Best known for her roles in The Office and The Mindy Project, actor, writer and director Mindy Kaling last week announced the arrival of her second child, a son named Spencer. Here, in her latest book, she reflects on the perks and drawbacks of being a single parent over the past three years to her daughter Katherine, who she calls Kit.
Times I wish I had a husband
When I’m alone at a party. A husband is a built-in, permanent plus-one. That is extremely valuable. When I go to a party alone, I’m so stressed about all the conversation I have to make, trying to find things I have in common with everyone. OMG the new artisanal coffee place on Larchmont! OMG Fleabag! OMG the President! Eventually I end up excusing myself to go to the bathroom, where I play Donut County on my phone to relax. If I was at a party with my husband, we could choose to not socialise at all. We could stand in the corner ignoring everybody else. Our time could be spent constructing shopping lists or itemising all of our familial tax exemptions. ‘Hey, don’t judge us,’ we’d say. ‘At least we left the house.’ Then I would wrap my arm around my husband, who’d be wearing the outfit I chose for him, including the pocket square he found ‘unnecessary’, and together we would sip from our shared glass of top-shelf red wine that some sad single person had brought. Heaven!
When I need to reach things. I am five feet, four inches and sometimes there’s a bottle of wine on the top shelf of my cupboard.
When kids’ books mention daddies. As any single mother knows, this one can really suck. When there’s a dad character in a book, I want to explain it to Kit in a confident but economical way so it doesn’t get derailed into a long conversation about personal choices. Once, Daniel Tiger’s dad took him to the park with his new bicycle, and I started babbling like an obviously guilty criminal in the interrogation room at a police station. Daniel Tiger’s dad was so cute and affectionate, shouldn’t Kit have a cute and affectionate dad/tiger in her life? This would be undeniably easier to handle if I had a husband. I could just point to him and say, ‘That’s your Daniel Tiger’s dad.