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/ Source: TODAY
By Donna Freydkin

Back when she was pregnant with daughter Katherine, Mindy Kaling craved raw fish. And like so many expectant moms, she opted not to eat it. Now, she's making up for lost time.

"I’m having that craving. I want a fancy sushi dinner when someone else is paying someplace nowhere near me. I want it to be a glamorous Hollywood experience," said Kaling.

But, she's raising daughter Katherine solo, so there's not much time for fancy sushi. The last time we spoke, both of us threw out ideas of how to function as single working moms. It's often like having nine balls in the air and trying to catch them blindfolded.

"I have more of a system now. Now I’m writing. It’s calmed down a little bit. I have my writer hat on. I can be much more of a good mom. It’s figuring out a balance between how much acting and writing I am going to do. And I love that I don’t have to be be in hair and makeup every day of my career," said Kaling, who is doing a miniseries adaptation of the classic "Four Weddings and a Funeral" for Hulu and then working on "Late Night," a film she wrote for Emma Thompson where Thompson plays a talk-show host.

Kaling's new mom must-haves

Like any working parent, Kaling strives to find that balance between creative fulfillment and maternal bliss. To her credit, she's discovered three items, with an assist from Oprah Winfrey, that make single motherhood a little less stressful. And we found the gear she's talking about.

Graco Bumper Jumper, Stratus, $38, Amazon

TODAY editors, writers and experts take care to recommend items we really like and hope you’ll enjoy! Just so you know, TODAY does have affiliate relationships. So, while every product is independently selected, if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the revenue.

Walmart also sells this kiddie favorite.

"She’s obsessed with this bouncer thing that we hooked up the ceiling, she sits in it and bounces all day and she feels so powerful. My kid is really energetic. She burns off so much energy doing it. It’s fantastic," said Kaling.

SwimWays Baby Spring Float, $20, Amazon

Score this at Walmart as well.

"She’s learning how to swim right now. I have this inflatable thing she can sit in and I can push her around the pool. She’s not scared of the pool," said Kaling.

"Moo Baa La La La," $4, Amazon

You can also try a boxed-set of some of her favorites!

"She loves pop-up books. The Sandra Boynton books, she loves. 'Moo Boo La La La.' Not to name-drop, but Oprah gave it to me. She gave me a shelf full of books. It was one of a 100 of them," said Kaling.

In addition to motherhood, acting and writing, Mindy Kaling has also partnered with Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) to get people to break bread together on Oct. 10. When you dine out on 10/10 and spend $10 or more using Mastercard, the brand will donate $1 to SU2C. And the cause is deeply personal for Kaling, whose mother died of pancreatic cancer. She already had a relationship with SU2C, which helped.

"I have such a connection to them. I’m such a fan of what they do and I want to advocate for them as much as I can," said Kaling. "Pancreatic cancer has a five percent survival rate. There hasn’t been a ton of progress. I have a kid, I have two full-time jobs, what I do has to be worthy."

Plus, "I just like taking a friend out to dinner," said Kaling.

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