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WonderDad of the Week – Nils Dahlgren, The Dad Life of a Single Father With 3 Boys

Our WonderDad of the Week is Nils Dahlgren, an amazing single father of 3 young boys (ages 7, 9, and 11), a middle school teacher, a high school coach and a blogger chronicling his solo dad adventures.

How do you balance being a teacher, coach, blogger and Dad?

Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes it’s a mad scramble to pull the chaos together in time to get out the door or off to bed. But, when it works, it’s bring all my passions together: literature, soccer, writing and my 3 awesome boys. And that synthesis feeds me, energizes me, and allows me to keep all these plates spinning. I can do all these things-to varying degrees of quality- because I enjoy them all.

What’s your favorite activity to do with your kids?

Soccer. My boys are soccer mad. It’s my fault, I brought them to the training pitch as newborns. We watched matches from the couch and now in the stadium for our local club. They’ve shagged balls and stood in on drills. I’ve been careful never to push them to practice or play, they’ve initiated every kick around we’ve had. Now they’re old enough to play in pickup games with my buddies and I can’t get enough of watching them play for their own youth teams. Hopefully, this is a passion we can share forever, or at least as long as my knees hold out!

What is your favorite or funniest memory with your kids?

My favorite memory was our epic road trip last summer through even western states and give national parks. Hikes, wildlife, visits with relatives and friends, the way we had to work together to set up each campsite and prep each meal, the things we found to entertain ourselves on the drives, it wasn’t always pretty, but it was always memorable.

Who are 3 other Dads that inspire you the most?

Craig is a Dad I met through coaching, he and i clicked immediately. Such a positive guy, supportive and energetic. I joke that he’s living my life 10 years ahead of me-once a single Dad, now he has a lovely wife. I haven’t talked with him in a minute; I’ve got to give him a call. Dave was the first Dad I connected with on Instagram. Another single Dad trying to do a bit better each day. It’s crazy to feel support from halfway around the globe, in a good, good way. Also nice I can message someone in the wee hours and now I’m not waking them! Not least, my Dad. He’s been a model of being present for me growing up. On the sidelines, in the stands, he’s always there for me and now he’s there for my boys when I need an extra hand.

What have been the biggest surprises about being a Dad?

How deep you can dig for strength you didn’t know you had, and how far you can go when your kids need you too. The transition to being a solo Dad was difficult, and there are still obstacles that pop up that I have to negotiate. But having 3 awesome boys who look to me for guidance, they motivate me to find a way forward and keep my head.

Follow Nils’ journey on Instagram @awesome_solo_dad or on his blog awesomesolodad.com

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