Single Dad, 21, Raises Baby Daughter Alone After Mum Leaves Them

Richard Johnson/Facebook

The job as a dad is pretty tough going as it is (I imagine), but this guy had it a lot harder than most…

This is Richard Johnson. The 21-year-old from Las Vegas expected a pretty normal life as a father, but only a month after his daughter Persephone was born, he realised this was going to be a bit more difficult than he first imagined.

The daughter’s mother fled to California with the child and Richard received a message from her to say she had changed her mind on having a kid and was going to put their child up for adoption unless he came out there to raise her himself.

Richard Johnson/Facebook

Of course he dropped everything he was doing and immediately flew to California to claim his child. Like anyone would, he had some proper fears about becoming a single dad, so he turned to the internet and found a site called “Life of Dad”.

The website helped him out that much that he even wrote a letter of thanks to the founder of the website and has amassed 96,000 likes on Facebook and thousands of supportive comments from other members.

Life of Dad/Facebook

One posted:

Not only do you sound like a great father, but also a compassionate person,” wrote one woman. “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.

Another added: “You sound like a very positive person, your baby is lucky to have a dad like you.”

In an interview with Yahoo Parenting, Richard explained how it was difficult to adjust to his new parental responsibilities as a single dad.

He said:

At first, when I was alone, I was so depressed that I didn’t want to see a bunch of happy couples with their kids. But as I came out of that, I was checking Life of Dad and saw there were other single dads out there. There’s such a terrible stereotype of deadbeat dads, but I know that’s not always the case. Sometimes people are dealt a terrible hand, and it’s inspirational to read their stories.

Richard Johnson/Facebook

Eventually, things began improving for he and Persephone, and they soon moved in with a woman who has a six-month-old son of her own. The two are not dating, Richard said, but they are each other’s ‘rocks’ and shared childcare duties.

He continued:

I was never around babies, I certainly did not know anything about girls, but I asked around to older friends who had raised girls. I practiced braiding hair and, I’m not bragging, but now I can braid hair better than most women can. She still has no hair, but I want to be prepared!

Richard Johnson/Facebook

Richard added that while he still has rough times, ‘weeping because I wasn’t sure I was going to be a good enough father for her’, he eventually made the decision to stop crying and ‘fight to be happy’. The support he’s received from his Life of Dad post is making a lot of difference.

He said:

This will be something I will always remember and cherish for the rest of my life. I’ll be saving all of this. 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.

Richard Johnson/Facebook

It sounds like he’s doing just fine now and is performing his fatherly duties to a tee, whilst finding ways to be the best parent he can be.

You can tell he absolutely adores his daughter:

Now I look forward to every day because it’s so incredible to see her. She smiles when I look at her. She’s my best friend and my little shadow. I talk to her about everything – I know she doesn’t completely understand what I’m saying, but one day she will…

Richard Johnson/Facebook

What a great guy.