Carrie Martin-Vegue is married and the mother of two preschool boys whom she is beginning to homeschool. She works at home as a medical transcriptionist and teaches childbirth classes. Carrie blogs with her twin sister at www.wholesomewomanhood.com to encourage women in Biblical womanhood.
I’ve given a basic introduction, but I’m sure I’ve left some things out. Tell us a little bit more about you and your family.
My husband and I have been married for six years. Our oldest turned five in February (time truly does fly!). Our second son turns four in May and our daughter was born last December. My husband works as a machinist and most of my time is spent at home taking care of our family…and trying to stay on top of the unending pile of laundry that comes with having two boys and a baby in the house.
Many readers may not know what a transcriptionist or a childbirth educator does. Could you describe
your jobs to us?
There are actually three different types of transcriptionists. There are medical, legal and general transcription. For legal and medical transcription you need to pay money up front to go through a course for training. On the other hand, it is relatively easy to get into general transcription, which can be anything that isn’t medical or legal! With transcription, you’re sent an audio or movie file and you have to transcribe everything that is said. You have to be a fairly fast typist. You also need to have a working knowledge of grammar and punctuation. (For more information on transcription you can check out www.transcriptionhaven.com.)
As a childbirth educator (I teach the Bradley Method, www.bradleybirth.com), I teach couples what to expect during labor and birth. The Bradley Method equips couples with the tools they need to successfully have a natural birth either at the hospital or at home. The Bradley Method is a very comprehensive course (it’s 12-weeks long!).
Everyone does preschool differently, whether they homeschool or not. What does homeschooling
preschoolers look like in your house?
I’m very laid back with homeschooling my preschoolers. We read throughout the day. (We recently got our boys their own library cards, which they were so excited about! My youngest son wanted to sleep with his during nap time.) I strive to have a daily Bible time with them, reading verses on issues we are working through, such as obedience and being loving to our siblings. Then I also try to spend some time working in their workbooks, phonics or on some unit study that I know would interest them. (A few months ago
we spent our school time learning about electricity. My oldest found it fascinating!)
But some days none of those things happen because my boys end up finding some fascinating activity to do on their own, like stacking containers or building race tracks for their cars or playing outside. All of which are learning activities.
What would you tell a mom that was interested in starting her own blog or business?
Do lots of research before getting started! What are your city’s laws regarding a home business? How much money does it cost to get
started? What will you do if you end up not making the amount of money you’d like to? (In the low-income area I live there isn’t much of a demand for childbirth classes. So I’m not making as much money as I wanted to, which is why I branched out into general transcription.) Once you’ve done all of the research, just do it. Submitting applications for transcription jobs was a first for me. My first phone interview for a job was nerve wracking. But you’ll never see any reward for your work if you don’t just do it.
Blogging started out as a ministry for me. I had grandiose plans of how God would use my writing to encourage Christian women. And then I realized how difficult it is to get established as a blogger of influence. And then God changed my focus with blogging. I began to realize how blogging was a great spiritual tool in my life. As I write posts sharing what God has been teaching me, it helps the lessons to cement into my mind and life. So I now blog for myself as well as the readers God brings to our blog.
You have probably heard the “How do you do it all?” question more times than you can count. While we all realize that no one mom can “do it all” nor always perform perfectly, what are some things that help you juggle your responsibilities?
Being a homemaker, homeschooling mom, wife, and business owner requires self-discipline. I have to get up when the alarm goes off. I have to set aside (usually the online!) distractions during my boys’ quiet and nap times and work diligently. I don’t have a boss looking over my shoulder to make sure I log my hours or arrive to work on time. To get everything accomplished that needs to be done during the course of the day requires self-accountability.
I also prioritize my days. On the really busy days, I have to prioritize my to-do list. Perhaps I’ll rearrange my menu plan so that I have a quick and easy meal. Or decide that all of the work on my to-do list doesn’t really need to be done today and move some of it to later in the week.
What do you struggle with most as a mom, teacher and business owner?
One of my biggest struggles is living in the moment. When I know I have a transcription job waiting for me to work on during the boys’ naptimes I get antsy and anxious. I wonder how long it will take me. Will I have enough time to get it done? I’m working on just focusing on the task at hand. When I’m playing with my boys, be all there. When I’m doing housework, work diligently and efficiently. When I’m transcribing, don’t get distracted with Facebook or blogging.