Why Jennifer Garner has a 'Yes Day' with her kids once a year

Sometimes, it's nice to say "no" to the routine.

Why Jennifer Garner has a 'Yes Day' with her kids once a year

As parents, there's one little word that we say so many times every day.

"No, you can't have ice cream before dinner."

"No, we can't go for a bike ride right now."

"No, Mama doesn't have time to play."

There are so many reasons why we have to say "no" to our children. Sometimes, what they want is dangerous, but other times, it just doesn't fit into our tight schedules. We have work and carpools and laundry to do and meals to prep and sometimes, there's just not a lot of room for spontaneity and yeses.

But what if we had one day a year—just one—where we got to say "no" to our routine and "yes" to everything our kids wanted?

This is a thing. It's called a "Yes Day" and it's become an annual tradition in Jennifer Garner's house.

This week Garner and her three kids, 6-year-old Samuel, 9-year-old Seraphina and 12-year-old Violet celebrated their sixth annual "Yes Day", and judging by Garner's Instagram posts, it pushed her to her limits (in a good way).

The concept is based on the book Yes Day! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, and it is, in Garner's experience, as exhausting as one would expect.

"You'll never need coffee more than the day after 'Yes Day!'" Garner captioned an Instagram pic of last year's "Yes Day". This year, she shared an end-of-day pic to her Instagram Stories, declaring that the day (while obviously tiring) hadn't beaten her.

Jennifer Garner

"Yes Day" is all about breaking the routine, but there is still one rule that applies. The consequences of "Yes Day" must be confined to that day, so if you're child wants to say, book an expensive vacation or buy a pony, those would be off-limits requests. However, if your kiddo wanted to visit a local theme park or visit an equestrian ranch, get ready to ride, Mama.

Adopting the tradition of Yes Day can also help alleviate some of the negativity parents (and kids) might feel on days when it seems like all mama says is "no". When you've got a Yes Day planned and your child asks if he can dye his hair blue on some random Tuesday, parents get to soften their no with, "but remember that for Yes Day."

Jennifer Garner is such a fan of the concept that she's signed on to produce and star in a movie called Yes Day, and we can't wait to see what her art imitating her life on the big screen, where it will no doubt inspire more parents to remove the word "no" from their own vocabulary for 24 hours.

It's an amazing tradition that deserves to get more traction, because in a world where we so often have to say no (sometimes for our kids' own good) it's so nice to have one day where we get to say yes to making memories and no to routine responsibilities.

You might also like:

In This Article

Sunday Citizen

I live in the Northeast and when I woke up this morning, my house was freezing. It had been in the mid 40's overnight and we haven't turned the heat on yet. Suddenly, my normal duvet felt too thin. The socks on my bare feet too non-existent. Winter is coming, and I'd been drinking rosés still pretending it was summer.

I couldn't put it off any longer. It was time to do my annual tradition of winterizing my home—and I don't mean making sure my pipes and walls have enough insulation (though obviously that's important too). I mean the act of evaluating every room and wondering if it has enough hygge to it.

If you've never heard of hygge, it's a Danish word that means a quality of coziness or contentment. And what better time to make sure you have moments of hygge all throughout your house than right now? As far as I'm concerned it's the only way to get through these dark winter months (even more so during a pandemic.)

So I went room by room (yes, even my 4-year-old's room) and swapped in, layered or added in these 13 products to get us ready for winter:

Keep reading Show less

Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Happiest Baby: Baby sleep solutions designed by the experts

Created by renowned pediatrician, baby sleep expert and (as some might say) lifesaver Dr. Harvey Karp, Happiest Baby has been helping new parents understand and nurture their infants for close to two decades. Building on the success of his celebrated books and video The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Happiest Toddler on the Block he's developed groundbreaking, science-based product solutions that conquer a new parent's top stressor—exhaustion.

WSEL Bags: Dad-designed diaper bags that think of everything

WSEL stands for work smart, enjoy life—an ethos we couldn't agree with more. Founded by a stay at home dad who struggled to find a diaper bag that he not only wanted to use, but one that would last far beyond the baby years, these premium, adventure-ready backpacks are ideal for everything from errands to week-long getaways.

Codex Beauty: Exceptionally effective sustainable skin care

Codex Beauty's line of sustainable plant-based skin care blends the science of plant biology with biotech innovations, to create clinically proven, state-of-the-art products for all skin types. They're all vegan, EWG and Leaping Bunny verified and created in collaboration with Herbal Scientist Tracy Ryan who uses concepts dating back to the 8th century leveraging plants like sea buckthorn and calendula flower. Not only are we totally crushing on the innovative formulas that are in the packaging but we're in love with the sustainable sugarcane-derived tubes as well.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

Keep reading Show less

Mama, all I see is you

A love letter from your baby.


I can't see past you right now, I'm so small and everything's a little blurry.

All I see is you.

When you feel alone, like the walls are closing in, remember I'm here too. I know your world has changed and the days feel a little lonely. But they aren't lonely for me.

You are my everything.

When you feel like you don't know what you're doing, you're making it look easy to me. Even though we're still getting to know each other, you know me better than anyone.

I trust you.

Keep reading Show less