Jamie Lynn Spears on Teen Motherhood: 'I'm Not Trying to Glamorize It'
Like many young girls in love, Jamie Lynn Spears made some decisions that may not have been the best for her back in 2007, but with that said, she feels that where she is today is where she's meant to be.
Jamie, famously recognized as the younger sister of Britney Spears, became pregnant at the age of 16 by her then-boyfriend, Casey Aldridge. And although it wasn't planned, she decided to keep the baby and face the challenge of becoming a teen mom.
"Casey was my first love. Since the day I saw him, I just wanted to marry him and be with him forever and ever," Jamie tells the new issue of Glamour. "I believe in safety and birth control as prevention. But like many young girls... I was really scared to go to the doctor. And I was on a Nickelodeon show [Zoey 101], and it [felt] especially embarrassing to ask someone to put me on birth control."
But Jamie knew that her choices led to where she was at that moment and that she needed to let her fans know she was expecting a child.
"I had to make a decision that I could sleep with every night," Jamie says of deciding to keep the baby. "I did feel responsible for the young girls and the mothers who I probably confused and let down. I apologize for that. But I wasn't trying to glamorize teen pregnancy. Everybody is dealt a hand of cards. It was my choice to play them the way I played them," she adds. "But the hateful comments hurt. To have the world come down on a situation that was already affecting my family hugely was hard. But this was my situation, and I did the best I could."
Jamie got engaged to Casey and gave birth to their daughter, Maddie, in June 2008. Although they never made it down the aisle, they are both committed to their daughter, and Jamie, now 20, is comfortable in her role as a single mom.
"I've been on dates here and there, going to dinner or a movie, but nothing further than that," Jamie says. "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."
As for how she feels about shows like 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom, Jamie says it's nice to have something she can relate to. "It takes bravery to be a young mom," she admits, "and it does take bravery to let the world watch."