Jamie Lynn Spears went from Nickelodeon star to teen mom in 2007 and has finally opened up about the experience.
"I was 16. I'd had one boyfriend. It doesn't make it perfect or all right," Spears told Glamour magazine for their March 2012 issue. "But I was judged for something that probably most everyone does. I was young. I was in love. I was like every other teenager, except I had this last name."
Jamie Lynn, 20, announced her pregnancy in 2007, when she starred on the Nickelodeon comedy, "Zoey 101." The show ended several months later and Spears gave birth to her now 3-year-old daughter Maddie Briann Aldridge in 2008. Jamie Lynn was engaged to Maddie's father Casey Aldridge at the time. Though the couple reportedly split up in February 2010, they have since appeared in several Twitter photos together.
"Casey was my first love. Since the day I saw him, I just wanted to marry him and be with him forever and ever. I believe in safety and birth control as prevention," Spears said. "But like many young girls... I was really scared to go to the doctor. And I was on a Nickelodeon show, and it [felt] especially embarrassing to ask someone to put me on birth control."
Jamie Lynn broke the news in an OK! magazine article and dealt with the onslaught of criticism. She told Glamour that she wanted the news to be in her words and was hurt when tabloids accused her of glamorizing teen pregnancy.
"Obviously seeing [sister Britney Spears' negative tabloid coverage], I knew how far it could go," Spears continued. "I've never wanted to be put under that kind of scrutiny. I just wanted to get away from it as much as I could, to just go away and be a mom and figure out what I wanted, and to earn a sense of respect back for myself. Move to a town in the middle of nowhere and just raise my child. All I could be was a good mother. If anybody had anything to say after that, there was nothing I could do."
Spears said that she tried to make it work with her daughter's father Casey but these days, Maddie sees her father one weekend a month and she's very protective of her daughter.
"I was very OCD about Maddie at first. I didn't want anybody to watch her or touch her. I wanted to do it all myself. I breast-fed for almost a year; I couldn't leave her at all," Spears said. "It's sad because my and Casey's love had to turn into an adult relationship so quickly. There's a slim chance of two young people making it through high school and all that drama, but making it as parents? We tried. We really wanted to do it right. We loved each other. I will love him as Maddie's father until the day I die."
Meanwhile, Maddie loves her cousins, Britney Spears' sons Preston and JJ. Jamie Lynn said of the kids, "They're very close. They're like brothers and sister. They're so stinking cute."
While Spears and Aldridge didn't work out, the actress and singer is still hopeful that she will meet the right man one day.
"I've been on dates here and there, going to dinner or a movie, but nothing further than that. I'm a mother first. I have a little girl, and until I'm serious about someone, he's not going to be around her," Spears said. "I just want to be a soccer mom. I want to cook dinner every night. I want the kids to come home and be dirty and make the house messy. At the same time, I have to be patient and wait for the right time and the right guy. I would have never known that until I went through what I went through. I'm just patiently waiting for Prince Charming."
Spears is currently writing music in Nashville, Tennessee but told Glamour that her daughter is her biggest priority.
"These days, the only thing I'm afraid of is not being a good mom. As long as Maddie is healthy and she loves me, the rest doesn't matter," Spears said. "I was a kid who did a kid show. Then I went away and raised my child, and the world has never met me as an adult. This is the first time anybody is really meeting me as a grown woman and grown mother making a decision about what to do with my life."