(Nov. 16, 2015) – A young, single father poured out his heart on Facebook, and his post caught the attention of many parents in similar situations.
Richard Johnson shared his story with the “Life of Dad” social network. He said he was beside himself after his daughter’s mom left when the little girl was just a month old. He admitted he was nervous and scared about being a father before—and then had to worry about raising her by himself.
He said the “Life of Dad” community has been instrumental in helping him be a good dad:
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.
His daughter, Persephone, is now 10 months old. After his original post went viral, Johnson wrote a second one:
I honestly don’t know what to say. I’ve been reading everyone’s comments and I’d be lying if I said I haven’t become a tad bit emotional. As I sit here now writing to all of you, my heart wants to jump out of my chest and tears want to will their way to the surface. Thank you to each and every single one of you. You truly can’t understand how much everyone’s words mean to me. I am constantly criticizing myself on how I can be a better father and this was just the right medicine I needed.
He also defended Persephone’s mother, calling her an “amazing woman” and saying he only wanted the “absolute best” for her.
Johnson identified one particular reason why he was so worried about being a good father: his parents divorced when he was 6 years old. He didn’t see his father again until he was 21 years old. Since, in effect, he never had a father, he said it was “truly frightening” to become one.
He offered this advice to all single parents out there:
For any single parents out there, if you ever feel like the load is too 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.