[Jennifer Garner] knows what’s important when it comes to the girlfriends in her life.
“Sense of humor,” she tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story. “And a lack of guilt. I do not believe friendship should or can come with guilt. Like a friend who says, ‘You haven’t called me,’ or ‘I saw you out with someone else.’ That is not part of the deal. That breaks the girlfriend code.”
[Garner] especially appreciates her friendships with other mothers.
“Oh my gosh, I was the world’s most anxious first time mom that ever lived, and I really did it in a vacuum,” she explains. “I didn’t have girlfriends around who were having babies at the same time. I wasn’t part of a moms’ group with my first. I was so isolated that I really missed out on everything.”
Garner has a wealth of support from her tribe. “From girlfriends modeling for me or seeing something and thinking, ‘Oh, I’m going to cherry pick that from you’ and ‘I love the way you handled that’ and ‘I want that sentence in my brain’ and ‘I need to write that down,’” she says. “Because that’s what it is when you are parenting in a community. I mean the moms at my kids’ school are the moms that I look up to and try to emulate.”
“There is nothing more important, other than your kids — no man, no relationship, no anything — than your girlfriends,” Garner says. “You find your tribe, you take care of them, you treat them with the love and respect they deserve, insist on the same back for yourself.”
“If something goes wrong, if you can let it go, let it go. If they’re not serving you, let that friendship go,” she adds. “See if you grow together, [or] if you grow apart, but your girlfriends are the key to life.”
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