We fell in love with Jennifer Garner in Alias. And if you don’t have a thing for undercover kickass super agents, you couldn’t help but develop a soft spot for her after 13 Going On 30. But our favorite role is the one Garner lives and breathes every day—that of a mom of three who addresses the joys and challenges of parenting with an endearing sincerity that has moms everywhere silently nodding mhmmm and thinking, she is one of us. She’s talked about everything from her permanent “bump” to her tough divorce, and no one says it better than the West Virginian native, whose quotes about family, love and her kids speak volumes about why she’s just so ”gosh” (to use Garner’s word) darn likable.
1. When she admitted work/life balance isn’t much of a “balance” at all:
"There's an internal battle. I need to work, I need to work, I need to work, and I need to be home with my kids and the kids win. It's about getting the kids up and fed, getting one to school, getting the other down for a nap, going to the grocery store, picking one up from school, getting the other one down for another nap, cooking dinner . . . I live my life at these two extremes. I'm either a full-time stay-at-home mom or a full-time actress." — Us Magazine
2. When not even mentions of farts could ruin her proud-mom moment:
“Look who’s learning to spell!”
3. When she was in charge of bathroom duty on a field trip:
“Taking a Girl Scout to pee at 4 a.m. is love.”
4. When she explained the call no parent ever wants to get from school:
“You could get the call. It is coming your way...Does it happen? Yes. Stars are just like us. We all got lice. It’s making me itchy just to talk about it.” — The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
5. That time she—gasp!—said her pregnancy weight gain wasn’t pretty.
"I wish I was one of those cute pregnant girls who wear skinny jeans throughout their pregnancies. But I just gain weight." — InStyle
…but she kept it on and accepted it:
"From now on ladies, I will have a bump. And it will be my baby bump. And let's just all settle in and get used to it. It's not going anywhere. I have a bump. Its name is Violet, Sam, Sera. Well, but I see you guys are really eager for us to pop out another one. Gosh, you're exhausting!" — Ellen
6. When she took time to advocate for child literacy and the people our kids spend almost every day with—teachers:
“Hey Tennessee, How about this: you keep supplying beautiful kids and @savethechildren will keep filling their school’s bookshelves with books and their minds with words, words, words. I haven’t forgotten you, Perry County."
7. When she took some parenting direction from her mom:
"It's really important for my kids to see that everyone doesn't have the lives they see in Los Angeles. That doesn't reflect the rest of the world. I want them to grow up with the Southern values I had—to look at people when they say hello and to stop and smell the roses. If I could do half as good a job as my mom did, I'd be pretty happy." - Southern Living
8. When trying to appease her children left her completely exhausted:
“You’ll never need coffee more than the day after ‘Yes Day!’.”
9. When she admitted that finding a balance is hard for every mom, and nobody has it all figured out:
“My sisters both are working mothers. I understand that my being an actress as well as being at home isn’t some heroic thing. That doesn’t mean it isn’t confusing or difficult—especially that question of how you find a balance.” — Parade
10. When her kids came first, even during a divorce:
“It’s not Ben’s job to make me happy. The main thing is these kids—and we’re completely in line with what we hope for them. Sure, I lost the dream of dancing with my husband at my daughter’s wedding. But you should see their faces when he walks through the door. And if you see your kids love someone so purely and wholly, then you’re going to be friends with that person.” — Vanity Fair