When Richard Johnson’s wife walked out on him and his one-month-old daughter, he was terrified that he wouldn’t be a good enough dad for his daughter.
Johnson penned a letter to the Facebook page Life of Dad, which shares funny and inspiring photos of dads with their children.
He shared his story with the page, saying he has grown so much after becoming a single dad about nine months ago. He says his wife walked out because her postpartum depression became too much to bear and is not angry with her.
“Her mother is an amazing woman,” wrote Johnson. ” 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 instill in my daughter. Postpartum depression is truly a tragic thing and I wouldn’t wish that upon my worst enemy.”
He explained that when his wife left, he began watching hours and hours of YouTube videos, learning how to braid hair and paint nails. He also read parenting books.
He said he comes from a family of divorce and was raise by a single mother. His father was absent in his life from the time he was 6 years old until he was 21.
“So being that I never has a father, it was truly frightening to become one. Even more so when I was going to do it alone,” wrote Johnson.
He said he and his daughter have gone through some difficult nights together.
“The days have been rough and at times I wasn’t sure I could make it another day,” wrote Johnson. “I spent more than 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.”
That’s when he says he found the Life of Dad page.
“I always look forward to photo submissions and reading the stories of some of the awesome dad out there in this community,” wrote Johnson. “You truly helped my daughter and me through a very difficult time.”
Since going viral, countless people have shared supportive words with him. He said the support and encouragement was exactly what he needed.
“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,” wrote Johnson.
His daughter is now 10 months old, and he says his friends now ask him for parenting advice.
“We’ve come a long way, my daughter and me,” wrote Johnson.