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Mindy Kaling shares her best piece of advice for single parents

The "Office" alum is a single mom to Kit, 3, and Spencer, 11 months.
/ Source: TODAY

Mindy Kaling remembers reading Hillary Rodham Clinton’s book “It Takes a Village” in 1995 and thinking, "Huh?"

“It’s about raising kids, and I didn’t understand it as a teenager because I was raised by my mom and dad,” Kaling told TODAY Parents.

Kaling gets it now. The actor had daughter, Kit, 3, on her own in 2017. Two years later, she welcomed her son, Spencer, who is now 11-months-old.

“As a single mom it really does take a village,” Kaling said. “Yes, I am the parent of my two children — but there are all these other caregivers in the form of family, friends and nannies. I couldn’t do it without the village. Absolving myself of guilt for depending on others has been the biggest piece of advice that has helped me.”

Kaling frequently calls on her father, Avu Chokalingam, who she says “comes over twice a day" to see the kids. The “Office” alum lost her mother, Dr. Swati Chokalingam, to pancreatic cancer in 2012. But Kit and Spencer are getting to know their late grandmother’s funny quirks through Kaling.

“When I was growing up, my mom labeled all the scissors. If she saw the kitchen scissors upstairs, she’d flip out,” Kaling recalled. “I’d be like, ‘Chill out. Who cares? It’s a pair of scissors.’”

But just like Clinton’s book, the scissors make sense now.

“If I see someone in the kitchen with the living room scissors, I freak out,” Kaling laughed. “Random scissors are a symbol of chaos in my home. I can’t handle random scissors in different rooms. I'm exactly like my mom in that way. I need order."

Kaling opened up to TODAY Parents while discussing her partnership with T.J. Maxx and its Change Exchange Pen Pal Program. The program, which matches women who have similar interests, was created to help people feel supported during pivotal life moments.

“As a writer I was really drawn to it because it’s about sharing your vulnerabilities and supporting each other as we navigate moments of change in our life,” Kaling explained. “In the past three years, I’ve gone through so many changes in my life professionally and personally. So I really related to the campaign.”