Mindy Kaling loves a good rom-com as much as most of the characters she's played (Kelly Kapoor, anyone?), so fans were likely curious what it's been like for her to find herself a single mom, without the classic storybook love affair.
When the Ocean's 8 actress gave the commencement address at her alma mater Dartmouth College this weekend, she opened up about bucking those deep-seated traditions.
"Don't be scared if you don't do things in the right order or if you don't do some things at all."
"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,'" she said. "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."
Mindy, who hasn't yet shared photos of her daughter, Katherine, admitted that even she expected she'd be on a different path.
"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." In true Mindy humor, she added: "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."
She said, "The joy that I feel from being with [her daughter] eclipses anything from any crazy checklist."
Her message to the graduates was a powerful one: "So 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."