In a new interview with The New York Times Magazine, the 39-year-old actress reveals why she decided not share the identity of her daughter's father. Kaling gave birth to Katherine in December 2017.
"My feeling is that until I speak to my daughter about that, I’m not going to talk to anyone else about it," Kaling tells the outlet. "... I think people are often surprised that for someone who seems as open as I am on social media and who writes things that seem drawn from my life, I find that stuff [her relationship with Katherine] really private."
Despite her private preference when it comes to specific motherhood moments, Kaling has no problem gushing over how much being a parent impacted her.
"Right now I’m surprised at how much I enjoy being a mom... I did not think I had a big maternal instinct. I’m very impatient, and having a baby requires an amount of patience that I was worried about," she admits. "But they don’t tell you that the thing will look so much like you, and do things that are so sweet and adorable, that you’ll naturally not have the same impatience that you would have with a stranger or someone who works for you."
While she's yet to share a photo of her daughter's face and opts to keep that portion of her life out of the spotlight, the Late Night writer and star is not shy about discussing the affect motherhood has had on how she views her career.
"The three months after giving birth, especially since I did it by myself, were very funny, and at times very gruesome. But I don’t know that I would ever write about it," she says. "I do think that a child appreciates you for none of the things that you are proud of. The qualities in my life that I’m really proud of, like being a funny writer or a good dresser or a great boss or a good listener -- I don’t know that my daughter loves me for any of those reasons. To her, my value is something completely different."
Though she's ultimately unsure how motherhood will change the kind of work she does, Kaling knows one thing for sure -- she will keep working, though it may be in a different capacity as Katherine grows up.
"I am someone who loves work. That will never change. But the kind of work that I do has changed," she admits. "When I did the first season of The Mindy Project at Hulu, they were like, 'You could do as many episodes in a season as you want.' And I was like, 'Can we do the maximum?' But waking up at 5 o’clock in the morning to do 26 episodes of TV is not something that I’m going to do again."
Watch the video below for more on Kaling's life as a mom.