Jennifer Garner Says Mom Pat 'Doesn't Believe in Guilt' as a Parent After Her Own 'Complicated Upbringing'

The actress explained why her mother "doesn't believe in guilt" on the podcast 'Kelly Corrigan Wonders: About Your Mother'

<p>Steve Granitz/WireImage</p> Jennifer Garner and mom Pat in Hollywood, California, on Aug. 20, 2018

Steve Granitz/WireImage

Jennifer Garner and mom Pat in Hollywood, California, on Aug. 20, 2018

Jennifer Garner is sharing one of the "foundational core things" about her mom that she admires.

During a chat alongside Christy Turlington on a new episode of the Kelly Corrigan Wonders: About Your Mother podcast in support of Every Mother Counts, Garner recalled how her mother Pat "just wanted" her and her siblings "to play" growing up and didn't employ guilt with them.

"My mom doesn't believe in guilt. It's one of her foundational core things. She doesn't believe that guilt is helpful. And so that's not part of what she does," said Garner, 52, during the episode.

Asked whether Pat, 85, experienced guilt in a way that impacted how she handled it as a parent herself, the actress said her mother "had a complicated upbringing with regards to religion."

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<p>Jennifer Garner/Instagram</p> Jennifer Garner and mom Pat

Jennifer Garner/Instagram

Jennifer Garner and mom Pat

Related: Christy Turlington and Kelly Corrigan Give Birth to Podcast Celebrating Moms — and Jennifer Garner Is the First Guest!

"Part of her family had one belief ... and part of her family did not," Garner explained. "So there was a tension between those two factions of the family, not in their hearts but in what their religious system would allow them to do with regards to each other."

"There was a lot of heartbreak there," she added.

The 13 Going on 30 actress described Pat, who turns 86 this month and was a homemaker in her kids' youth, as "definitely a woman of faith" who "has poked holes, questioned, pushed and pulled."

"She taught Bible study at our church growing up for years and years," Garner continued. "And the women in her Bible study really talk about how much she gave them, because it wasn't just all sunshine and roses. It was like, 'Let's really grapple with this.' "

<p>Jennifer Garner Instagram</p> Jennifer Garner with her mom, Pat, and sisters Melissa and Susannah

Jennifer Garner Instagram

Jennifer Garner with her mom, Pat, and sisters Melissa and Susannah

Related: Jennifer Garner Mourns Death of Dad William at 85: A 'Kind and Brilliant Man, Father and Grandfather'

Regardless of Pat's own beliefs, Garner said her mom is "not judgmental," and that three words to describe her would be "practical," "fun" and "Christian."

"If we ran into a man at JOANN Fabrics who was looking befuddled, the next thing you know he was at our house having a meal while she hemmed his pants," she said. "She's just someone who's always looking out and ... just checking out ways that she can be helpful."

Recalling her own childhood with her mom, Garner said while things like Sesame Street existed, Pat "still was cutting out paper dolls for us and making folding boats and getting a bucket of water. And we would use paper boats that we would just float around."

"So I definitely am another generation removed from what my mom gave us and certainly from what she had," said Garner, who is a mother of three herself.

Added the actress, "But I hope that my mothering has been so infused by Pat Garner that there's a germ of it in there."

Every Mother Counts works to help make pregnancy and childbirth safe for everyone, everywhere. To donate, go to Listen to the special five-part podcast series, created in partnership with Kelly Corrigan Wonders, wherever you get your podcasts.

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