Even with the challenges of new parenthood–lost sleep, teething–it’s clear The Bachelorette’s J.P. and Ashley Rosenbaum lead a charmed life. 

Case in point: The excellent timing of their decision last summer to move from the Northeast to Florida, which has allowed them to miss the record-setting snows.

A Ford in Their Future — and Their Present

The couple spoke to me this week from their Florida home on what Ashley described as “a beautiful Miami day!” Five-month-old Fordham Rhys Rosenbaum sat in on the call, burbling away in the background.

“We’re so happy we moved,” Ashley said. “Last winter was pretty brutal in New Jersey. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back.” When I mentioned that the Boston area (where I live) had just broken the 100-inch mark for snowfall, they invited me to Miami. These are truly nice people.

I note that Ford, as they call him, sounds like a happy baby. Dad J.P. (who I last checked in on right before his son’s birth) said that despite Ford’s teething, the boy wakes up smiling. However, as many new parents learn, that means waking up early. As in “crack of dawn.”

“Till he was about three months, he slept through the night,” Ashley said. “So that was a change for us.”

“But you power through,” J.P. added. “You drink a lot of coffee. We’re in a coffee rhythm!”

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Healthy Baby = Happy Mom

Ashley admitted that she’s being a new mom has made her a tad more anxious than in the past. 

“As an individual, I have a bunch of fears. Now, all my fears are magnified by 100!” A self-described “germaphobe,” she said the partnership they’ve entered into with Puffs, the facial tissue brand, as a good fit – especially during cold and flu season. “With Ford, I’m a little crazy about keeping things clean, keeping him comfortable and healthy.

“J.P. has to travel between New York and Miami for business a lot, so I try to keep him from bringing any germs home with him.” She’s taking no chances, adding with a laugh that it might mean J.P. spends a night or two on the sofa on occasion.

The traveling man chimed in, “We also keep Ford in a plastic bubble – he’s Bubble Boy 2.0!”

They’re also holding off for daycare now, although the couple recently brought on a nanny to help them out. “Ford’s not old enough to be fully vaccinated, so we’re not ready to put him in with other kids just yet,” J.P. explained.

Someday, one of those other kids may be another little Rosenbaum. They were open about planning for child number two, sometime in the next few years. For now, however, it’s all about Ford.

Who Will Win the Bachelor’s Heart?

Even with their busy lives, there’s still room for The Bachelor in the Rosenbaum household. And no one is more addicted than a former bachelor himself.

J.P. mused, “Do people still watch that show?” 

Ashley immediately jumped in. “J.P.’s playing it cool. He loves the show!”

The new dad admitted he enjoys every season. “Even though it’s reality TV, there’s a basic ‘plot’ that’s essentially the same, but it always sucks you in. You’ve got your crazy girls, sweet girls, smart girls….

“Chris [Soules, this season’s bachelor] is a humble, down-to-earth guy. For the last few weeks, we’ve thought it would be one of the sweet hometown girls. Our pick is Whitney. It’s tough for things to change in a week.” As a veteran of the franchise, J.P. also pointed out that the audience only sees a fraction of what’s filmed during a season. 

Will it be Whitney FTW? We’ll find out soon, when The Bachelor Season 19 airs its finale. 

Whatever the outcome, J.P. has already made his opinion known about the next Bachelorette in a tweet: He’s a fan of runner-up Kaitlyn Bristowe.

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What Kind of Bachelor Are You?

I take this opportunity to turn the tables on J.P. If all the contestants on The Bachelor can be classed as “crazies, sweet, or smart,” what was he? 

“I think Ashley should answer this question,” he said with a laugh.

She was happy to comply. “At first, J.P. was too cool for school. Under the radar. Then he got a little jealous at the end — he had developed real feelings.” 

At first, J.P. denied being jealous — then decided he should weigh in on the question after all.  He especially wants everyone to understand that he didn’t come on the show to find a wife. “I was always just me,” he said. “I wasn’t trying too hard. I wanted to have fun — not fall in love – and come home after a few weeks with a story to tell. 

“I was completely surprised. Instead of a story, I came home with a wife and eventually a baby.”

“Best decision of his life,” Ashley said. No argument from J.P.

A Reality TV Success Story

The track record of romance on reality television isn’t so hot, but Ashley and J.P. seem to have beaten the odds. Even over the phone, I could sense the playfulness and affection they have for each other – and of course, that baby. (Just take a look at the photo.) They may have met in an artificial environment, but despite the pressures of parenthood, they’ve formed a happy family in the real world.

“Having a baby is really a team effort,” said J.P. “If you’re not on the same page, it’s hard to make it work. Our priorities are on the same. We focus on him. We act as a team, we work as a team. At this age, Ford’s changing on a weekly basis. His personality is really coming out – it’s a year of firsts.”

“It’s amazing to see this little combination of you both,” Ashley said. “I feel we’ve been through a lifetime of experiences and it just brings you closer. And he looks like a little J.P.!”

Finally, I asked them if they had a message for their fans. “We’re very grateful for the support we’ve gotten,” Ashley said. “We fell in love in an unlikely place. Now we’re lucky to be moving on from television ‘reality’ to our own reality.” 

“And we’re having fun doing it,” J.P. added.

The Bachelor airs on Mondays at 8pm on ABC. The Bachelorette returns later this year.

(Photo courtesy of J.P. Rosenbaum and Ashley Hebert Rosenbaum.)

Alison Stern-Dunyak

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV