Lovely Quotes About Parenthood From Mindy Kaling

The actor and writer has a daughter, Katherine, and son, Spencer.
Kaling at the global premiere of "The Morning Show" at Lincoln Center on Oct. 28, 2019 in New York.
Kaling at the global premiere of "The Morning Show" at Lincoln Center on Oct. 28, 2019 in New York.

Mindy Kaling is open about the joys and challenges of raising kids.

The actor and writer welcomed a daughter, Katherine, in 2017 and a son, Spencer, in 2020. Since becoming a parent, she’s spoken in interviews about baby food, life with toddlers, being a single mom and more.

In honor of her birthday, we’ve rounded up 18 quotes about parenthood from Kaling.

On Baby Toys

“I tried to do that thing at the beginning where I only got her these, like, hipster wooden toys that are beautiful to the eye and don’t make your house look like it’s been overrun by children. And she hates them, so I’ve had to give them all away. She only likes primary color, loud, beeping toys that are impossible to turn off.”

On What She Would’ve Done To Prepare For Parenthood

“Simply logistically, I would’ve strengthened my core muscles and my back and arms more, because the amount of leaning over ― my daughter is at that stage right now where she can’t walk but she really wants to, so I’m constantly just hunched over trying to help her walk around the house. And I have never worked on my back strength or core strength in my life, so I’m in a world of pain. So I would’ve strengthened those muscles a lot more before.”

On Parenting A ‘Threenager’

“She’s 3, and she’s really flexing right now. She’s learned the power of ‘no’ in her little mind, and one way that she can exert her power is just by what she chooses to eat.”

On Making Baby Food

“The reason why it’s a unique pleasure to cook for my daughter is that, as anyone with a baby under the age of 3 years old will know, they basically just eat heated-up ingredients, so you can’t really mess it up ... Don’t feel discouraged if you end up eating a huge amount of what you make. I have made pureed butternut squash for her or bought eight sweet potatoes and roasted them, and she’s like, ‘I don’t like sweet potatoes right now.’ Well, she doesn’t say it, so I have to intuit it from the fact that she’s throwing it on the floor. So you’re like, ‘OK, I guess the adult is going to eat sweet potatoes for the next two weeks.’ That’s my biggest tip ― that you will constantly have to improvise and come up with new things.”

On Appearing In ‘Monsters At Work’

“I’m so excited because my daughter loves ‘Monsters, Inc.’ and I’m excited that I’m a monster in this new series. I would say it’s going to blow her mind, but she’s so unimpressed that I feel like she’ll be like, ‘Hmm, call me when you’re in “Toy Story.”’ But I think she’ll be excited about it.”

On Becoming A Single Mom After Losing Her Mother

“After my daughter was born in December, I remember bringing her home and being in my house with her for the first time and thinking, ’Huh, according to movies and TV, this is traditionally the time when my mother and spouse are supposed to be here sharing this experience with me.′ And I looked around, and I had neither. And for a moment, it was kind of scary, like, ‘Can I do this by myself?’ 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. And the joy I feel from being with my daughter Katherine eclipses anything from any crazy check-list. ... Don’t be scared if you don’t do things in the right order. Or if you don’t do some things at all. 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.”

On Dealing With A Picky Eater

“I wish I could sit here and be like, ‘Yes, I cooked a delicious curry, and she’s having a bowlful with a big smile on her face!’ But in reality, I’ll cook something like pasta or Indian food or something delicious, and all she’ll want is dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese and like maybe broccoli. I have an air fryer, so she loves air-fried broccoli. But that’s kind of it. So it’s definitely a challenge with her.”

On Pandemic Parenting

“I’m a busy, single parent who has like basically two full-time jobs. And this period has really assuaged any fears I had about being neglectful of my kids. I joke that the past eight months, there have been times when my daughter and I are just staring at each other. I feel like I just won’t ever have to worry about not feeling connected and close with her, because we forged such a bond in this period.”

On Her Baby Group

“I just invited like 12 moms ― some of whom I knew, some of whom I didn’t really know. I think having those relationships with other moms is really valuable, so I just kind of thirstily am going to force these friendships. Particularly because I’m a single mom, I think it can be really useful to have people to bounce things off of and also getting socialization for my daughter.”

On Life With A Toddler

“When she was 3 months old, it was easy because she was just a little blob. But now she’s a year-and-a-half, and I didn’t know how much bribery there was in being a parent. Every time I see her, it’s like Tony Soprano. I go up to her and I’m like, ‘Hey, you have to give me the remote control.’ And she’s like, ‘Give me your car keys.’ She’s like in the mob. She’s smart. And she can barely talk, so that’s my life right now.”

On What She Does With Her Free Time

“I used to have a lot of other hobbies or even wanted to watch new TV shows and things like that, but now, it’s just sleep. And I’m really good at it too, so I can just close my eyes and, like, within eight seconds be asleep. So that’s my hobby now to unwind.”

On Baby Books

“She loves reading them — or pretending to read them. She loves eating them. She just finds so much pleasure in turning the pages of board books, so that’s what she does 70 percent of the day. The books I love for her lately have been the Sandra Boynton books. I think there’s something really comforting about her illustration style, and she’s just really good at rhyming. And they’re really fun for a parent to read their kids.”

On Missing Her Mom

“When I was pregnant, I had enough time to visualize taking care of my daughter without a husband. That was easy. Most of my friends’ husbands don’t even change diapers. But not having a mom around to support me was torture. It felt especially cosmically mean that my mother had been an obstetrician and gynecologist and I’d had a tough delivery.”

On Self-Care During The Pandemic

“It’s been hard this past year. I’m not someone who in general was prioritizing self-care before this. Self-care is just giving myself the time to exercise because it really does help me emotionally and obviously physically. It keeps me sharp, puts me in a great mood. During the pandemic when I went for a daily run, even if it was just 20-30 minutes, it was sometimes the only time I left the house, so it has kind of kept me from the brink of insanity some of the times. I believe for me personally, endorphins are incredible motivators. It’s not about weight loss. It’s really about modulating my mood and health.”

On Having Help

“I think that particularly women who are lucky enough to have disposable income are shy to show nannies or babysitters or people who care for their children, particularly on Instagram. You’ll notice almost no celebrity shows their nannies. I don’t show my child’s face on Instagram, so I won’t show the help that I have. But I do think that is something that I wish would go away as a stigma ― the fact that women feel embarrassed admitting A) that they have the means and B) that they have the need for hiring help to take care of their kids. I don’t know a single mom, no matter what their circumstances are, that would ever think that was shameful and think, ‘Yeah you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.’ But for whatever reason, it still exists, at least through the lens of social media.”

On Baby Tastebuds

“Before Christmas, she was really into avocado. Then we tried to give it to her two days ago, and it was as though we were giving her like, dead spiders. She looked at it like it was the most disgusting thing in the world. So having to kind of ride the wave of capriciousness of how a child eats has been very funny and really tested my patience.”

On Raising A Daughter Amid The Me Too Movement

“It’s really exciting. I think we always are accustomed to change happening linearly and slowly, and it felt like in the first year of my daughter’s life, there’s been a huge amount of awareness for women’s rights in the workplace, as far as feeling safe in the workplace and then also equal pay. So I feel really optimistic about it and excited that my daughter is growing up at such an exciting time.”

On Socializing After Getting Vaccinated

“I’m going to become the grill master this summer! I feel like my house was a hub for my friends with kids. Before the pandemic, they would come over for the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, every holiday. Now, most of my friends are vaccinated, and I’m absolutely thrilled for people to come over, to be on the grill, and test out new recipes. I have a feeling this summer is going to be three months of nonstop seeing friends.”