Richard Johnson was just 20 years old when he became a single father. Now, his raw and emotional posts detailing his experience on the Life of Dad Facebook page have gone viral.
"The days have been rough and at times I wasn't sure I could make it another day," wrote Johnson, dad to 21-month-old Persephone. "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."
Johnson goes on to explain that Persephone's mom left a month after their daughter's birth. And while he still doesn't know why, he suspects post-partum depression played a part. When he was left alone with his daughter, he says, "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."
Such amazing honesty. Johnson then goes on to reveal, "I 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."
We're thinking the world could use some more dads like Johnson!
Currently, the post has racked up almost 30,000 likes and more than 1,500 comments commending Johnson on his candid and heartfelt letter.
"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," said one commenter.
"Not only do you sound like a great father, but also a compassionate person," wrote another. "It probably hasn't been easy for you, but I think you deserve extra props for speaking like a true father & man on behalf of your daughter's situation/relationship with her mother. Keep your head up, you're on a great start to raising an incredible future woman, mother, and spouse."
Even the powers-that-be behind Life of Dad couldn't help but respond: "Wow, Richard. This is such a great message to receive. We're so glad that we were able to play even a small role in helping you with the beginnings of parenting."
The ever-greatful Johnson—who said he's been blown away by the positive feedback—posted a follow-up message to Facebook: "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."
I think it was the medicine we all needed.