Just after Zoey 101 wrapped in 2007, Spears announced how she and high school sweetheart, Casey Aldridge, were expecting a baby.
Many fans were convinced the show ended due her pregnancy and soon become frustrated. The press was merciless and in an attempt to stay sane, Spears purchased a house in the “middle of nowhere.”
“Everywhere I went in Mississippi for that whole nine months, there was always paparazzi on me,” she revealed.
But the press didn’t hold a candle to Jamie facing the people in her life that meant the most to her.
“You have your first love, or what you call love in high school. You think it’s forever, and then, oh my gosh, I’m pregnant. I am mortified to have to tell my parents this and my family this. I do not care what TMZ thinks about it,” she shared in the same interview with Nylon.
“That was all I was thinking about: ‘These are the people I love that I have to tell, and also, I’m pregnant. There’s a human being growing inside of me, and I’m so young, I’m almost a baby myself.'”
Spears did want to provide “some sense of normalcy” for her daughter, Maddie, who is now 12. She knew that meant laying low to wait out the press as along with having to grow up fast. As she told TODAY in an interview earlier this year, “That baby doesn’t care what age you are. I needed to step up.”
And in 2010, Spears and Aldridge split — the same year she met her husband, Jamie Watson, who she then married in 2014. In April of 2018, the two welcomed daughter, Ivey. Seeing Maddie with Ivey for the very first time, she revealed how it was transformative. “I have never felt more complete in my life,” she revealed.
And it was that same sense of completion that allowed Spears to focus on her career again. As revealed on Twitter, her re-release of the Zoey-101 theme song “Follow Me” will drop later this week and she is currently working on a reboot of the sitcom as well as the Netflix romantic dramatic series, Sweet Magnolias.
“This is what I love to do. This is how I work. I can’t not do that,” she said of her career. “It’s not good for me and it’s not good for my children to see me deny myself of something I love to do… I don’t want to feel like I have to hold myself back in any way because I can be a mother, I can be a wife, I can be a daughter, I can be a sister, and I can be an artist. “
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.