Everyone’s on-screen BFF Mindy Kaling welcomed a baby girl to the world last December. After rumours started to swirl in June 2017, Kaling confirmed she was preggies in an interview with NBC’s Sunday Today. The actress and comedy kween who’s featured in The Office, starred in The Mindy Project, and has a role in the box-office hit Ocean’s 8, talked about motherhood in her commencement speech at the Ivy League university of Dartmouth.
You can watch the full speech here:
Kaling used the opportunity to give sage advice from an alma mater to new graduates but also spoke about the unrealistic standards and expectations we put on single mothers. The actress and comedian was candid about raising baby Katherine on her own, saying when she first gave birth she was worried about not being able to cope on her own.
Kaling remembers thinking, ‘Huh. According to movies and TV, this is traditionally the time when my mother and spouse are supposed to be sharing this experience with me.’
‘I looked around and I had neither. And for a moment it was kind of scary. Like, can I really do this by myself?’
But after the initial anxiety of raising a human being by oneself, Kaling realised you don’t have to have the heteronormative nuclear-family sold to us in the media. There are important and valid support systems that live outside of romantic relationships, and that’s nothing to apologise for.
‘But then, that feeling went away, because the reality is, I’m not doing it by myself. I’m surrounded by family and friends who love and support me,’ she continued. ‘And the joy I feel from being with my daughter Katherine eclipses anything.’
Kaling went on to say that our lives don’t have to be as linear as what we see on our social media timelines.
‘I just want to tell you guys, don’t be scared if you don’t do things in the right order, or if you don’t do some things at all,’ said Kaling. ‘I didn’t think I’d have a child before I got married, but hey, it turned out that way, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I didn’t think I’d have dessert before breakfast today, but hey, it turned out that way, and I wouldn’t change a thing’
‘If you have a checklist, good for you,’ she said in conclusion. ‘Structured ambition can sometimes be motivating. But also, feel free to let it go. Yes, my culminating advice from my speech is a song from the Disney animated movie, Frozen.’
Young, single moms are put under pressure to subscribe to what we know ‘family’ to look like, but Kaling is an example of family looking like what you want it to. We stan forever!
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