Mindy Kaling talks with Meghan Markle about single motherhood: 'I am often amazed at how different my life looks'

Mindy Kaling is opening up to Meghan Markle about what influenced her decision to become a single mom.

The Never Have I Ever creator, 43, appeared on the Duchess of Sussex’s Spotify podcast Archetypes to discuss her career and family life. Kaling, who had two kids on her own, said that while she initially wanted to have a partner to raise her children with, her plans shifted as she grew up.

Mindy Kaling talks to Meghan Markle on her new podcast. (Photo: LISA O'CONNOR/AFP via Getty Images)
Mindy Kaling talks to Meghan Markle on her new podcast. (Photo: Lisa O'Connor/AFP via Getty Images) (LISA O'CONNOR via Getty Images)

“Growing up I used to write in journals, ‘I'm going to be married to a guy named Josh and we're going to have five children. I'm gonna start having kids when I'm 24.’ But 24 came and went — no Josh, no marriage, no four kids,” she shared. “I started as a writer on The Office when I was 24. And the idea of starting children at that same time — you know how all consuming it is. When you get that first job course I was just happy to be in SAG, and then this idea that you would jeopardize any of that with something personal —I was just so focused on keeping that job and earning money and earning a good reputation professionally. So it just happened. I would be in these relationships and in the cold light of day when I looked at them and ask, ‘Could this be a person who I could share life with?’ And the answer would be no. Often I'd be in relationships because I wanted someone to go to the Arclight with on a Saturday night, so I didn't have to go see a movie by myself.”

The Mindy Project star, who gave birth to her daughter Katherine in 2017 and son Spencer in 2020, shared that seeing her parents’ “strong relationship” made her not want to settle for anything less.

“I am often amazed at how different my life looks,” Kaling noted. “Now, I'm 43, I have two kids. I live with a nanny whom I love. She's like my great friend, and [I have] my dad, my stepmom — you know, my immediate family. It's funny how different it is from what I imagined when I was 13, 14 years old.”

The Why Not Me? author explained, “I have such a great relationship with my dad. We are so different from each other, but he is just everything to me. I do know that would be so valuable for my kids, but you know, that wasn’t our family’s lot in life. I do think about that with wistfulness, and also fear — like what will they think when they get older about that?”

In January, Kaling spoke to Yahoo Life’s So Mini Ways series about whether she sees a future co-parent in her life.

“I think of myself as my kids' parent, and if I have someone that comes into my life down the line, that would be great, but I don't think it's their responsibility. It's mine,” she said at the time. “They're just, like, my blood; they're my responsibility. I'm not in a place now where I would necessarily want or need that from somebody else, to have someone else step in as a co-parent.”

She also shared that the “biggest reward” in life was seeing her kids thrive.

“They're just so full of joy and so funny. There's nothing jaded or cynical about them... they just love life,” she added. “For whatever reason, they have no fear in expressing themselves. You know, I was a really shy kind of repressed kid, [with] ‘be seen and not heard energy.’ And they're very heard.”

Wellness, parenting, body image and more: Get to know the who behind the hoo with Yahoo Life's newsletter. Sign up here.