The actress tells about balancing her career with dirty diapers and cooking dinner

By Brenda Rodriguez
Updated December 09, 2009 02:20 PM
Credit: Photographed for W by Craig McDean

Setting aside the fact that she’s one of Hollywood’s most adored actresses, Jennifer Garner is like most working moms trying to juggle a houseful of dirty diapers and putting a hot meal on the table.

In the January issue of W magazine, Garner spells out her hectic schedule. And it goes something like this: “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.”

She adds: “I live my life at these two extremes. I’m either a full-time stay-at-home mom or a full-time actress.”

Garner, 37, loves making her own baby food, taking older daughter Violet, 4, to school and bonding with the other mommies, but there is one aspect of motherhood that was hard to swallow: being photographed seven-months pregnant in a doggy suit. (Daughter Seraphina is nearly 1.)

Last year Garner let Violet talk her into wearing mother-daughter costumes for Halloween – Fred and Ted, the dogs from a children’s book series by the same name. “I just was so fat and huge and ugly and in a furry dog costume. And of course there were tons of paparazzi outside and I couldn’t escape them!” she said with a laugh. “So I feel like that bought me a pass this year. I’ll take pictures.”

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Garner is now taking a brief fall break from showbiz to focus on family. “I have this internal battle between, 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,” she said.

And, sorry folks, don’t expect to see her working with hubby Ben Affleck – who recently directed his second film – when she returns to the big screen.

“I think he’s brilliant at what he does, but why rock the boat?” she said. “It works between us pretty well the way it is. I don’t know if I want to go to work with him. I’d be like, ‘Okay already, you got the shot. Let’s go home!’ ”