Many people have been stretched to their limits during the pandemic, and Jennifer Garner has certainly had her share of ups and downs. But she tells People that she also learned just how strong she is. 

The 48-year-old shares Violet, 15, Seraphina, 12, and Sam, 9, with ex-husband Ben Affleck, 48, and it took some time to figure out the new normal. 

That meant "putting a lot of gusto in when I can and creating adventures when there are none," she tells People in this week's cover story. "Like we started shooting silly videos, which they got tired of before I did because I love the end result and having them forever. They started saying, 'Yeah, Mom. No.' "

The family also came up with different-themed restaurant nights. "First I was the American hostess and then I was the French waiter," Garner recalls. "And I kept changing clothes like Mrs. Doubtfire. We did a beach shack and a deli in New York. We did one roller-rink restaurant where the kids were in the car and I bought the little trays that hooked onto the windows and made burgers. You just want to have a night of fun every now and then."


She also found out she’s “pretty sturdy. I'm okay when I'm in the house by myself. I'm okay when it's just the kids and me. I'm okay when they fall apart. I mean I have my moments, but pretty much, I'm really okay."

Garner works with Save the Children and runs a cold-pressed organic foods company, Once Upon a Farm, so multi-tasking has been how she makes it work. 

“Like today, I saw an email from Once Upon a Farm's sales director… I emailed her back, 'Can we talk on the phone later? Because I need you to explain what this means,' " she says. "To me, it feels good to be learning something new. I learned this with Save the Children. Even if you feel stupid, and you're asking the same questions over and over. It feels good to be challenging myself."

While Garner won’t say never to marrying again, she says: "I don't know. I'm so far from it. And I don't know that marriage would need to be a part… I mean I definitely don't think that I'll be single forever. But this is not the time. I don't need to complicate it; I'm good."