Parenthood is one of the most rewarding things a person can experience in their life, but it doesn’t come without its challenges. Jennifer Garner can certainly attest to that, as she has three young children of her own. And when the Hollywood actress received a note from her daughter, moms across the internet showed their support.
Born in Houston, Texas, in April 1972, Garner grew up in Charleston, West Virginia, alongside her two siblings Susannah and Melissa. The aspiring actress later enrolled at Ohio’s Denison University, earning a theater degree in 1996. And the year before her graduation, she made her on-screen debut in the TV movie Zoya.
Following some theater work in New York, Garner then relocated to Los Angeles, California. From there, she appeared in a number of TV series such as Law & Order, Spin City and Felicity. The actress finally made her big break on the small-screen in 2001, when she was given the main role in Alias.
Taking on the lead part of Sydney Bristow, Garner went on to star in more than 100 episodes of Alias over the course of five seasons. She was nominated for a number of Emmy awards during that time and in 2002 won a Golden Globe for her performances in the show.
Along the way, Garner also earned some significant movie roles during the early 2000s. She starred in films such as Catch Me If You Can, Daredevil, 13 Going on 30 and Elektra during a busy three-year period. Alias then came to an end in 2006, but Garner continued to find work the following year, featuring in The Kingdom and Juno.
With her career thriving, Garner’s personal life was also in a positive place, as she wed Ben Affleck in 2005. During their time together, the couple became parents to three children named Violet, Samuel and Seraphina. Everything changed some ten years later, however.
Garner and Affleck split up during the summer of 2015 following a decade of marriage, with their divorce finally going through in October 2018. Despite their separation, though, the pair apparently remained on civil terms and looked to arrange joint custody of their children. Thankfully for them, this request was granted.
“Ben and Jen have been dedicated to making sure their divorce doesn’t affect their kids,” a source told Entertainment Tonight in November 2018. “They want to keep the communication healthy, so that they can make decisions together in the best interest of their children.”
“It’s been wonderful for Jen that Ben has been so present and involved,” the source added. “She wants to do this right, and everyone is so incredibly proud of her for rising above the past and putting the kids first.” In the weeks following the divorce, however, Garner received a handwritten note from one of her daughters.
“When I grow up, I want to be a fun-killing mom, just like you!” read the message from Seraphina. After looking at the note, Garner then snapped a photo of it and took to Instagram, sharing the image with her followers. Alongside her daughter’s message, the actress also posed a couple of questions to users of the social media website.
“Is this a nine-year-old burn?” Garner wrote on Instagram in November 2018. “Or the ultimate compliment? #funkillingmom #illtakealovenotehoweveritcomes.” And the 46-year-old’s post clearly struck a nerve on Instagram, as the photo earned in excess of 350,000 likes and generated more than 8,000 comments.
In response to Garner’s questions, a number of users tried to reassure her, recalling their experiences with their own children. “You’re not doing your job until they tell you ‘I hate you’ at least once!” wrote marjhopkins10. Those feelings were reiterated by fellow user catarzon, who’d once received a similar message to the actress.
“When my son called me [a] fun killer, I asked my husband to make me a T-shirt!” catarzon wrote on Instagram. On that note, a user named lowenmac recalled her own personal battle with her daughter before revealing her hopes for the future.
“I feel your pain,” wrote lowenmac. “My daughter leaves notes on her door for me. She’s 11. I take photos of them and one day when she’s older we will hopefully have a good laugh. Her notes include how many grudges she has against me!”
Despite her “fun-killer” label, though, Garner has been very open about the close relationship she shares with her children. Indeed, just recently the actress revealed one of the heartwarming routines she’s developed before putting Violet, Seraphina and Samuel to bed each night.
“I sang to my son last night,” Garner told People magazine in November 2018. “I sing putting [the children] to bed every night. I have sung ‘Rainbow Connection’ (a song from The Muppet Movie) probably 16 million times, but I definitely mix it up. That one is definitely a staple – if all else fails, ‘Rainbow Connection.’”
And Garner continued to talk about the bond she shares with Samuel, the youngest of her three children. “My son is the last one little enough to still be sung to,” the 46-year-old said. “Although I will whip it out for the others if I feel like they can use a little soothing.”
“We’ve read, the lights are out, [Samuel’s] folded up on me, there’s a favorite blanket, he’s on my lap and I rock him and sing ‘Rainbow Connection,’” Garner added. “It’s so soothing. There’s no better feeling than a little kid in your lap while you rock him and sing to him.”
Outside of her divorce from Affleck, Garner’s life in 2018 has certainly been interesting, as she’s faced down some other personal issues. The biggest one came back in the summer, when she helped her ex-husband through his drinking relapse. Indeed, after the actress organized an intervention, she then took him to rehab for treatment.
As for her career, Garner enjoyed a comeback of sorts throughout 2018, starring in some notable projects. Following her work in the romantic drama Love, Simon, she subsequently took on the lead role in Peppermint, which saw her return to the action genre. Since then, the 46-year-old has also headlined the HBO comedy series Camping, with the first season coming to an end in December.