Photo: Dartmouth via Youtube
This past weekend, new mom Mindy Kaling recently gave the funniest, most thoughtful and inspiring speech at a Dartmouth graduation ceremony. While she had a lot of general wisdom about life to pass on to the class of 2018 (i.e. "You never need more than one pancake." So true!), it was her closing anecdote about parenthood and worrying she wouldn't be able to handle being a single mother that really knocked it out of the park.
"'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 recalled thinking to herself. "And I looked around, and I had neither. And for a moment, it was kind of scary. Like, 'Can I do this by myself?'"
Now, this is something many single parents probably experience at some point—it takes a village, right? However, Mindy soon realized that even though she doesn't have her mom or baby daddy around (she lost her mom to cancer in 2012 and has not disclosed any information about Katherine's father), she wasn't doing it alone.
"(T)he reality is, I'm not doing it by myself," she said of her realization. "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 checklist."
The takeaway here? Don't be afraid of doing things in your own way, or changing up the "right order" that you thought your life would naturally fall into. We love this idea because it's so applicable for parents who worry and feel guilty about not doing things the way social media says they're supposed to be doing them.
Like the saying goes, "Don't sweat the small stuff." And when it comes to being a single mom, Mindy definitely doesn't sweat it anymore. "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," she said. "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." We wouldn't change a thing either, Mindy.