J.R. Martinez: My Baby’s Given Me Balance

11/02/2012 at 04:00 PM ET

J.R. Martinez: My Baby's Given Me Balance
John M. Heller/Getty

He may have all the right moves of a talented dancer, but what J.R. Martinez has been lacking in his life has been the balance.

Fortunately, things have fallen into place since the birth of the Dancing with the Stars champ’s 6-month-old daughter, Lauryn Anabelle.

“Before it was work, work, work and now [being a father has] given me a little bit of balance,” Martinez, 29, tells PEOPLE.

What’s been most exciting for the new dad is the opportunity to watch Belle’s budding personality. “She’s … coming into her own now,” he says, “She’s a happy girl, she’s a happy baby. She’s really calm and real chill.”

Always willing to get up and go, Martinez’s global travel has never posed a problem — until now.

“It’s never been an issue for me to pick up my stuff and hit the road for two weeks at a time,” the new dad explains.

“[But now,] having to still work and get in the car and be away from her is the hardest.”

This weekend Martinez — whose memoir Full of Heart hit shelves Tuesday — was supposed to be pounding the pavement during the since-canceled New York City marathon, where he had planned to start in last place (Timex was to donate $1 to New York Road Runners’ Youth Programs for every runner he passes in the race).

Luckily for Martinez, girlfriend Diana Gonzalez-Jones keeps him connected while he’s away. “[She] sends pictures and videos [of Belle] all the time,” he shares.

And when Martinez is home with his little one? “I spend every second with her,” he says, adding that he is no stranger to diaper duty. “When I’m home I change her. That’s my job.”

With plans to expand their family further, Martinez admits he’d love to have a son — for Gonzalez-Jones’ sake.

“It’d be nice to balance it out since we have a girl,” he muses. “Right now the girl has got me wrapped [around] her finger so it might be nice to have a boy so Diana can be wrapped around his finger.”

— Shakthi Jothianandan

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , News , Parenting

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Showing 42 comments

valeskas on

His daughter and fiancee, were at the View with him, the baby is just so precious and pretty.

lynn on

He seems like such a good guy. Congrats to him. Hopefully they will get their wish to add on to the family in time.

Anonymous on

I wonder why they haven’t gotten married.

em on

Who cares? You don’t have to be married to prove you love someone! Get with the program, it’s almost 2013 not 1813 🙂

Gloria on

I love JR Martinez! He is a beautiful person inside and out and his little baby girl is sooooooooooooo adorable!

suzy diamond on

What about marriage? Commitment? Imbalance?

CCEx on

Given the divorce rate marriage is hardly a commitment. Children are the big commitment.

meghan on

What about marriage, suzy?

guest on

lol, everyone who is asking about marriage: why? people can be just as and even be more committed to each other without being married. marriage is not relevant or important to everyone.

em on

Absolutely correct guest!!! You don’t need a piece of paper to prove you love someone.

L ANN on

This is a nice article and I’m sorry I missed J.R. and his family on The View.

This is one of the first articles where I’ve seen J.R. mention his fiance…the little baby’s Mother…Diana. He rarely posts anything about her…just the baby. It’s refreshing to see her mentioned and so nice they were on The View together.

Deena on

so a female child, by virtue of having uterus and ovaries, enraptures her male parent but not her female one; and a male child, because he has a penis and testicles, would be more adored by his mother?

Troglodyte thinking. Oh, and he wasn’t scheduled to run in the “canceled New York City marathon,” duh, he was scheduled to run in it before it was canceled. That’s not the only error in this very brief piece; “Always willing to get up and go” is a dangling modifier.

And why does anyone, ANYWHERE, write that “diaper duty” is–surprise!–not heinous? All loving parents like to clean their kids. Diaper time is bonding and laughing and tummy raspberry time.

What exactly is his work? Just promoting the book?

gaa on

Deena get a life and stop picking apart the article. A dangling modifier? Please. Clearly you are brighter than all of us. Shut up.

em on

Deena, Why would you even comment if you know nothing of him?! Don’t comment, period! Your life must be soooo wonderful and perfect, right? Well, WRONG!!! Go hide with your mumble jumbles.


He’s a beautiful man from the inside and out! To bad there aren’t enough men out there that are like that.

Melissa on

Of course here we go with the comments of them not being married….that isn’t what the article is about. Get the h*ll over it people! Its their relationship NOT YOURS!! Stop judging others about their relationships…I’m sure you and yours isn’t perfect.

As for the topic at hand….love his little family….Lauryn is too cute!!

Get real on

Lauryn is a beauty. OAN: I wanted/have marriage but not everybody wants that. Danny Devito and Rhea Perlman are divorcing after 30 years of marriage, while Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell are happily committed and unmarried and just celebrated 27 years together.

Edie on

From One Vet to ANother…Thanks for your service…may you and your family be healthy and happy!

em on

Thank you for yours, Edie 🙂

Anonymous on

valeskas- Where did you hear they got engaged? It says in this article that she’s his girlfriend, not fiancee. But if they really ARE engaged (even PEOPLE misses things sometimes!), that’s cool! 🙂

Anyway, it sounds like he loves being a father!

Anonymous on

Also, does anyone know where I can find pictures of him with Diana and Belle on The View (I googgled “J.R. Martinez, the view” but nothing much came up. :()? I’d love to see what Belle looks like now! Also, I want to see if he was holding her like he always seems to when he’s with her! 🙂

meghan on

Deena, go fuck yourself.

Breff on

Funny! Couldn’t have said it better!

em on

I second that meghan!!!!!!!!!

Diana on

Ha good one Meghan! Anyway, also wanted to say that JR is great!

Megan on

I LOVE that he admits he’s wrapped around his little girl’s finger. I would TOTALLY be wrapped around my little boy’s finger.

JM on

I have started to find the marriage police on here very amusing. i mean sure, they are mind-numbingly stupid and cannot comprehend even the basic fact that someone else is allowed to make decisions about THEIR own life and it is nobody else’s business, but i figure that message isn’t getting through to the marriage police. so the best thing is to just laugh at them. hahaha

sweet family. as someone else said, children are the real commitment. marriage does not give you a guarantee, otherwise divorce wouldn’t exist. you can stop being married, but once you have made a child with someone you are connected to them for life. think about it…

MaddieW on

CONGRATS to Jr & Diana! A beautiful baby GIRL.

Thank you for your service to our country.

We loved you on ALL MY CHILDREN & even more on DANCING WITH THE STARS. Your positive attitude is contagious. Continue to spread the word. We love you in NJ.

Next time People, can we have a picture of the family with the article. I’m sorry I missed The View.

em on

Well said JM!

Charli on

Seems like a nice guy. Also, I like his reason for wanting a boy. It would be nice if he mentioned marrying this wonderful woman and the mother of this child. I’m just saying.

Kimberly on

I am sooooo in love with J.R. I can’t wait to pick up his new book.

Ann on

He is awesome!!!!

jill on

They were on Friday’s show on the View, you can see his girlfriend and his beautiful baby girl. He was near the end of the show.

em on

I love J.R. Martinez!!! What a great person, in and out. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…. Thank you for serving our country and I so miss you on AMC.

Sobeit on

Congrats to them all!

Marriage?? Oh please. . . it’s an archaic ritual for the ignorant and controlling animals. A piece of paper does not determine the quality of one’s love for another. The quality of his love for her is in the commitment of being responsible to the family as a whole. A happy baby proves a happy familial relationship. So, get off your high horses and tend to your own family.

Sherri Long on

Deena…this man fought for our country and almost died as a result. What in the hell have you done lately? What is YOUR work since it matters so damn much?

rhonda on

If this guy is so great, why didn’t he do the right thing and marry his baby momma? If he can’t make a real commitment to the mother of his child, there is no guarantee he is going to make a real commitment to his baby.

Anonymous on

Deena- Surely you’ve heard about “daddy’s girls” and “mommy’s boys”. 😉

Anonymous on

rhonda- Ever think that SHE’s the one who doesn’t get married?! What should he do then, force her?!

Anonymous on

Also, rhonda, you honestly think that marriage is a guarantee someone will make a “real commitment” to their child?! Try telling that to my sister-in-law, whose father married her mother only to flee shortly after she (my SIL) was born, deciding he didn’t want the responsibilty of being a daddy (happily and amazingly, he and my SIL reconnected when she was a teenager and have a good relationship now)!

JM on

rhonda, hahaha, welcome to the 21st century. it is quite different to the dark ages you must be living in. very funny to read your post though!

meghan on

Rhonda, JR’s father bailed–he has never even met his son. That is a man without commitment. JR has already proven himself more commited then his father ever was.