LAS VEGAS – A young father’s emotional open letters about his life as a single parent are going viral.
Richard Johnson, 21, is the father of a 10-month-old baby girl named Persephone.
In one letter, Johnson explains how he became a single father.
“[Persephone’s] mother left about a month after she was born,” he wrote in a letter to Life of Dad, a social network for fathers. “We still don’t know exactly why, but we suspect post-partum depression played a part.”
When Persephone’s mother left, Johnson says he was nervous.
“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,” he wrote.
Johnson says he started reading every “new parent” book he could find.
He says he watched countless videos on how to braid hair and how to paint nails.
In a second letter, Johnson says sometimes the challenge of being a single father felt like too much to handle.
“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.”
Johnson says the Life of Dad Facebook page really helped him feel better about being a single father.
“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,” he said. ” The page started to turn into a major confidence booster and really helped me through all of this.”
Johnson’s first letter went viral, receiving more than 15,000 ‘Likes’ on Facebook.
He says the feedback he received has been overwhelmingly positive.
“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 wrote.
The young father ended his letter with a piece of advice for anyone else who may feel the pressures of being a single parent.
“If you ever feel like the load is to [sic] 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.”
You can read Johnson’s full letter’s in the embedded Facebook posts below: