The mother abandoned her daughter a month after giving birth.

The mother abandoned her daughter a month after giving birth.

A single father’s moving Facebook post about parenting his daughter after her mother abandoned her has gone viral.

Richard Johnson, 21, claims he hasn’t wanted children for much of his life. “Everyone in my family is either divorced or a single parent,” she says. Johnson tells Yahoo Parenting, “My father wasn’t in the picture, and I never wanted that for my kids, so I was dead bent on not having any.” That changed, though, when he met the lady who would become the mother of his daughter. “We decided we wanted children, and I wanted to provide them with the life I lacked.”

Even yet, the Las Vegas father says the news that his fiancée was pregnant was the scariest moment of his life. “The more I considered it, the more terrified I became.” Except for what I saw on TV and in movies, I had no idea what it meant to be an involved father.”

Johnson tells how he ended up raising his daughter, Persephone, by himself in a letter to Life of Dad, an online forum for fathers. The statement was posted to Life of Dad’s Facebook page on Tuesday night, and it has received over 12,000 likes and 650 comments. “About a month after [my daughter’s] birth, her mother left.”

“We don’t know why,” Johnson says, “but we assume postpartum depression played a role.” “I landed on your page by mistake during the first few weeks when it was just [Persephone] and me. I was terrified of becoming a father in general, but suddenly I was a single father with two responsibilities. I wasn’t sure I was up to the task.

I’d studied every ‘new parent’ book I could find and watched over 1000 hours of YouTube videos on topics ranging from hair braiding to nail painting to theories on how to deal with typical parental concerns. I began to pay closer attention to your page and noticed that there were other fathers in similar situations to me.

The website started to become a tremendous confidence booster for me, and it really helped me get through everything. … You certainly made a difference in my daughter’s and my lives during a difficult period. We’re both really happy now, and we’re still learning and growing together every day. She’s now ten months old, and I’m constantly being approached for parenting advice by my friends. My daughter and I have gone a long way, and we owe a lot of it to this page and the people on it. So, on behalf of both of us, we’d like to express our gratitude.”

According to Johnson, Persephone’s mother took the girl with her when she left in February. Johnson tells Yahoo Parenting, “She took my little child to California, but then called a week later and said if I didn’t come to get Persephone, she was going to put her up for adoption.”

He went out and got his daughter, brought her home, and claims they’ve been together ever since.
Johnson adds that the early days as a single father were difficult in a follow-up Facebook letter posted Wednesday morning. He adds, “I spent more than a few nights holding my young baby while she slept weeping because I wasn’t sure I’d be a good enough father for her.” “One night, in particular, she crawled for the first time.

She approached me and placed her teeny-tiny palm on my cheek, staring into my eyes. ‘Come on, Daddy, we’ve got a lot to accomplish,’ I deduced. So I assured her that there would be no more tears for either of us and that we would struggle to be happy. We’ve kept our end of the bargain.” More than 3,300 people have liked the follow-up post.

Johnson added that once he accepted his new role as a single father, he sought counsel from friends and even started a support group with other single parents. “I had never been around babies, and I had no idea what girls were like.” However, I sought advice from elder friends who had reared daughters. “I practiced braiding hair, and I’m not bragging, but I can now braid hair better than most ladies,” Johnson adds. His 10-month-old isn’t quite ready for hairstyles yet. “She doesn’t have any hair yet, but I want to be ready!”

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