One day 21-year-old Richard Johnson, who has a baby girl growing up, wrote to Life of Dad, a Facebook community for fathers:
"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 postpartum depression played a part. 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."
To have even the slightest idea of how to change diapers Richard bought books about babies and watched thousands of videos on YouTube. After surfing parenting forums, the young man realized that there were a lot of other dads with the same story as his.
Richard also said that he was growing up without a father, since he had left the family when the boy was 6 and hadn't shown up until he was 21. So without the example of his father, he was afraid to become one himself. But Johnson didn't have time to think about it, because the little girl needed a loving parent.
"There were hard days, and at times I didn't know if I could cope with it. I spent several nights crying and holding my sleeping baby girl in my arms because I wasn't sure I would be a good father to her. But one night she started crawling for the first time. She crawled close to me and put her tiny hand on my cheek and looked directly into my eyes as if saying 'come on daddy, we have so many things to do.' So I told her that there would be no more tears for her or me, because we were going to be happy."
Now Richard is raising 10-month-old Persephone and befriends another young woman, a single mother. They are not dating, but they support each other in parenting issues.
After reading the negative comments about his daughter's mother, Johnson begs not to judge the woman. He wishes her all the best, understanding that not every woman can cope with postpartum depression.
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