Home body (11:42 a.m.)

Published 5:12 pm Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Things are never the same for Kinisha Britton in the middle of the day.

Just a year ago, she would have been getting ready for lunch at her office in Vincent. Now, the 11 o’clock hour is wide-open.

As a stay-at-home mom, her day is filled with errands like trips to the bank or grocery store before returning to her Harpersville home for lunch.

“When I come home, they’re my little worker bees,” Kinisha said of 3-year-old son Fisher and 8-year-old daughter Kenzie.

Through most of the year, Kenzie is in the school, leaving mom and Fisher for their adventures.

“It could be a cowboy, Superman or whatever,” Kinisha said of Fisher’s choice of costume, which may change by the minute.

This particular day, he came out of his room wearing a pair of gloves to help her prepare lunch.

“You’re going to have to take off your superhero gloves,” Kinisha said while peeling potatoes for her homemade soup.

“No, I can’t,” Fisher replied.

He later did receive help washing his hands and then helped place potatoes into the correct bowl.

“It’s going swimming, Mommy,” Fisher said as he dropped a bite-sized piece into the pot of water.

These are the moments that Kinisha lives for, enjoying the extra time during the day with Fisher that she didn’t have with Kenzie before reaching school age.

It was this extra time and a desire to help in Kenzie’s development that led to the decision to stay home.

Kenzie has Cornelia de Lange Syndrome, a little-known genetic disorder that can affect the physical and intellectual development of a child.

With the disorder comes a weakened immune system, which means Kenzie remains sick for days at a time. That became hard for Kinisha to juggle at work.

“I loved the people I worked with, but when you work for someone else, you’re at their mercy, really,” she said. “We were at a situation that we really didn’t have anyone else who could keep them.”

Having sold Mary Kay for three years, Kinisha decided she’d explore the idea of staying home.

Her and husband Michael’s main concern was financial — could they afford for her to leave that income behind?

“Nowadays, you have to have those two incomes, unless you have one really good one,” Kinisha said. “I got to the point that I made more money an hour (selling Mary Kay from home) in less time than sitting at the desk.”

Kinisha began staying home in July 2007, six months after first exploring the idea.

Within the past year, she has seen growth in Kenzie’s development and has had the joy of spending non-school days with Kenzie, Fisher and friends at parades, the zoo, Oak Mountain State Park or other fun activities.

“There’s a joy to this,” said Kinisha, who encourages others to try staying at home. “If you can find a way to (stay home), it’d be so good for you to do.”