Spears, Federline Families Rally Around Britney
03/07/2007 AT 02:00 PM EST
Her estranged husband, Kevin Federline, along with his mother and Spears's mom Lynne, have forged closer ties while they care for the couple's sons, Sean Preston, 18 months, and Jayden James, 6 months – and help Spears work on her sobriety.
"Everyone is making comments how sad it is that it took this to get everyone together," a source close to Federline tells PEOPLE. "There was a lot of distance between the families but it seems now they all have a common goal, which is to help Britney get better."
As for how the 25-year-old pop star is faring in rehab, on Feb. 28 and March 1, she emerged from Promises looking clear-eyed and happy. On those days, she was out only for a few hours, to attend meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous.
"Going out is fine," says Jim Stillwell, executive director of Impact, a rehab facility in Pasadena. "That is part of the fellowship and getting back into the community."
Others rooting for Spears's recovery include Brooke Shields, who told Access Hollywood last week, amid speculation that Spears may be suffering from postpartum depression, that she'd be available to talk to the singer anytime.
And music producer Timbaland, who has crafted hits for Spears's ex-boyfriend, Justin Timberlake, tells Entertainment Weekly that he'd like to work with Spears once she's better.
''I feel her pain, it really bothers me," says Timbaland, adding that his "best friend" Timberlake would be up for working with Spears as well. (Reps for Timberlake's label, Jive, could not be reached for comment.)
"I just want to hold her hand," Timbaland says. "I want her to be in my camp, to be around Justin."