Jennifer Garner Isn't Wrong To Call The Baby Years 'Boring' – They Can Be

"I’ve been just like, pregnant, nursing, pregnant, nursing, pregnant, nursing."

Jennifer Garner has found herself in hot water for speaking openly about the “boredom” of the baby years.

The A-list actress, 47, has three children with her ex-husband, Ben Affleck; Violet, 13, Seraphina, ten, and Samuel, seven.

When asked about the realities of parenting in a video interview with In Style magazine, she took her mind back: “2012? Didn’t I have a kid? Okay, I was super pregnant again. Oh, it’s so boring! I’ve been just like, pregnant, nursing, pregnant, nursing, pregnant, nursing. Not anymore!”

Garner shared the video on Instagram. But one fan hit back, pointing out that in their opinion, being pregnant and nursing “isn’t boring”.

“It’s beautiful!” the commenter wrote. “It’s brilliant and amazing to be able to do that ... nothing short of every day miracles!”


Garner defended her original comments, writing: “Oh no – taken out of context. I can see how this sounds disparaging – I loved being pregnant and I loved nursing – I was making fun of myself as I looked through my past @instylemagazine covers – I was either pregnant or nursing in all but one of them.”

And dozens of people gave her their support. One mum said: “I was bored. Loved the time with my babies but was super bored.” Another shared: “It is brilliant. And amazing. And beautiful. And a miracle. And SUPER BORING.”

One mum said how difficult breastfeeding, in particular, can be. “Nursing isn’t a great experience for everyone,” she wrote. “It wasn’t for me or for my baby. It landed her back in the hospital a week after she was born and scared me half to death as well.” And she isn’t alone. “I hated being pregnant and I only loved nursing once I got through the really tough beginning,” another mum added. “Sure, pregnancy is a miracle, but that doesn’t make it enjoyable.”

I’ve been pregnant – twice – and that’s how I know Garner is right. It CAN be boring. Achingly so.

I found it incredibly difficult to reconcile my life ‘before’ having a baby – one of working in busy newsrooms, having an active social life, being able to go to the cinema or theatre or on dates or for dinner with friends whenever I liked – to life ‘after’, when I was unable to leave the house for more than two hours at a time. I was breastfeeding and neither of my children would drink from a bottle.

I found the sheer mundanity of the bedtime routine frustrating and tough, and it often reduced me to tears. When your friends are all out at someone’s birthday party or wedding reception, and you’re stuck upstairs willing the baby to sleep – which they won’t, because it’s an unfamiliar place and they’re out of routine – it can feel lonely and isolating.

Not to mention spending all day, every day, with a tiny infant for company – and scant adult conversation – on less than five hours of broken sleep a night. All of which can wreak havoc with your mental health and your confidence.

That’s not to say being pregnant and being able to nurse a baby isn’t a very real dose of good fortune, and we should rightly acknowledge this. Fertility issues can be heartbreaking and affects thousands of British women, who are often placed on long waiting lists for IVF on the NHS.

Some have to wait as long as two years between their first GP appointment and treatment, and others face a postcode lottery dictating whether or not they’re likely to receive help conceiving, according to research by Fertility Fairness.

When the odds are stacked against women, particularly once they’re over the age of 35, getting pregnant can feel nothing short of a ‘miracle’. But we should be careful not to gag those who do find parts of it tough, or dull, or suffocating.

Giving women space to express what it’s really like can be a lifeline - both to ward off loneliness, and the symptoms of post-natal depression.

And that’s why I’m praising Jennifer Garner for telling it like it is – I’m convinced that if we stopped sugarcoating the truth about parenting, we’d all feel much less alone.