Welcome to the first episode of the Dad Huddle podcast. In this episode, your co-hosts Brandon Billinger and Rob Ainbinder talk about why we started this podcast and what you can expect from each episode.

We would like to thank David Stanley for voicing our open! If you would like to check out his amazing talents, head over to his site My Voice Over Masters.

Rob makes a reference to “podcasting going mainstream”. This was from the latest Infinite Dial study by Edison Research on podcasting.

Episode 1 Transcript

Rob: So we each have our own platforms in long form, written format, but it seemed like now’s a good time to jump in with a podcast that was a perspective from two dads at two stages. We could interest a lot of people. We could provide a lot of value both ways and just see where this goes.

Introduction: The Dad Huddle podcast one Dad of toddler, the other dad of a teenager talk about life being a father and what it takes to live in this hectic world. And now your host, Brandon Billinger and Rob Ainbinder.

Brandon: Hello and welcome to The Dad Huddle Podcast. I am your co-host Brandon Billinger, also known as the Rookie Dad, and I’m here joined by Rob Ainbinder, the Digital Dad. Hello and welcome Rob.

Rob: Hey, welcome. Yeah, it’s great to be with you on this first episode.

Brandon: Yeah, that’s right. We’ve been talking about doing this for a while, haven’t we?

Rob: Yeah, yeah. We’ve been talking, but we’ve also been doing some work, and it’s great to get to this first point, this first episode. Been looking forward to it and I’m excited to get started.

Brandon: I think you and I both have been kind of looking forward to it, but it’s been kind of one of those things where as a content creator and online content creation, whatever have you, sometimes those things take priority over starting up something new, and hopefully, this’ll be one of those things that will start to take priority in both of our lives.

Rob: Yeah, definitely. I definitely look forward to that happening. I struggle too with being an influencer and a content creator and business owner, and these ideas strike me when I’m taking a shower or whatever and floated out there and you never know until you start, and just to get it done, begun is half done. But to have a plan in place and to have kind of a structure of why we did this, who we are, it’s going to be interesting, for sure.

Brandon: Yeah. You talk about why we did this. Let’s talk a little bit about that. Why did we decide to start this podcast? I mean, we both have our blogs. You have Digital Dad. I have the Rookie Dad. So let’s talk a little bit about that. Why did we start this?

Rob: Yeah, so we each have our own platforms in long form written format, but it seemed like now is a good time to jump in with a podcast that was a perspective from two dads at two stages in life with children. I just thought a one two punch. Brandon with being a dad of toddlers, and I’m the dad of a teenager, I thought, “Well, we could interest a lot of people. We could provide a lot of value, both ways, and just see where this goes.”

Rob: I mean, podcasts are now truly mainstream. People listen to up to seven discreet podcasts a day, and now that the distribution is so wide, it just seemed like a great time to wade in and get going with one.

Brandon: Yeah. And let’s see where this takes us. It should be a fun ride for both of us and for all of our listeners too.

Rob: Yeah, for sure.

Brandon: All right, so let’s kind of talk about what are the things that we’re going to talk about in of all of our episodes. You and I both have an interest in several things together. We enjoy beer and whiskey, barbecue and grilling and then there’s some other few things that we want to talk about. So let’s talk a little bit about that.

Rob: Yeah, it’s kind of stereotypical that a dad drinks beer, but beer has really evolved into something really complex and really varied, and the scene is also true of whiskey. I don’t think a modern guy is modern guy without some moderation, responsibly integrated, either of these or both of these, into their life. That’s really just a part of being who we are. I certainly drank a lot more beer than I have whiskey of late. What about you?

Brandon: It’s been just over the last like three maybe … I’d say, actually … And I don’t want to say this in a … I don’t want this to sound in a negative tone, but when my wife was pregnant with our second child, that’s when I really started to drink a lot more whiskey and bourbon. I don’t want that to sound like, “Oh, he had a second child, so he had to go to the stronger stuff.” . No, it was something that had interested me for a while, and I thought, “Well, now that I’m not having to buy also my wife’s favorite beer every time I go to the liquor store, I can pick up a bottle and start trying some out.

Rob: Right. So-

Brandon: And that’s kind of what I did. Lately, it’s about an even mix between maybe one night I’ll have a bourbon or a whiskey and then the next night I’ll have a beer. That’s kind of where I’m at, right now. It’s so funny that you talked about how much beer and whiskey has evolved. Just the other night when I … I make a liquor store run every Friday night after work just to grab a six pack or something. But when I’m there, I just stand in front of the beer fridge, and I do not know what to get, nine times out of 10. I’m just looking at it like there’s all these choices that you have when you go there, and it’s the same way with bourbon and whiskey too.

Rob: Now, I have the exact opposite issue when I go to the grocery store and look at what the beers are because there’s like a seasonal schedule for me that I have pretty much now. So when the weather begins to warm up, I begin to look at kind of the less heavy beer. I’m like Hefeweizen or cider or something a little bit lighter bodied than what I would typically drink when it’s colder out, and it’s harder for me in the warm months to get a beer that I like from my grocery store than it is in the cooler months, for some reason. The coolers are dominated by IPA’s, and I don’t drink a one of them.

Brandon: I’ve noticed that too. They’re all over the place, and there’s a few of them that I do like, but they’re not one of my top choices.

Rob: I gotcha.

Brandon: When you’re out at the grill, it’s like written into the constitution that whenever you fire up that grill or smoker or whatever, you’ve got to have a beer in your hand or somewhere close.

Rob: Yeah, for sure. It’s ingrained. I think one of my earliest memories, the first time I ever had even a sip of beer, my uncle was grilling out. My Dad was drinking a Natural Light, and I don’t know if it was my uncle and my dad asked me if I wanted to try a sip or whatever, but I remember taking a sip and almost spitting it out at how vile it tasted. I just remember that, and how ingrained beer is with grilling or just cooking out doors, grilling or on the smoker, whatever it is. It truly is like down to the DNA and like you said written into the constitution that if you’re outside you better have a drink.

Brandon: Yep. That’s right. Yep. In fact, I was grilling last night and had a beer out there sitting next to my grill while I was grilling. Yeah. We’ll talk a little bit about what some of the things that we’re grilling, smoking, and out with our families and some of the tips that we have along the way, right, because you’re a big smoker.

Rob: Yeah. I’d say I’m an outdoor cooking enthusiast. There’s this equal time on both my grill and my barbecue smoker. I try and give my grill equal time, but more often than not, I’m cooking on my barbecue pit, my smoker, than on the grill. But, as we’ll get into, I think for really quick meals, I think for things that you want it cooked quickly that grill is irreplaceable, has an irreplaceable role. There’s no question.

Brandon: Mm-hmm (affirmative). That’s right.

Brandon: Yeah. We’ll talk about beer and whiskey. We’ll talk about barbecuing and grilling. Some of the other things that we want to talk about is, just some of the everyday dad stuff that we run into as we are being a parent in our kids’ and our families’ lives. We want to talk a little bit about the struggles and accomplishments that we have because we all have our own struggles that we deal with as parents.

Rob: Absolutely. And I think what’s even more interesting is what are the ways we overcome these struggles. What are the solutions that we’ve found that have worked for our kids and us and our wives, and what have we tried that didn’t work? I guess that gets into some of our accomplishments.

Rob: In all aspects of our lives, what are the things that we’re accomplishing both at work and with our family, with our kids, with our hobbies. All of that I think it will be an interesting topic to talk through and then- it relates across the board, whether you’re a mother, whether you’re a dad, it relates to anybody that’s a parent.

Rob: Yeah, totally. I think if we happen to catch a mom’s ear and she wants to hear the dad’s perspective, I think I’ve heard that’s been pretty invaluable to some wives. Then if dads are kind of stressed out or strung out about something, I hope that they’ll consider us as part of their network of advisors, even if episode four wasn’t what they wanted, but maybe episode five winds up being just the thing. We’ll just keep putting out good content, and I think, in a way, that leads us into the advice, and know that the phases of life you’re going through with your kids, I’ve already been through with mine, so there might be some times I can just tell you what worked for me, if you’re stuck on something. Maybe some listeners will hit the post and leave some advice too, I hope. I hope that it works out that way.

Brandon: I hope so too. Yeah. The advice can also kind of lead to … We also want to talk about being husbands and the relationships that we have with our kids, as well, so that advice will be able to translate right into that.

Rob: Absolutely. I think that’s key is how we’ve taken our role as fatherhood as dad and kind of moved it forward versus some old models and some outdated thinking. I think I’ve become very aware of that. Through community involvement, our conversations, I think, it’s really become evident that we really are carrying this football of fatherhood down on the field, and we’ve gone a huge distance that other dads before us didn’t have the opportunity or weren’t self-aware enough to have the ability to do. I think it breaks down in all kinds of ways. We know dads that are primary caregivers all day. We’ll get into all those different parts of relationships that we have with our kids and with our wives. I think that’s really key, and I look forward to delving into that.

Brandon: Yeah. And you talked a little bit about driving the conversation forward about involved fatherhood. That kind of leans into how the two of us met. What was it about four, four and a half years ago, we met in DC at the Dad 2.0 Summit?

Rob: Right, in Washington DC. The only reason I found out about that conference was because of that group that I had gotten in like two years before that. It was just a random search on Facebook. I’m a dad who writes on a blog, and so one night, I did a search on Facebook, dad blogger, and found this group, and then it was only half or less of the number of members when I first joined. Then connecting with you at that conference really solidified to me what a brotherhood we have among all of us and how that manifests itself in different meetups.

Rob: Just a couple of months ago, I met up with Derek Smeller, locally. He had a business meeting. He swung by. We had some beers and had a chance to catch up. So I think, these relationships that we have are important too. Even if they’re mostly electronic, we do have these chances to bridge that gap and connect in person. That really, I think, makes for a richer fatherhood kind of experience that wasn’t possible before.

Brandon: Yeah. You and I are leading it with our blogs, but we’re also having these conversations with other dads about what it means to be a dad in today’s world and in today’s society.

Rob: It’s a very different thing. Even dads that have newborns today, it’s a very different thing than when I became a dad, a decade plus ago. There’s been a lot of change, and there’s been been a lot of things that have happened in our society that have … There’s been these very seismic shifts that either innately understood them or we had to grapple with them to understand them, and I’d say dads of teenagers have had more societal changes that weren’t native to them that they’ve had to kind of understand then dads of toddlers, and that’s just a footnote in fatherhood. It’s just a footnote in fatherhood. I think it’s been really great that we could connect in a group, meet, meet at a conference, and get to know one another better. And then, just a couple of years later, well, now, we’re talking about fatherhood.

Brandon: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, it’s been interesting, at least for me, in that making these friendships with these other dads in this sphere of dad blogging. I talk about some of these dads in everyday conversation with my wife. In the very beginning, she was like, “You don’t know any of these people. Why are you even talking about them?” And then all of a sudden, it’s I go to Dad 2.0 for the first time, and all of a sudden, she’s saw a shift in the way I was talking about these guys, and she was like, “Yeah, okay, these guys really are your friends. I want to meet some of these guys someday. You talk about them so much, and you talk about how great they are.” So yeah. So hopefully, maybe some someday down the road, we’ll all be able to get together with our wives and hang out and have a good time.

Rob: Yeah, that’d be great.

Brandon: But yeah, so we’ll be diving into fatherhood, barbecuing, beer, maybe even some of the content that we’re putting up on our sites while we’re producing these podcasts. So let’s talk a little bit about our website. It’s dadhuddle.com.

Rob: Yes. So you’ll be able to go there- Listen to episodes. Signup to get notified when new episodes push out. Even if you like to read, you can read the episode.

Rob: Right. There’s going to be be a lot of different ways you can interact with us. And then of course, we’ll have social channels. We have-

Brandon: We’ll have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter going, so you’ll be able to reach to us that way. If you got any questions, if you want us to talk about a certain something on a given podcast, let us know. Yeah.

Rob: Yeah, totally. We love listener feedback.

Brandon: Yep. Rob, I’m really looking forward to this.

Rob: Yeah, definitely, Brandon. I’m psyched to be able to talk to you and kind of cover all this stuff.

Brandon: Yeah, it’ll be fun, and it’ll be interesting to see where this … It’s one of those things, I look at where I started as a blogger 10 years ago and where I am now. Ten years ago, I would’ve never thought I’d be where I am now. So I’m really interested to see where this goes and what this does for the both of us and for all of our listeners, as well.

Rob: Yeah, for sure.

Brandon: All right. Stay tuned and we’ll be around for the next episode of the Dad Huddle podcast. Thank you for listening.


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