On top of being an actress, producer, and comedian, Anna Faris is also a mom who wants to make sure that she's spending quality bonding time with her 6-year-old son Jack, who she shares with ex-husband Chris Pratt. One of the best ways she's found she can do that is through cooking dinner together—a strategy she's encouraging families all over the country to try by working alongside Uncle Ben's on their Homework Pass Challenge. The celeb mom recently surprised a group of third graders by giving them a pass on homework for a week in lieu of cooking (and learning!) with their families.
"It was such a great day—to see the look on their faces, I felt like a hero! I knew that they would be excited, but they were just thrilled," Faris told Parents.com. "Little did they know that they'll be learning and bonding with their families."
Singing the praises of prioritizing family time, especially in the kitchen, came naturally to Faris who grew up cooking with her mom. "I think that it's just so hard to carve out meaningful time with the schedules that everybody has," Faris shares. "[Cooking] is an easy way to connect with your kid, and they may not even realize that you're having meaningful conversation while chopping or sautéeing or whatever. It's one of the few regular opportunities to spend time together as a family, and I cherish those memories that I had with my mom."
Beyond cooking together, Faris' family also made a point to sit down to eat dinner together nightly, which of course wasn't something the entertainer necessarily loved as she got older. "My parents always made it a priority to eat together, and I know that after a certain age, my brother and I grumbled about it," she shares. "Instead of talking to our friends on the phone, we were called to family dinner. But my brother and I look back on those nights as being so important to us."
Now that she's a mom, Faris knows well that life as a working parent makes for different struggles at home. "It's challenging, and you know, Chris and I are fortunate," she shares. "I didn't grow up with a nanny. My mom was, for the most part, a stay-at-home mom. I feel fortunate about that." At the same time, she goes on to say that, like many working moms, she does find herself feeling "guilty."
But a daily routine like cooking and eating dinner with Jack is one way she feels she's able to strike even a bit more work-life balance. "Especially with two working parents, it is just so difficult to be hands-on with your kid when there are so many things pulling at you," she says. "But that is truly why this program—the Homework Pass Challenge—meant something to me, because it is time I cherish with Jack, and it does feel like one of the few things we can do to connect."
Props to Faris for being so candid about her working mom life struggles. To call her perspective and effort to bolster families' bonding time inspiring is truly an understatement.