While delivering the commencement speech for Dartmouth's graduating class, Mindy Kaling shared some feelings about being a single mom. The Dartmouth alumni was welcomed back last weekend and opened up about motherhood. Her speech was designed as a lesson about being okay if you feel like you don't know what you're doing. Kaling shared a list her of her after-college goals revealing that she only accomplished one thing on it: have kids.
She gave birth to her daughter Katherine Swati Kaling on December 15th, 2017. She was honest about bringing her daughter home that first night. She said, “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'.” Kaling was alone and feeling understandably scared.
She elaborated that the feeling passed as soon as she realized she had friends and family around to support her. Kaling also told the new grads to not be hard on themselves if things don't go exactly as planned in life. She honestly admitted she never expected to have a child before getting married, but did anyway, which is more than okay. Both stories served as a lesson to not worry about checking everything off in the right order, or even check things off at all.
ETOnline shared some of the highlights from her speech. Mindy also shared her own Instagram post thanking Dartmouth for inviting her back. Mindy is a 2001 graduate of Dartmouth, and while there she was very active on campus as a writer for the campus magazine and a member of the campus improv troupe.
Her speech also focused on some time relevant issues. She urged the women in the crowd to start encouraging each other in life and recognize that they can accomplish more together. She said, "Wouldn’t it be better if we worked together to dismantle a system that makes us feel like there’s limited room for us?" Meaning, there isn't space for only one woman at the table, the whole table can be women! This is a great lesson that we are sure she will also relay to her daughter.
The entire commencement speech was sparkled with her signature humor and some really great advice to the next generation joining the real world. However, what really stood out was Kaling's first real personal remarks since becoming a mother.
Bringing home a baby for anyone feels daunting the first time, but to do it alone takes courage. She decided to have a family on her terms and will no doubt be a great mother.