5 Revelations From Mindy Kaling's New Book About Raising Daughter Kit

Mindy Kaling shared a rare glimpse into her life as a single mother in her collection of essays Nothing Like I Imagined (Except for Sometimes).

By Cydney Contreras Oct 09, 2020 2:36 AMTags
Watch: Mindy Kaling Welcomes Baby No. 2

Mindy Kaling is nothing if not candid in Nothing Like I Imagined (Except for Sometimes), a collection of essays that detail her life like never before.

Even though The Office star is very active on social media, she rarely discusses personal matters like her daughter, Katherine Swati Kaling. Mindy even managed to keep the birth of her second sonSpencer Kaling, a complete secret, only recently revealing to Stephen Colbert that she had welcomed the little one in September. 

She previously explained, "It's really essential to my life that there be something not everybody knows about... That's a boundary, but it's a very small boundary. Everything else I really don't have any issue sharing."

But now, the actress, who is nominated for a People's Choice Award, is comfortable opening up about the years she's spent as a single mother.

In the Amazon Original Stories collection of essays, the 41-year-old writes about her decision to raise her daughter as a Hindu, why she hired a baby nurse and the pros of being single.

But there's so much more to Nothing Like I Imagined. After all, Mindy isn't just a mom, but a writer, producer and Hollywood mainstay.

Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak Through the Years

Mindy put it best with this Instagram caption: "What do Coach Taylor, picking up an expensive dinner tab, my Hindu faith, a baby nurse, a ninth birthday party and a drifter in Silver Lake have in common? You'll just have to find out in my new collection of essays dropping in ONE WEEK with @amazonpublishing and let's just say it's #NothingLikeIImagined."

To read some of the most interesting bits from her collection of essays, continue reading!

On Being ''Terrified'' to Raise Kit By Herself

Mindy writes that it was after she coordinated her daughter's Mundan—a Hindu ceremony in which you shave your baby's head "to rid you of the negativity from your past life"—that she was hit with realization that she was going to truly be a single mother. "Why was I crying so much? Because I think that it finally dawned on me that I have a child who will never know her grandmother, the person who was the closest to me in the world," she explains. "And I was about to start this journey with my daughter by myself without the help of my mother. I was going to raise her alone, and I was terrified."

However, the actress says she was comforted by the traditions her mother raised her with, writing, "The reason I'm Kind of Hindu and will raise my daughter to be Kind of Hindu is to have this connection deep inside my own heart to other people who look like us and have shared key experiences, thousands of miles away... As long as Kit and I are Kind of Hindu, we will never be alone."

On Finding Comfort in Her Baby Nurse

When she first got pregnant, Mindy says that she felt she could raise Kit on her own, as her mother and father did with her. She writes that she thought, "If Mom could do it all without a whisper of complaint, then why couldn't I?"

However, it dawned on the actress that she didn't have her mother around to advise her on the ins and outs of breastfeeding or other seemingly easy tasks, which would later prove to be difficult. So, she hired a baby nurse on the advice of a friend, and it proved to be one of the best decisions she's ever made. "I didn't have my mom. But I did have Rose. Rose loved giving advice, and I loved listening to it," Mindy recalls, before listing the fears that Rose helped her overcome. "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."

Mindy so treasured having Rose in her life that when the baby nurse asked if she'd ever require her assistance again, she says, "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."

On the Pitfalls of Being Single

The Mindy Project star is nothing but honest when discussing her relationship status, or lack thereof. 

Mindy says that she doesn't notice her singledom until people point it out to her. For example, she explains that other moms tend to complain about their husband, "feigning desire to be single in an attempt to make the single mom feel better about being husband-less."

Nonetheless, Mindy writes that dating is "complicated" for her. "Sometimes it's the most liberating and lucky feeling in the world," she reflects. "Sometimes I am just so grateful to be an independent woman doing what I want, when I want, that I could cry with gratitude."

She also admits that there are times when she wants a husband, which include, but are not limited to: When I'm Alone at a Party, When I Need to Reach Things, When Kids' Books Mention Daddies, When I Want Dessert at a Restaurant, When My Kid Does Something Amazing and When I Think About Diamond Rings. 

On the Pros of Being Single

On the bright side of things, there are many reasons The Office star is pleased to be single. 

For one, she says she never has to debate with someone about parenting decisions. "I save a truly staggering amount of time not having to run my parenting decisions by another person. Good or bad, I can just, like, quickly make a decision and move on with my day," Mindy writes.

Other silver linings include: she can choose who she sleeps with and when, with no strings attached, no in-laws, she can always drive, she has ownership of both nightstands, and she has free reign over the remote control, meaning she never has to watch something she doesn't like. 

On "Killing the Pregnancy Game"

In the months before welcoming Katherine, Mindy says that she was "killing the pregnancy game", joking that she hadn't "overachieved this much since high school."

She writes that she followed her doctor's recommendations diligently and had even lost weight because of the healthy diet she made for herself. Mindy writes, "I had always thought I'd sooner die than eat kale, and yet there I was, munching on it like some kind of Instagram salad influencer." That same dedication applied to her fluids, with Mindy describing herself as "the most hydrated pregnant woman in the history of pregnancy."

She continues, "Second trimester was uneventful, and third trimester was the same, except an unusual five-day period where I did not go to the bathroom...  Luckily, that eventually worked itself out."

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