Imagine bringing home your brand new, beautiful baby from the hospital and starting a new life as a family with your partner. Your child is happy and healthy and it seems like everything is going well. Then, within the first month of you’r child’s life your partner suddenly runs away with your baby. That’s exactly what happened to Richard Johnson, 21, who suspects that the mother’s surprising departure was the result of postpartum depression. I know it seems like matters couldn’t get any worse for him, but they did.
Johnson’s partner quickly changed her mind after running away and threatened to put their daughter, Persephone, up for adoption if Johnson didn’t come get the baby. Of course, he immediately flew to his daughter and brought her home. It seemed like life was good again because he had his daughter back, but then, reality set in…he was now a single man raising a child all by himself.
Johnson was very unprepared, depressed, and terrified of his new life. As luck would have it, he stumbled upon a Facebook group called “Life of Dad,” which showed him that there are thousands of other single dads out there just like him. They were all just as alone, confused, and lost as he was, but still had the strength and determination to be a good father to their children. He learned that even though you are single father you can still thrive as a parent and make a good life for you and your child.
He recently shared his story on “Life of Dad,” which has gone viral, and has inspired so many other young fathers. He thanked the page for giving him the confidence and support he needed during such a trying time in his life. The letter is touching as you’ll see for yourself if you read it.
“Life of Dad,
My name is Richard Johnson, and I’m a single father to a beautiful little girl named Persephone. Her mother left about a month after she was born. We still don’t know exactly why, but we suspect post-partum depression played a part. In the first few weeks of it being just her 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. I then started to watch your page more closely and saw that there were other fathers out there who were in similar predicaments as me. The page started to turn into a major confidence booster and really helped me through all of this.
I always look forward to photo submissions and reading the stories of some of the awesome dads out there in this community. You truly helped my daughter and me through a very difficult time.
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. 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.
Persephone & Richard Johnson”
Johnson was surprised and shocked at the support and love he received through the comments and messages people wrote about his story. Little did he know that just as the Facebook page served as inspiration to him, he served as inspiration to thousands of other dads out there as well. He posted a thankful follow up letter on “Life of Dad” for all the support he received. He even had a few more words of advice to say that show what an amazing and inspiring father he is to his daughter. He wrote: “For any single parents out there, if you ever feel like the load is to much or you’re just not good enough. Look into your amazing child’s eyes and just tell them you love them. You’d be amazed to see how much strength you have when someone else is counting on you and loving you more and more for what you’re doing. You’ll find strength where you thought you had none.”
Keep doing what you’re doing, Richard Johnson. You seem like an amazing man and wonderful father and thank you for all the amazing words of advice that any parent can use to help them in a time of need.