Mom Mindy Kaling Spills | The Breakdown with Bethany
Meet the newest addition to MomCave–Bethany Braun-Silva, a parenting editor with over 10 years of experience in digital media. She has researched, written, and experienced so many aspects of #momlife and is excited to share it all with the MomCave audience with her new video series The Breakdown with Bethany, where she interviews celebrity moms, along with parenting experts. Our very first episode is the hilarious, the adorable, and the brilliant… mom–Mindy Kaling!
I love talking to other parents. In fact, I love it so much I made it my job. Talking to moms about the joys and challenges of motherhood was my way to offset the feelings of loneliness and isolation I experienced as a new mom. I knew that if I felt better by connecting to other moms, other women would undoubtedly as well.
Things have definitely evolved since then, and I’m so excited to be able to bring you The Breakdown with Bethany, a show where we talk to celebs, experts, professionals, all with one thing in common: they’re parents.
We will dive deep into important topics like work, mental health, ambition, self-care, and so much more. Thanks for coming on this journey as we “break it down” together!
The first episode of The Breakdown with Bethany features Mindy Kaling, and I couldn’t be more excited! I got the chance to interview Mindy during my time as editor of Parenting.com and thought there was no time like the present to share our conversation.
Mindy and I discuss pandemic parenting, how she makes time for self-care, and so much more. Of course, in true Mindy fashion, she was as candid and friendly as ever. Check out the video below, and stay tuned for more episodes of The Breakdown with Bethany coming soon!
Mindy Kaling, Mom, on the Premiere Episode of The Breakdown with Bethany
Here’s a transcript of the video interview above, you know, in case you can’t watch a video because you have a kid asleep on you or something…
Hey, and welcome to The Breakdown with Bethany. I’m Bethany Braun Silva, and on this show, we’re going to be breaking it down with real moms on topics I absolutely love. We’re going to be talking about ambition, working, raising kids, mental health and anything and everything in between.
My first guest is the one and only Mindy Kaling, and I was so excited to talk to her. I got the opportunity to sit down with her thanks to my former job as the editor of Parenting.com. Mindy and I chatted about everything… We talk raising kids in the pandemic, her own insecurities about motherhood, and how she makes time to stay healthy. So I hope you’ll check it out. And if you like it, be sure to let me know subscribe, like, and do all the things, and I can’t wait to bring you more interviews with some of my favorite moms, so stay tuned.
Hi, Mindy, thanks so much for chatting with me.
Hey, Bethany. How’s it going?
Good, good. I want to jump right in. And I’m wondering just what healthy habits you have or how do you make time for healthy habits? And that’s really both physically and mentally.
Well, I think it’s, as you said, it is challenging, and for me, my entire life was uprooted and changed about a little less than a year ago with everyone else where I.. Now I work from home, I have two jobs and I take care of both of my kids at home and so for me,
So much of my life was being on sets and now I have to do everything from home. And my biggest change has been a journey of just a kind of self-care and trying to live well. And for instance, I have had to be like a chef at home for my kids, which is the first time I’ve ever done so, really mastering easy recipes. I was so excited to partner with Campbell’s and Well Yes, because… I’m actually like literally drinking it right now. It’s just an incredibly convenient, delicious way to get veggies packed into my kid’s meals. And so and so again, like that, I have had to learn all these different skills that I were never required of me before, like being a personal chef to two children and myself. And, you know, and but I’ve been working at it, and this year I feel really good. Like, I think that coming into 2021, I tried not to make any super tough resolutions because I knew that I would not be able to do them.
And so I’m just trying to cut myself a little slack and just be nutritious. That’s been the big thing. Not trying to be skinny. Not trying to be perfect. But just try to like, eat nutritiously and be like a happy person who celebrates small wins.
I love that. I mean, I’m a mom of two as well, and I was never a big cook prior to stay at home orders. And like you said, now we’re cooking or teaching and all of that. I’m wondering, do you ever get cooking fatigue?
And I have to just admit, admit this morning my son is in school part-time. I threw in a half a sandwich from yesterday. And so I guess it’s a two-part question. Tell me about cooking, fatigue and how you combat that.
And then what is the most embarrassing? Or maybe thing you wouldn’t want to admit that you let your kid eat recently?
Oh, that’s so what a great question. So I think the cooking fatigue is so real, and I used to be this person where I would, you know, I would want to cook a “wow” meal and spend three or four hours cooking. And then the experience of it was so exhausting that I wouldn’t want to do it forever. And then when you have kids and with my daughter who just like, refuses to eat leftovers, I have had to cook every day.
And this idea that I would spend hours cooking just like went out the window, I have to like too much doing besides the child’s doing her school and besides doing working and writing for my shows, I now I consider my cooking time 15 minutes.
But like, literally. But with what’s been good about that is that normally you’d think like, OK, well, that must mean that they’re eating. Not sort of like in nourishing, nutritious ways, but it hasn’t been the case, like I take like– I have an air fryer which changed the game.
I’ll take like a piece of chicken or fresh fish. Marinate it, throw it in there. Like, I’ll give my daughter a Well, Yes soup. And then we’ll have like sweet potatoes or pasta or something like that and some air-fried broccoli or salad.
And it’s so easy. So in that and I literally just give myself like 15 or 20 minutes, and that’s it. And so the worst thing that I’ve given my daughter when she was still going to preschool before all this, I would say that…
I think, OK, I feel I do feel guilty about this, but I think for sending… I think I’ve sent her to school with like a cupcake before as her meal. Like, I would send her cupcakes with something because I knew that’s all she would want to eat.
And so if you give her like that with like some goldfish crackers or something like that.
Yeah, it happens. It’s my pediatrician always says, “Look at the week, not each day.” So if she goes the whole week eating something nutritious, then I think it’s fine.
Speaking of your daughter, I mean, we all know kids mimic and do what they see. And so have you noticed when you’re taking time to take care of yourself mentally and physically and making the time to, you know, consciously make healthy choices and be present.
Have you noticed a shift? Does your daughter take that in or she’s still too young, you think?
You know, she definitely takes that in, and that’s a great question, I think. For me, I used to feel really guilty about doing things… Like so I used to be that woman who would love to go to spin class and
I would love to go to these group classes and of course, all of that stopped last March. And so for now, I’m really lucky. I have a little room. I have a little gym at my house, so I have there’s an elliptical and a treadmill in there.
And so, she knows that I will, you know, four times a week, go in there and go for a run or go do the elliptical, and she loves coming in and like she will, if I’m lifting or doing something like that, she’s a little pink, one pound weight and she’ll “lift” too.
And I do think that that’s something I never saw my parents do in growing up. Like exercise is not a part of our life in our house growing up, and I think I want her to see that example.
But you know, the thing is, the good they follow are good examples but also your bad examples, too. I try not to watch TV in front of her. I try to wait until she’s asleep and I watch TV in my bedroom.
But she now knows that I do that as well. So I always try to tell her that when she goes to bed, that’s when I’m going to bed too. And she’s like, “No, I think you’re watching TV” and like, I don’t want to lie to her.
So I’m like, “I do sometimes a little bit.” So, you know, they really do pay attention to everything. So I have had to be careful.
Absolutely. And then you did mention a little bit about this, especially with the soup.
You know, how do you get your daughter to eat healthily? My kids are really picky. I know a lot of parents struggle with picky eaters. It sounds like your daughter is picky as well. But do you have tips for getting those nutritious foods in without a battle?
I think it’s super challenging, and I think that my daughter, like anyone else, goes through phases. For me, it’s like I will take something that’s like something like, for instance, like, I love the butternut squash pumpkin soup…
But her favorite is a tomato Well, Yes. And so she’ll eat that. It’s full of veggies, and then I’ll give her like a grilled cheese. Also, you know, and so for her, it’s like it is an incredibly decadent meal, but it’s actually not that bad for her, and I know that she’s getting a ton of veggies in her soup. But I’m like everyone else, you know, like I went through that phase where I would make little muffins that were filled with spinach that masks the taste but were bright green and for a while that kind of worked.
But then I felt like my daughter was on to it. And so the lately the thing the truth is, it’s like the way that I got her hooked on salmon was that I just kept serving it to her, like, I think a lot of times! If I am not.
Particularly feeling like I have the strength…. If my daughter’s not going to eat any of her food, I just won’t feed her something again because I’m like, I hate the waste and I hate all of that. But my doctor, my pediatrician said, “You have to have a kid try something ten times before they’ll actually
eat it!” which feels awful, awfully wasteful. But I actually just committed to doing that. And it was like clockwork for a couple of things like with sauteed broccoli, for instance. I probably– more than ten times I had to serve it to her before she started eating it, and now she loves it.
And so that takes a commitment and that takes a lot of patience, and that’s a lot of food waste. So it’s tough that can be kind of tough, but I’ve had to do it and now she likes salmon and broccoli.
Those are the two big ones that she likes and that she will eat all the time. And I’m like, you know, if that’s all she eats for a couple of years, that’s fine.
That’s awesome. That sounds like a big win.
But my final question is, you talked about, you know, small wins. And you know, I think a lot of women, especially moms, you and me included, we look to you for a lot of inspiration and maybe just maybe a break in our day just to laugh. You know, I know you do bring a lot of joy
and happiness, and I can speak to that firsthand. But I’m wondering, do you have any just sort of parting words as we wrap up the interview?
Yeah, I think a lot of women, where I have really high standards for myself and I have it professionally and personally, and I see pictures of other
people doing really fun things like they created like an obstacle course for their kids in the backyard. And I get I feel so guilty or jealous that I didn’t think of that. And meanwhile, my daughter’s watching The Grinch for the 90th time on TV, and I didn’t have that.
I didn’t have the creativity and the patience to do an obstacle course with her or whatever. You know, like, I am not that mom to do that. And I think I think the thing that I have decided to come to terms with in 2020, one is that I’m going to ignore those feelings of jealousy and be like, this is a short time in the scheme of her childhood and that if she watched a little bit too much TV during this past ten months and for the next couple of months, like that’s going to be OK, and she was going to eventually go back to school and maybe she didn’t get to do an amazing obstacle course in the backyard. Or maybe I didn’t feel like doing another craft project with her because it was just too messy in the kitchen. I didn’t want to deal with the clean up. And that it’s going to be OK.
I was not raised with any of that stuff, and I turned out pretty happy and successful. And so I think just allowing myself to not have those feelings or to not be affected by those feelings is huge for me.
Yeah, it takes practice. But really? Thank you so much. I really appreciate the time.
Thanks, Bethany. Great talking to you.
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