Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christensen shocked the world when they quietly split in September 2017 after a decade together.
The couple were never married but brought a daughter, Briar Rose, into the world in 2014. For her part, Rachel has never formally addressed the split — until now — when she opened up in a recent People interview about her life as a single mom and new co-parent.
“Being a mom is No. 1 for me and it always will be,” she told the publication, “Anything I choose to do for work has to be something I really want.”
As for co-parenting with her now-ex Hayden, she called it a “work in progress” and “a tricky one.”
“I don’t know that there is any right way, necessarily,” she told the mag, but she revealed the way they explain it to Briar. “We say Mommy has a house and Daddy has a house but she’s pretty young to have an in-depth conversation.”
For now, Rachel's only concern is being a good mom.
“Most important for me is that Briar is okay and secure and stable,” Rachel told the magazine. “No matter what I’m dealing with or how much it hurts or how much anger there is, it’s just about her.”
Rachel added that her daughter is doing “okay,” because there’s nothing but love in their co-parenting setup. “Briar needs to feel loved from the people she loves the most. She has that love that is unconditional so I think we’re doing okay.”
Though Rachel and Hayden are no longer romantically involved, there’s no bad blood between the two parents.
“She’s strong-willed and pretty funny like me,” Rachel told People. “And she’s super athletic like her dad!”
Rachel and Briar currently live in Vancouver, British Columbia, where Rachel is shooting the new ABC drama Take Two with actor Eddie Cibrian. Because Rachel does not have a nanny, her mother has moved nearby to watch Briar when Rachel is at work.
Luckily, she has her mom for support.
Rachel’s own parents split when she was 9, so she’s leaning on her mother through this similar time.
“My mom was a great mom,” Rachel added. “My parents went through a divorce and she showed me nothing but love so I was totally secure and okay when she did.”
Though she didn’t set out to become a single mom, Rachel is making the best of it.
“I’m doing everything right now. I’m working and I have my girl and I have this cool house with the bunk beds that she really wants. I don’t really know what’s next, but I’m enjoying the moment.”
Though Briar is only 3 years old, one of her favorite activities is getting glam.
“My daughter loves watching me get ready and do my makeup,” Rachel told People in a 2017 interview. “She always wants to put ‘lipstick’ on, which is always my ChapStick. She has her own [ChapStick] and she applies it very liberally. It’s so cute, and I love that it’s all natural so I don’t ever have to worry about her putting it all over her face.”
It seems as if Rachel is thriving as a single mom.
Rachel celebrated her first solo Mother’s Day this past May and wrote the sweetest tribute to her daughter on Instagram.
“Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there who’s [sic] alarm clocks are drop kicks to the face. I wouldn’t trade that wake up call for anything in the entire world, becoming a mother has been the greatest gift and now I know the actual meaning of true love.”
She continued that Mother’s Day post with: “Celebrating all moms today in every form. And the biggest thanks to my mom who has the biggest warmest heart, you have taught me so well. you’re my best friend and I love you.”
Though she hasn't said "no" to more children.
Back in August 2017, just one month before her breakup with Hayden was announced, Rachel told Lapalme magazine that she’d like to have another kid. At the time, she said the idea was still up in the air.
“I’m having so much fun with the one right now. I want to be happy and content. All the life BS that happens doesn’t matter. You want to be happy, you want your kid to be happy and you want everyone in your life to be healthy and happy,” Rachel told Lapalme.
Though her daughter is just barely moving out of the toddler stage, Rachel told People last year that she can’t wait to give her daughter her hand-me-downs.
“I think there a lot of things in my closet I’m saving for my girl,” Rachel said at the time. “She will definitely get her fair share of fine handbags, but more importantly, sweaters and hats my grandmother knit.”
Like a lot of celebrity parents, Rachel goes to great lengths to hide her daughter’s face on social media. Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, Katie Holmes, and Adele are just a few celebrity parents who also keep their kids out of the public eye.
Though Rachel is making every effort to make her daughter’s life as private as possible, little Briar has no idea how public her mom’s life really is.
“Briar’s seen me on TV,” Rachel admitted to Extra in June, “but I don’t think she knows what it means. I think she also thinks I could be a cartoon, she doesn’t really understand the concept.”