Craig McDean / W 1 / 7
Craig McDean / W 1 / 7

By Michelle Lanz

Jennifer Garner is a professional juggler, but not in the literal sense.

This busy full-time mom and actress manages to maintain a successful Hollywood career while keeping husband Ben Affleck and daughters Violet, 4, and Seraphina, 11 months, happy and healthy.

In the January issue of W magazine, on newsstands Dec. 22, the West Virginia native talks about motherhood, marriage and whether or not she and the hubby would ever work together again.

On what her daily routine includes:

"Getting the kids up and fed, getting one to school, getting the other down for a nap, going to the grocery store, picking one up from school, getting the other one down for another nap, cooking dinner. I live my life at these two extremes. I'm either a full-time stay-at-home mom or a full-time actress."

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On her whirlwind relationship with Ben Affleck:

"We were together a year, and we just started breeding. We were like, 'Let's have a baby!' And eight days later…"

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On not working with Ben Affleck:

"I think he's brilliant at what he does, but why rock the boat? It works between us pretty well the way it is. I don't know if I want to go to work with him. I'd be like, 'Okay already, you got the shot. Let's go home!'"

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On trying not to talk about Ben during interviews:

"Ben asks me, 'How come when I do an interview I manage to keep you out of it completely?' And I'm like, 'Either because you don't think about me or because boy magazines don't care about what I make you for dinner. But they should!'"

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On the experience of breastfeeding:

"[Breastfeeding is] the coziest feeling in the whole world. You feel so close to them so quickly because you're going through the same thing."

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On what she misses most when shes away from home:

"I miss my girlfriends! That's the hardest thing about being on location when it's not for your own project. When it's for you, you're on set with everybody you know, but if not, it's lonely. I can live with Ben working crazy hours. But I can't live without girlfriends around to talk about men with!. It's fine if he's not there; I just need someone to bitch about it to!"

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On not planning on becoming an actress:

"I mean, I didn't ever watch "Gilligan's Island" and think, Those people are actors. I lived in West Virginia. Hollywood just felt like this total other universe."

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On her lifelong dream of becoming a doctor:

"When my daughter has a fever, I want to be able to look in her ears myself and not have to call someone," she says. "I want to be able to tell, Is that spot on her leg ringworm or a dry patch?"

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On the paparazzi situation in Boston:

"There are fewer of them, and they hide behind things, so my kids aren't aware of them, which makes all the difference in the world. [In LA] if I try to go to the supermarket, the police come. We talked forever about leaving Los Angeles, but anywhere you go some dodo is going to buy a camera and start following you."

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On taking a break from acting:

"It's hard because I've taken so much time off already," she admits. "But I have this internal battle between, I need to work, I need to work, I need to work and I need to be home with my kids. And the kids win."