Nick Hentsch went from “Anarchy in the UK” to dirty diapers in Sheepshead Bay.
But Hentsch, a stay-at-home-dad with 6-inch-high mohawk spikes who was snapped in a @NYCDadsGroup on Instagram last week, says fatherhood may be his most punk-rock move yet.
“I’m trying to teach my girls that it’s OK to be yourself,” says Hentsch, 37. “You want to be different? That’s totally fine.”
Hentsch says that maintaining his edgy identity has been a crucial part of raising his daughters, 6-month-old Ivy and 3-year-old Winter, who are more into Taylor Swift and Katy Perry than his old favorites, the Misfits, the Sex Pistols and so on.
“I’m a little embarrassed to say it’s starting to grow on me,” says Hentsch, who was a tattoo model in the UK before settling down in South Brooklyn with his wife. “I can probably repeat the movie ‘Frozen’ line-for-line verbatim by now.”
Hentsch gets countless double takes when he and his girls are out, and parents and kids alike often ask him if his spikes hurt.
“People kind of give me a wide berth when they see me with my daughters,” he says with a laugh. “But a little space is nice.”
Like his favorite punk-rock bands of the ’70s and ’80s, being a stay-at-home-dad sometimes feels like he’s challenging social norms. Hentsch and his wife — a software designer on Wall Street with no tattoos or piercings — figured they could save on child care if he stayed home with the kids.
And even though the number of stay-at-home dads has significantly grown in recent years, according to the Pew Research Center, Hentsch can often feel like the odd man out in parenting circles.
“It gets lonely,” he says, adding that lately he’s found huge support in City Dads Group, a Meetup.com group which gathers for play dates in places like Prospect Park.
There, he may still be the only dad with a mohawk, but at least he’s not a total outcast, he says.
“Society tends to wrongly characterize nurturing as only being a feminine quality,” he says. “But being able to nurture truly shows just how secure I am in my masculinity.”
When it comes to making sure his daughters’ childhoods are “filled with laughter and smiles,” he’s all revved up and ready to go.
“Over 60 percent of my body is tattooed and I have some piercings that make doctors’ jaws drop,” he says. “But I don’t give a damn about what anybody thinks of our princess ballerina cupcake tea party except for my daughters.”
Source: Read Full Article