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Jennifer Garner talks pandemic parenting and Mother's Day plans

Posted by 
GMA
GMA
 2021-04-29

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With Mother's Day around the corner, actress Jennifer Garner is reflecting on parenting in the pandemic and how being a mom has influenced her life.

Garner, 49, is a mother of three -- Violet, 15; Seraphina, 12; and Samuel, 9. Like many others over the last year, she and her family have had to adjust to staying home during the COVID-19 pandemic .

While it has been challenging, Garner said her family has stayed healthy, and that she feels "pretty lucky" and "cannot complain" as a result.

"There is something really lovely about just having everyone under a roof," she told "Good Morning America." "Looking back, I feel like we had a lot of fun; we managed to have some fun. I'm grateful for that."

Garner and her family are no stranger to fun. They have an annual tradition where they partake in a "yes day" -- a 24-hour period when parents say yes to all of their kids' requests.

MORE: How to have a super rad 'Yes Day' with your kids, Jennifer Garner style

The idea came from the book "Yes Day!" by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. It's meant to be a day that breaks families out of their routines and brings them together for pure, unbridled fun.

"It's different from parenting because you really are just in it to win it for a full 24 hours," she said.

Her family's previous yes days have involved camping, In-N-Out runs and bounce houses.

MORE: Jennifer Garner talks 'Yes Day' and reuniting with her '13 Going on 30' co-stars

Rosenthal's book is the basis for a movie by the same name that premiered in March, in which Garner plays Allison Torres, a mom of three. In the film, the Torres family agrees to a yes day and hilarity ensues.

Garner hopes the movie inspires families to remember how much they enjoy each other's company, particularly during the pandemic when families are in constant close quarters and may not want to spend any extra time together.

"I would love for families to be inspired, continue to be inspired, and maybe start a family tradition for their families just like my kids and I have," she said.

The pandemic has also provided Garner with the time to focus on other ventures, like her organic food company Once Upon a Farm, Save the Children and Mother's May Market -- an event that will be hosted at select Walmart Supercenters leading up to and on Mother's Day. The markets will give children the opportunity to make handmade gifts for moms and take part in additional crafting activities.

"We all treasure these things our kids make when they're little, I know that I have. There's something about what your child makes for you themselves -- you'll just hold on to it for forever," Garner said. "You don't need to buy something for a mom to feel loved."

Garner's decision to start Once Upon a Farm in particular came form being a mother. She saw there was a lack of food options for kids that were both convenient for the moms making the meals and healthy at the same time.

MORE: Jennifer Garner shares how her mother's upbringing in poverty impacted her

"I don't know if I would've seen the value without being a mom," she said.

As for her Mother's Day plans, all Garner wants is to have a nice day with her family. One tradition they have for the holiday is that each year, she takes a photo with all three kids in her lap.

"It's gotten funnier and funnier as they've gotten bigger and bigger. I'm sure you won't even see that I'm there anymore," she laughed.