Mindy Kaling Keeps Nothing ‘Priceless’ at Home Because of Her Two Kids & All Moms Can Relate

Mindy Kaling is in the thick of the toddler years with her daughter Katherine, 5, and son Spencer, 2. And like all moms of littles know, that requires some sacrifices. Specifically? Anything deemed ‘priceless.”

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The Never Have I Ever creator was featured on the cover of the June 2023 issue of Better Homes & Gardens, on newsstands May 19 and online now, where she opened up about what her home décor looks like as a mom. As a toddler mom myself, I can’t stop laughing because it’s so true.

  • Mindy Kaling Says Childproofing Is ‘Not Pretty’

    Image Credit: Andrew Eccles for BHG

    “You know, when you have little kids, making the home safe for them is a thing. It’s not pretty,” Kaling told Better Homes & Gardens. “I’ve had white plastic childproofing gates up in the house for about five years. My son is 2, so I’ll probably have them for another year and a half.”

    White plastic gates aren’t ideal for looks, but they are so useful with creative kids who like to get into everything! Kaling feels that way too, explaining, “These aesthetic sacrifices you make when you have children are necessary. Those are not my favorite.”

    At the same time, though, she enjoys that her home is a place that is relaxed. “But I do like that my home doesn’t feel too precious. It’s not like my children can’t go into any room,” Kaling went on. “There’s a lot of piling the nicer things up high. There’s not, like, a priceless ottoman on the ground anymore. The truth is that I don’t have a priceless anything. I refuse to live in a way where I have anything so expensive that if it got stolen or broken, I’d be devastated.”

    Letting go of the nice furniture and décor and replacing it with kid-friendly stuff is one of those little challenges of parenthood that people don’t talk enough. Like, yes, I loved my blue velvet accent chairs, but not after my kids figured out they could push them to the pantry and climb up them to reach the top shelves. It’s just part of parenthood that we all have to learn to embrace eventually!

  • Mindy Kaling Has to Modify Recipes to Get Her Daughter to Eat Them

    Image Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

    The Office alum is notoriously private when it comes to her two kids, but she did share a few more details about them in her interview — like how she has to modify recipes for her picky daughter.

    “My son eats anything, which is such a refreshing quality,” she explained. “My daughter is very picky. If I’m making a Bengali egg curry or a dal, I have to make a version of it that’s less spicy and then spice it up for me and my dad.”

    She also struggles with making the right portion for an adult and two little kids. “The trickiest thing for me is portion size. I have a small family, and all of these recipes I find are for a ton of eaters,” she added. “I can make a big meal when my dad and stepmom are here or if the kids’ nanny stays for dinner.”

  • Snacks Are Essential

    Image Credit: Steve Granitz/FilmMagic

    Like a typical mom, Kaling also keeps her snack cabinet stocked. But it’s not just the kids who benefit. 

    “I want to have a tacit policy in my house that you can help yourself. You don’t even need to get a napkin or a plate. Just get a snack,” she told Better Homes & Gardens in a “House Rules” exclusive digital feauture. “My dear friend BJ Novak will come over whenever he’s in town, and he never says he’ll stay for a meal, but he always eats a meal’s worth of snacks. I’m not going to pin this on him because I love snacks, too. But we always make sure we have little crunchy snacks out for him… So, great snacks! That, to me, is what makes my house feel like a home.”

  • She Loves Family Photos…& Gets Tired of Kids’ Shows

    Image Credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images

    Don’t worry, it’s not just you. Kaling gets tired of her kids’ shows, too. 

    One of her “House Rules” was “TV volume should not drown out conversation.” She explained, “Octonauts and Peppa Pig can start to sound a little oppressive. Adults and kids need to be able to coexist, and I can’t think if the kids’ TV is too loud.” Yes, exactly! Sometimes even the theme song of Bluey (I know!) can give me a headache if it’s too loud. 

    Also like us? She loves having pictures of her family around the house. 

    “Because of my work schedule, or my kids, or just my informal nature, I don’t have a candle lit all the time or perfectly arranged flowers,” Kaling said. “But I do have tons of family photos around the house, pictures of my late mother, and that makes me feel very centered. I am that person who is constantly taking photos and sending them off to a weird internet site to get prints and then framing them to hang on the wall.”

    That’s me, too, and I love it! If we can’t have priceless decor, we can at least have heartfelt, precious family memories hanging everywhere. 

  • Mindy Kaling’s Cover Story Comes Out May 19

    Image Credit: Andrew Eccles for BHG

    Read the full June 2023 issue of Better Homes & Garden in stands May 19 and online now! 

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