A single father penned an inspirational Facebook post about his life after the mother of his daughter left, and it quickly went viral.
In a post on the Facebook page Life of Dad, 21-year-old Richard Johnson said he became the father of a 10-month-old girl named Persephone, and her mother left just a month after the baby was born. Although the reason for his girlfriend leaving remains unclear, Johnson suspects postpartum depression played a role.
“I came from a family where everyone is either divorced or a single parent. My father wasn’t in the picture, and I never wanted that for my kids, so I was dead set on not having any,” told Yahoo Parenting. When he met the mother of his little girl, everything changed.
“We decided that we wanted kids, and I wanted to give them the life I didn’t have,” he said.
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In the Life of Dad Facebook post, Johnson detailed the fear and doubt he felt about being a single parent.
“In the first few weeks of it being just [Persephone] and me, I stumbled upon your page by accident. I was so nervous and scared about being a father in general, but now I was a single father and had to fulfill two roles. I wasn’t sure I could do it. I had read every ‘new parent’ book I could find and clocked in over 1000 hours in YouTube videos from everything to braiding hair and painting nails to theories on how to deal with common parental issues.”
He went on to say that it was because of the network of fathers on the page that he gained the confidence needed to play the many parental roles in his daughter’s life.
“We’re both very happy now and continue to grow together everyday. She’s now 10 months, and I now get asked by my friends for parenting advice constantly,” he wrote.
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“We’ve come a long way, my daughter and me, and we definitely owe part of that to this page and the people within it. So from both of us, we wanted to thank you.”
Johnson told Yahoo Parenting that since being left on his own, he’s formed a support group with other single parents with a desire to learn.
“I was never around babies, I certainly did not know anything about girls. But I asked around to older friends who had raised girls. I practiced braiding hair and, I’m not bragging, but now I can braid hair better than most women can,” he said.
“She still has no hair, but I want to be prepared!”
The young father even moved in with a fellow single parent — a mother to a 6-year-old boy. The two aren’t romantically involved, though they care greatly for each other.
“We are each other’s rocks,” he said.
“I watch her son when she is at work, she helps me out.”
Johnson’s Life of Dad post garnered overwhelming response from readers who praised him for his kind heart and desire to be a good father.
“I felt this is what a parent should do. I played football when I was a kid, and I didn’t have anyone there in the bleachers. I want to be sure my daughter doesn’t have that experience. It was terrible, it was one of the worst things in the world. As a parent, I guess you do have a choice, but to me there shouldn’t be any choice. You should stick with your kid. You bring a life into the world, you are supposed to love it and nurture it,” he told Yahoo Parenting.