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Singer, Mom, Wife Of Baseball Star: Julianna Zobrist Balances Family Life With A 6-Day Rule

Jul 2, 2017
Originally published on July 2, 2017 9:36 am
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

(SOUNDBITE OF TRIBECA SONG, "GET LARGE")

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

MLB players have incredibly hectic schedules packed with training and travel and more than 160 baseball games over just six months. And that's just the boys of summer. What about their families?

(SOUNDBITE OF NEWS MONTAGE)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER #1: As we join Julianna Zobrist, wife of player Ben Zobrist, as she sings our national anthem.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER #2: She's an emerging contemporary Christian vocalist and songwriter.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER #3: Wife, mom and a very talented singer - Julianna Zobrist is here this morning to talk about her new song.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yes, indeed, Julianna Zobrist is here this week on Out Of Bounds making it work as a spouse in the stands. Julianna, welcome to the program.

JULIANNA ZOBRIST: Thank you so much. Thank you for having me.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So before we get to how you make it work as a spouse, you, of course, have your own career. You are a singer. Tell us a little bit about your career and your life.

ZOBRIST: Yeah. Well, the record "Shatterproof" came out last summer. And my new single "Safe" was just released. And, you know, we make my career work alongside my husband's. I've stayed independent as an artist for a reason. And so I tour in the cities that he is playing in. My heaviest touring time is in the spring and in the fall when I do a lot of women's conferences and young girls' events and shows around the nation.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, let's hear a little bit of your single "Safe."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SAFE")

ZOBRIST: (Singing) So I will sing, and I won't hide because you're the groom and I'm your blushing bride. And I am safe with you.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: What is it like to have a busy schedule of your own and then try to fit it in with your husband's plus having three kids. How old are your kids?

ZOBRIST: Our son is 8. Our oldest daughter is 5. And then our youngest little girl is a year and a half.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So how do you balance it all? What do you do to make your family stay together, play together, work together?

ZOBRIST: For us, it comes down to priority and perspective. When Ben was first drafted into the minor leagues before we were even married, we decided that, you know, if we were going to do this thing - he called me and he said, if I'm going to do this thing, then we're going to do this together. It's not going to be a me thing. It's going to be a we thing. And so we decided on that day to never spend any longer than six days apart. And it honestly is a logistical nightmare...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: It sounds like it.

ZOBRIST: ...By far (laughter).

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Describe how that works. Give me an example of how you manage that.

ZOBRIST: Yeah. Well, I mean, this last week, for instance, (laughter) in the last four days, I went on tour because my husband was going to be traveling. And so I left for the three days when he was gone, had three shows in two days. So I was away from my kids for just the 24 hours. Flew back in this morning. We had lunch all together just now. And then I came over here to be with you guys. So we just do it all as a family.

We count it as an adventure. I'm always talking to my kids about it. You know, this is an adventure. This is such a fun experience. And we use the time together out in the world as an opportunity to explore and an opportunity to teach our children and to allow them to see the nation.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Julianna, why six days? What - how did you come up with that magic number?

ZOBRIST: I have no idea. And it is not - I don't know. It's not a magic number. It's not like the golden ticket to a perfect marriage. But for us, it was a starting point. It was, all right, we've got to draw the line in the sand somewhere, and a week just felt too long (laughter). And every single spring, we sit down for about four to eight hours with our teams. And we - I get one of those massive calendars. And we literally go through and write down every city that we're going to be in. We write in date nights. We write in family date days. We write in...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: This is good advice for everybody, by the way.

ZOBRIST: Well, we've learned to be intentional.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I'm curious. What do you and the other sports wives talk about? What are the tricky parts?

ZOBRIST: The wives that you're around - we're around each other a lot. And you become somewhat of a family. You have to learn how to put your guard down - let your guard down and get close really fast because in baseball, you never know if you're going to be traded the next day. And I appreciate the genuineness of it all because it has to be. There's no time really for fluff.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's Julianna Zobrist. Her latest album is called "Shatterproof." Thank you so much.

ZOBRIST: Thank you.

(SOUNDBITE OF TRIBECA SONG, "GET LARGE") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.