day holds

H&M boys shirt

With "going to school" meaning anything from showing up in the classroom to doing a virtual session, it's important to have clothes that are perfect for anything the day holds. A classic, cotton shirt with a fashion-forward design is a great way to keep your student feeling ready to start the year with an A+ attitude.

$9.99

This article was sponsored by H&M. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Why do all of my good parenting or baby-focused inventions come after they've already been invented by someone else? Sigh.

Like the Puj hug hooded baby towel, aka the handiest, softest cotton towel ever created.

Safely removing a wet, slippery baby from the bath can be totally nerve-wracking, and trying to hold onto a towel at the same time without soaking it in the process seems to require an extra arm altogether. It's no wonder so much water ends up on the floor, the countertops, or you(!) after bathing your little one. Their splashing and kicking in the water is beyond adorable, of course, but the clean up after? Not as much.

It sounds simple: Wash your child, sing them a song or two, let them play with some toys, then take them out, place a towel around them, and dry them off. Should be easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right?

But it hasn't been. It's been more—as one of my favorite memes says—difficult, difficult, lemon difficult. Because until this towel hit the bathtime scene, there was no easy-peasy way to pick up your squirming wet baby without drenching yourself and/or everything around you.

Plus, there is nothing cuter than a baby in a plush hooded towel, right? Well, except when it's paired with a dry, mess-free floor, maybe.

Check out our favorites to make bathtime so much easier:

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Sen. Kamala Harris is Joe Biden's VP: What this means for mothers

Harris is making history as the first Black and South Asian woman to join a major party ticket.

Kamala Harris paid leave
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[Editor's note: Motherly is committed to covering all relevant presidential candidate plans as we approach the 2020 election. We are making efforts to get information from all candidates. Motherly does not endorse any political party or candidate. We stand with and for mothers and advocate for solutions that will reduce maternal stress and benefit women, families and the country.]

On Tuesday, Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden, picked California Sen. Kamala Harris to be his running mate and vice-presidential nominee. This is huge news for mothers in the United States because Harris has been pushing for change on several issues that matter so much to moms.

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