At this point, we all know how rare it can be for Mindy Kaling to speak extensively about motherhood and her daughter Katherine, who was born in December 2017—but for Glamour‘s June cover story, she opened up just a little bit more and revealed the biggest goals she hopes to achieve before the end of her life.
There are a handful of fun tidbits that Kaling revealed in her Glamour profile, from outlining the boundaries she is not willing to cross on social media (“I do feel entitled to have privacy about my daughter and my relationships”) to getting stressed out before big events like the Hulu Upfronts and overthinking her social interactions with celebrities like Zoë Kravitz and Margot Robbie (something she revealed would be perfect therapy fodder, “if I had the patience or time to see a therapist”). And earlier this week, Kaling also admitted that she kind of likes it when everyone speculates about her relationship with her best friend, ex-boyfriend, and godfather of her daughter, B.J. Novak (“I like when people think it’s more romantic or sparkly or interesting than it is,” she told CBS Sunday Morning).
But it is the question of how to manage motherhood with her career that led Kaling to turn her thoughts toward a slightly more morbid subject: mortality. “When my mother passed away, I started thinking about mortality so much more and how I just don’t want my legacy to be a hashtag for a day if I die,” she revealed. “So that’s a big fear now. I don’t want to be something as fleeting as #MindyMemoriam, one day where everyone just says one nice thing about me.”
Kaling is no stranger to having a jam-packed schedule, and it’s become a subject of intrigue for anyone who interviews her. This year, she’s been busy promoting her new comedy Late Night, which costars Emma Thompson, and gearing up for the Four Weddings and a Funeral reboot she wrote and produced for Hulu. She also just announced that her third essay collection will be out next summer, is working on a forthcoming Netflix series (a coming-of-age tale about an Indian-American teen), and is currently writing a wedding comedy film with Priyanka Chopra in the starring role. On top of all of this, she still makes it a point to spend as much time as possible with her young daughter, which of course prompts the expected “how does she manage it all” questions from everyone on the internet.
And just because the mogul keeps the commentary on her status as a mother to a minimum in the public eye does not mean she has not opened up about it before. Just last year, she spoke about how she manages being a multihyphenate mom and juggling her many responsibilities as producer, writer, actress, and mother to Katherine. But now she has some more specific answers to those questions about how she manages her very limited time. “My baby is so little and takes such long naps. She sleeps more than half the day, so I’ve found it to not be too much of a deterrent,” Kaling said in her Glamour interview. “Plus, I’m privileged enough to have child care. In a couple of years, I probably won’t want to do quite so many things at once, but right now I still find the work energy giving, not energy depleting.”
She also revealed that she hopes her work ethic influences her daughter, but admitted that she knows she may have to slow down her professional life a bit in the near future. “I know at some point I will have to do less, because it’s not like there’s a dad at home picking up some of the slack,” Kaling admitted. “I think that’s another reason I work so hard—because I know that when she gets a little bit older, I want to be able to take off more time to spend with her.”
As for the endless speculation about the paternity of her child, Kaling did not mention it in the profile. The birth of her daughter came as a bit of a surprise (although there were rumors circulating a few months prior). One element, however, is that Kaling has remained open about is the decision to have her daughter when she did. “I always knew I wanted to be a mom, but I would have put it off and put it off. I’m happy that it happened when it did,” she revealed. “I would have put it off indefinitely. I’ve seen firsthand the heartbreak of women who have waited to get pregnant [and then it doesn’t happen]. For me, my relationship with my mother was such an integral part of my life. Thinking back on our relationship is still such a huge source of my happiness day to day, so I’m so grateful for having Katherine.”