Jennifer Garner has long been a fan favorite among the Hollywood elite, starring in films from the likes of Dude, Where’s My Car to 13 Going on 30 to Love, Simon. Of course, she’s also starred in shows like Alias, and while her acting chops are impressive, it’s not the only thing to love about this celeb.
From her acting resume to her poise and grace during and after her split from ex-husband Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner is constantly impressing fans and critics all over the world. She’s supremely talented, embraces motherhood to the fullest, and doesn’t lose sight of her own goals and progress just because she’s got three children.
Her kids—Violet, Seraphina, and Samuel—are constantly photographed out with mom (and dad), and they seem like some of the most well-adjusted and happy kids in the spotlight during the times it falls on them. And while Jen’s not one to shove her kids onto the public, she’s been snapped doing a lot of average, everyday mom things with them—clearly establishing what’s most important in her world, especially when her day is over on set.
Of course, she’s still a hands-on mom, as the following 20 pics show in the best way: these snapshots perfectly capture Jennifer’s parenting style, establishing her as the most affectionate Hollywood mama.
20 Sandy Sitting
How many moms have gone to the park with their kiddos, only to sit back and watch them get all sandy and sticky while sighing about how messy the drive home will be? Of course, it's understandable that so many moms get stressed at the mere sight of the sandbox. But Jennifer embraces this time with the toddlers, even while embracing her older child, and doesn't seem bothered that she's going to have sand in her slides afterward.
This type of commitment shows she's more concerned with showing her kids she cares than showing them how well she avoids messes.
19 Smiling With Seraphina
It’s harder to come by snapshots of Jennifer with her girls when they were younger, mostly because a lot of the pics are super grainy and probably not shot with today’s level of tech! But that just makes this photo all the more special. It’s Jennifer and her middle child, Seraphina, smiling together at something, and the looks on both their faces show you just how affectionate and relatable Jennifer is with her kids.
She’s getting excited about the same thing her little girl is, and that’s not only adorable, it shows how much she cares about what Seraphina cares about.
18 Stooping To Their Level
Now normally, stooping to someone else’s level is a bad thing. But as you can clearly see here, Jennifer is more than willing to cater to her kiddos, however small their stature! In a time when so many other celebrity moms are seen striding toward their destinations with their kids scattered behind them, Jennifer takes the time to lean over and talk to them to work things out.
While we’re not sure what’s happening here, it definitely looks like Jen’s being sure to be tender towards her little one. Of course, here’s hoping it wasn’t Jen’s coffee in that cup, but either way, she’s definitely displaying more poise than most of us average moms would in this scenario.
17 Strong-Armed Shopping
I’ll be the first to admit, shopping with children is usually no picnic. From their temperamental moods to their need to be carried, grocery shopping trips can span multiple hours when you’re trying to do it alone. But Jennifer is showing up moms everywhere by balancing her toddler on her hip, her bag on her arm, and still managing to get the shopping done.
While some moms would resort to putting their kid in a cart—even if they’re hollering to be held—Jen does it all. And, she did it without having a breakdown in front of the paparazzi.
16 Happy Hand-Holding
Plenty of celebrity moms hold hands with their kids—in almost every shot of Jen, she’s holding onto at least one of her kiddos. And other moms do the same—ostensibly to keep track of them when fans and paparazzi start swarming. But in this unassuming pic, it’s clear that not only does Jennifer offer up affection toward her kids, she teaches them to have it for each other, too. Just look at the adorable smile on Samuel’s face as Seraphina holds his little hand!
Clearly, their mama taught them that hand-holding is something to enjoy, because that’s exactly what Samuel’s doing—and even Seraphina is indulging him.
15 No Hurrying Along Here
Although she was probably holding her kids’ hands shortly before this snap, it’s evident that Samuel wants to go on and do his own thing. And although he’s a mere mite here, Jennifer appears willing to let him go—except, she’s got to stick by in case something goes wrong. Of course, they look like they’re in a parking lot, so her hand on Samuel’s back makes sense, but it’s also a loving gesture as she’s gently guiding him without just snatching him up and whisking him away.
Everything’s slower when toddlers do it themselves, right? But Jen has pure patience here.
14 Balancing Beams At The Beach
First off, here’s another snap of Jennifer being unafraid to get a little sandy, which is admirable on its own. Not that there’s anything wrong with being “that mom” who watches her kids play from afar—but we definitely admire Jennifer’s commitment to being hands-on at practically all times. And while it looks like Samuel’s doing fine on his own here, mom is either reassuring or about to give a helping hand to Seraphina, who seems a bit unsure about the balance beam she’s approaching.
Whatever happens, though, mom’s there to encourage and catch her—the ultimate mom-daughter dynamics.
13 Toddler Toting Is Tops
We admire Jennifer’s ability to carry her toddler practically everywhere, and there is no shortage of snapshots of her carting around any of her kids. But what’s most lovable about Jennifer’s carrying her kids around is the way she clearly talks to them when she’s doing it. You can tell her mouth is open in this pic, and while it may not be the most flattering snapshot of her as a mama, it shows you that she’s not just carrying Samuel somewhere to get him there fast—she’s speaking to him and bonding with him while she’s doing it. Super sweet!
12 Breakfast For Three
While Jennifer and Ben have three children together, you might think that means they spent all their time as a family of five, well, together. But as this photo shows, Jen and Ben took care to spend time with each of their kids alone. Here, they were out to breakfast with a toddler Samuel, without his two big sisters in sight. Maybe they were at school or somewhere else, but the point is that Jennifer and Ben recognize it’s important to do special stuff with each of their kiddos.
It might just be breakfast, but we bet Samuel felt super special that morning!
11 Swinging With Someone Special
Every mom looking at this photo knows it’s hard work swinging your kid around like this—but for some reason, they all absolutely love it! So instead of being your standard celebrity mom who wears five-inch heels and makes the nanny play with the kids while they’re in public (or anywhere, really), Jennifer doesn’t hesitate to swing Samuel around by his arms when he asks. And while we acknowledge she is wearing a bit of a grimace, who wouldn’t be—kids are dang heavy, and our arms are tired just looking at this pic.
Part of being affectionate with our kiddos is engaging in horseplay—and Jen models that perfectly.
10 The Perks Of Piggybacking
If you thought that Samuel, as the youngest, was the only Garner-Affleck kiddo who gets toted around by mom, you’d be wrong!
In this shot of the family at a parade together, Jennifer is carrying her middle kiddo, Seraphina, who clearly has long enough legs to be walking by herself! But when your child says they’re tired—or just wants to be close to you—good mamas always acquiesce! And Jen’s not the type of mom to care more about her hair or her outfit than her child—just look at her sensible slip-on shoes and comfy top—she’s the poster mama for hands-on fun.
9 Sneaking A Smooch
Although many celebrity moms pose with their kids for selfies and snaps of them giving out smooches, Jennifer Garner isn’t that mom. Instead, she carries her kids while they’re out places and plants sweet kisses on their cheeks while she does it. And she’s clearly not expecting someone to snap a photograph at that exact moment, either. Nope, she’s just living her life and loving on her kids the best way she can—by keeping them close and giving out kisses whenever she feels like it.
Besides, it’s not PDA when it’s your child’s adorably squishy cheeks you’re smooching on.
8 A Plushy Present For Mom
You don’t really need the caption with this image to see that it’s a great example of Jennifer’s being affectionate with her kids. But really, the background of this picture is even better than the snap itself, which involves Jennifer giving her daughter Seraphina a kiss—something most girls at that age tend to recoil from in the first place! But Jennifer gave her girl a kiss on the cheek as a thank you for the plush bunny she’s holding—apparently it was a hand-made gift straight from Seraphina’s heart.
Here again, we’re ready for a collective “Awwww!” over the absolute adorableness of it all.
7 Hanging Onto Samuel
According to the source of this snap, Jennifer was preparing to drop Samuel off at his martial arts class, and the two were horsing around a bit beforehand. At this point, you can tell Samuel’s almost grown too big for Jennifer to hold him at all, but that doesn’t stop her from “hanging around” together, and her laughing with him.
And based off of the timeline given for this shot, Jennifer was experiencing some tough stuff in her marriage, which makes it all the more heartwarming that she was so hands-on with Samuel, despite feeling a bit down herself.
6 All Ceremonial Smiles
At this event, Jennifer Garner was being honored during the Walk of Fame ceremony, which is why everyone in the family was gussied up for the occasion. But although she was probably under a fair bit of stress—and feeling like she had to make it all look good for the cameras—Jen still had a genuine smile for her kiddos when Violet and Samuel leaned forward to talk to her.
It’s basically every child’s wish to have their mom—and dad—look at them eagerly when they have something to share, and from this photo, it’s evident this is something Jen does often.
5 Kisses For The Kiddos
We’re not sure whether Jen’s the type of mom who still kisses her kids in public just to embarrass them, and it’s hard to tell how Seraphina really feels about her mom kissing her given the timing of the shot. But even during a big ceremony in her honor, Jennifer is concentrating on her kids, and showing them they are the most important thing to her. And while Seraphina looks a little uncomfortable here, it might be that Jen was picking up on her not feeling too great and delivered a kiss to help boost her spirits.
Whatever the case, we know this wasn’t a staged photo op—this was in between takes with the family and other people posing.
4 Big Hugs For A Big Boy
If we’re being honest here, Samuel—at age six—is probably a bit big to be carried around by his mom. But that doesn’t stop Jen from scooping up her big guy while they’re waiting around for photos and the ceremonial stuff to happen. Then again, it’s obvious that Jen works out, especially for her film roles, so we probably don’t have to worry about just how big Samuel is.
However big he gets, he’ll likely never be too big of a guy for Jennifer to be able to scoop him up—and it doesn’t look like she’s giving it up anytime soon!
3 Parade Float Partners
In this photo, Jen hopped on a Fourth of July float with her kids to join a themed parade—and without Ben, too. And although she may have been holding onto Samuel for safety, we’d hazard a guess that’s not exactly what’s happening here. Plus, Jennifer has said that cuddling with her kids is one of her favorite things about being a mom, and that hasn’t changed just because they’ve gotten older.
In a time when most kids start to want their independence, Jen’s are still firmly—and healthily—attached to their mama. That gets a big thumbs up from us!
2 Super Cozy Spectating
I’ll be honest: on the Fourth of July, mid-summer, if my kids want a cuddle, I’m a bit reluctant. In warm weather, most of us tend to avoid having sweaty kids hanging on us. But Jennifer Garner? She’s totally down for cuddles from any of her kids at any time, and she’s also been photographed with her bigger kids sitting on her lap.
That’s a far cry from other celebrities who don’t seem to want to mess up their outfits or smudge their makeup when in the presence of their kiddos… or us regular moms who just don’t want our little peoples’ sweat all over us.
1 Totally Committed... To Campouts?
Jennifer Garner has made headlines before for her commitment to saying “yes” to her kids all day at least one day per year. It’s a novel idea for most parents, because it can be tough to let go of all the control as a parent. But Jen has said that having a fun-filled “yes” day with her kids has become one of the most rewarding experiences as a parent—and it’s even inspired a movie. Of course, it’s not all sunshine and roses with this tradition—as evidenced by Jen’s post-camping-in-the-backyard selfie.
Clearly, it’s hard work being this committed to “yes”—but Jen is all over it.