Single dad’s frank Facebook post about fear of failure

Richard Johnson struggled to raise his 10-month-old daughter after her mum left. But with the help of an online community, the pair have not only survived, they've thrived

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There’s no denying being a single parent is tough. And this dad really struck a chord with his frank Facebook post, writing: “I wasn’t sure I could do it.”

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Richard Johnson and his 10-month-old daughter Persephone are “very happy now and continue to grow together everyday.” But the dad-of-1 admitted that after his partner left when Persephone was just 1 month old, he was “nervous” and “scared” about raising her alone.

The note he wrote

Sharing his story on the Life of Dad Facebook page, he said:

“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 fulfil 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. 

Sincerely, 
Persephone & Richard Johnson”

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But don’t cry yet, there’s more… 

Richard’s touching note has since gone viral with more than 19,000 likes and over 700 shares. Hundreds of users left comments praising the dad’s efforts.

“Kudos to you for stepping up, and for even speaking gently in regards to her mother, and for the inspiration you are and will be to other dads/parents,” one user wrote. “She is beautiful and I am sure you two will have a blast navigating through all that life brings your way, together.”

The overwhelming support drove the dad to write a second letter:

“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 became 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 criticising myself on how I can be a better father and this was just the right medicine I needed.

When I got the message from Life of Dad stating they had uploaded my message I was more than eager to see it. Never in my wildest dreams would I suspect so many of you would see it. Let alone how many of you would comment on it.

Her mother is an amazing woman and I will have to ask the few people who had negative things to say about her to please refrain from doing so. No matter what she is the mother of my child and I only wish the absolute best for her. So long as she can be happy then that’s all that counts. It’s something I wish to instil in my daughter. Post-Partum depression is truly a tragic thing and I would not wish that upon my worst enemy.

I come from a family of divorce and was raise by a single mother. When my father left when I was 6 I didn’t know I wouldn’t see or hear from him again until I was 21. So being that I never had a father it was truly frightening to become one. Even more so when I was going to do it alone. I didn’t have time to be worried though because that beautiful little girl needed a parent who could be her rock and would love her to pieces. In my mind there was no other option.

The days have been rough and at times I wasn’t sure I could make it another day. I spent more then a few nights holding my little girl as she slept weeping because I wasn’t sure I was going to be a good enough father for her. One night in particular was the night she first crawled. She came to me and laid her tiny little hand on my cheek and stared into my eyes. I took it as “Come on Daddy, we have a lot to do.” So I told her no more crying for either of us and we were going to fight to be happy. We’ve kept true to that promise. A few days later I found Life of Dad.

From the very deepest depths of my heart and mind I want to thank each and everyone of you. If I could personally shake your hand, I’d probably just hug each of you. This will be something I will always remember and cherish for the rest of my life. I’ll be saving all of this. I can’t even begin explain how much this means. You’ve all really lifted up a guy who was just trying to be the best Father he could be. I’m indebted to each of you. Thank you.

Sincerely, 
Persephone & Richard Johnson

P.S. 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.”

Photos: Facebook / Life of Dad

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