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Learning in Freedom

Welcome to Learning in Freedom, a blog all about the learning adventures (and mishaps) of the Allen family. My four children are unschooled, following their interests and passions every day and living the lives of their choosing. The purpose of this blog is to share our every day lives (and my not-so-humble opinons) with anyone interested in stopping by. We hope this will give a glimpse of how natural learning unfolds from day to day......

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Work and fun

Work. The word that is supposed to mean "hard" and in many cases "undesirable". But I love my work. Not everything that goes with being in retail, but I love being a makeup artist. Perhaps I should just say I love being an artist because my career path often takes me into other venues of self-expression. Like lately.

I've been working with a fashion designer from L.A. Together, we're creating some very unique and edgy images and he's inspired me to get back to painting and expand my thoughts on photography, clothing design and makeup artistry.

My work brings me into contact with a very diverse range of clients. From models, to drag-queens, brides and photographers. I get to play with colors and style constantly. Something I thoroughly enjoy. I look forward to the training I get at my place of employment (we're not supposed to blog about the company so I'll just say it starts with an "M" and is also the name of a computer compay).

Bleu is in real estate. Not the most booming business at this time with the economical mess. But it's bringing an income and he absolutely loves it. Most of it anyway.:)

Now for the downside...I work 30 hours per week. Yet this translates into providing medical and dental insurance for my family. Yes, I prefer to earn my medical insurance rather than using government coverage (been there, done that) because we have the most awesome coverage, a great doctor that supports our lifestyle and choices 100% and the dental coverage is amazing as well.

I'm not the Mum that can be as spontaneous as a stay-at-home Mum. My kids don't like that I'm gone as much as I am, nor do I like that part. If I left my company tomorrow I would absolutely continue being a makeup artist. If I didn't make money at it, I would still do it. I think that's how you know you've found something worth doing for yourself. But I'd love to be more available to my family.

Bleu is pretty flexible and can work from home quite a bit. The floor shifts at Coldwell Banker are short and the kids are pretty self-sufficient these days if we're both gone. We have awesome friends who come visit or take them to events when both of us are unavailable also.

Our choice to be an unschooling family and have two working parents hasn't always been easy. But it works well for us at this point and is helping us out financially. We aren't supporting some decadent lifestyle, nor do we care about that. My goal is to continue developing as an artist and get to the point that I can cut back my retail hours to very part-time.

The best part about being a working parent is the amount of help I get from Bleu these days! :)
Sierra has been intimately involved in my work from the time she was very little. Acting as assistant on photo shoots or at weddings, helping out as a volunteer at work occasionally and lately...
painting with me down at Levon's studio. Very cool for an 11y.o. He even made her a skirt when we were down a couple nights ago.

Oh, and my work has led me into doing segments for the local talk show too. That's been fun and kinda weird since I'm not exactly into keeping up with trend. Not much anyway.;)
Here's the latest segment at Daytime Tri-Cities: Holiday Fashion Trends.

By being creative, flexible and willing to adapt, we've made a two-income parent household and unschooling mesh. It isn't ideal at times (but neither was a financial struggle) but there are so many ways our world has been expanded through this choice.

I like this article: "Do what you love". So do what you love. Always. It might even make some money.


Blogger Snavleys said...

Calista said, "that's so cool!". She has a "famous" auntie:) I liked that segment. I want the gray dress:) Oh, and the red bag.

I'm glad you are doing what you love to do and your kids are happy so.....................

4:02 PM  
Blogger meredith said...

I love the face paint! I'm a longtime fan of face painting. I like to do strands of vines and leaves and flowers trailing across my face now and then for special occasions. Its so fun to see someone else who Gets It!

1:22 PM  
Blogger HB said...

Hi Ren-

My unschooled daughter, 11 is really into makeup. She looks at the "M" site often. I told her that I had heard of an unschooling mom who works for them and now I can send her a link! Cool. I work at home, and am enjoying this blog carnival topic.


5:22 PM  
Blogger Ren said...

send me your address and I'll see if I can scrounge up some makeup to send her.
I like to encourage that particular habit as much as possible.;) lol

8:57 PM  

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