Owning Your Greatness with Vameker Banks : Mom On The Move 

 

I could hear tiny little feet running towards the door in anticipation that a guest was about to enter their home. I was caught in a moment of awe when I saw a petite beautiful woman with her head in a lovely headwrap opening the door to welcome me in. Seeing renowned empowerment speaker, youth advocate, and former school counselor in mommy mode was a rare treasure from her usual pristine photos from her website. Vameker has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in working with parents and youth through the educational system. She currently tours schools and other venues as a speaker  motivating students to walk into their greatness boldly. Her bubbly personality allows her to connect cross social genders with both male and female students in empowering youth to be confident in the belief of making their dreams a reality. I embraced her two kiddos with a warm hug, and I asked them if I could borrow their Mommy for just little while. They eagerly gave me permission with the exception of their mother keeping their agreement for a fun day outing. I had many thoughts while driving pass historic Stone Mountain in route to Snellville G.A. about our first meeting on the topic of owning the greatness within since that’s a personal theme of myself for this year. Many of us struggle with owning our greatness within ourselves of chasing our dreams, stepping outside of the box, and venturing beyond the lines that have been provided for us to stay behind. It’s important for us as parents to encourage our children to believe in striving for the greater without constantly second guessing ourselves. Parents who are empowered raise empowered children to do the same in building up the next generations that follow. Vameker gets this message, and she travels sharing her golden nuggets of information for all to see their greatness within.

P.F.M. : What gave you the inspiration to do what you do in encouraging parents and young people ?

 V.B. I was inspired to step out on faith and follow my dream of pursuing a career in speaking after speaking to other mothers over the course of three years share with me that they left their corporate six figure paying jobs to  put their family first or start a business, and they have been more happy and success, there is nothing more inspiring than that. 

P.F.M. : Why are so many of us afraid to walk out faith and believe in our own greatness? 

V.B. : Many of us don’t know or believe that we are great. I mean really great. We don’t hear that we are great enough. We don’t take the time to cultivate the skills that we have. Many of us put our dreams on hold because of family or helping others activate their greatness and we begin to fall in a supportive role rather that a leadership role(outside of mommyhood). We are the leaders of our own destiny. It is up to us to walk out our faith and believe we are worthy to live the life we have dreamed of. Sometimes it takes other moms encouraging and empowering us to believe in our greatness so much that we start to believe in it ourselves.

P.F.M. : Is it arrogant to speak of ” greatness” regarding ourselves?

V.B. : This is a great question. No it is not arrogant to speak of greatness regarding ourselves because if we don’t think we are great, say we are great, or hold ourselves to a great standard, no one else will believe in our greatness. Greatness is achieved over time and through life experiences.  So for many of us who have lived, been through some things, and experienced some challenges in life but also made it through to tell about it have accomplished some type of greatness in our life.

P.F.M.  Have you always been so confident?

V.B. : No, I was not always confident, What helped me to become confident in my ability as a school counselor and speaker was all of the students and parents that look to me as an expert, they look to me as being knowledgeable, authentic, and honest about things that directly affect our youth and my community. I think that my confidence built up over time and was solidified by the positive reviews and awards I received throughout my career as a school counselor and now speaker. I am reminded of an old saying, people don’t carhop much you know, until they know how much you care. The trust that people have for me also aided in my confidence. 

P.M.F. : What were some of the biggest challenges that you had to overcome personally to be where you are now to walk into your greatness and to encourage others?

V.B. : One  of the biggest challenges I had and still have is feeling like I have to prove how great of a speaker and youth mentor to people outside of my community and school system. It is difficult for me to talk about myself, I would rather people see me in action but in order for that to happen I have to sell myself, and that is new for me.

P.F.M.  What is a life coach? Do you consider yourself one, and if so what are the benefits having one apart of your life ?

V.B. : A life coach is an individual that helps someone achieve specific goals that they have for their life. I do like the label life coach because I have a degree in school counseling but since I am no longer working in a school setting, I became a certified life coach but I make sure to focus on teens and young adults because I know I have something to offer that age group. I also focus on encouraging and empowering mothers because I am one, and over the years I have worked closely with mothers and see the need for support in motherhood especially for single mothers.

P.F.M. : What advice would you give your younger self about 10 years back?

V.B. : Invest in Yourself. You are worth it. You can do it. It will take great work but it will be one of the best decisions you will ever make. 

P.F.M  : What are  3 simple ways mothers can get out of the “woe as me ” funk and walk boldly in their greatness?

V.B. :  1. Make “me time” a priority, I believe in daily “me-time” We must rejuvenate ourselves daily. 

2. Don’t dwell on the past, Our past does not define who we are nor does it determine how far we can go in life.

3.  Change our stinking thinking. Remember we are teaching our children how to react in situations based on how we react in situations we are in, if we are having a pity party, we are teaching our children to have a pity party. Instead we must teach them to pull themselves up by the bootstraps or in today’s time, pull themselves up by their Jordan’s and face the challenges in their life.

P.F.M. : You are stunning? What are some beauty tips that you have for stressful and tired moms to look refreshed and be fabulous?

V.B. Thank you. I am a very low maintenance girl. I believe in exfoliating and coconut oil. There are 3 things every mommy should have in her purse: chapstick, under eye concealer and mascara. 

P.F.M. : How long have you been married? 

V.B. : I have been married for 9 years. My husband is my biggest supporter.

P.F.M. : What were some of the qualities that you admire about your husband?

V.B. : Some of the qualities that I admire about my husband are that he is a hard worker, he is very supportive of my choices and dreams, he trusts me with my career and family decisions. He motivates and encourages me daily, he believes in me, at times  more than I believed in myself. I love that he just wants to make me happy.

P.F.M. : What was the best date or vacation that the two of you all shared together? 

V.B. : My husband took me to Thailand and he opened my eye up to life/culture outside of the US. 

P.F.M. : Oh, wow! What advice do you have for young couples with young children to stay romantic and strong as a couple?

V.B. : TAKE A BREAK. Allow family to watch the kids, and spend quality time together. Be invested in each other’s dreams and goals. Be your partner’s biggest cheerleader.

P.F.M. : You have a son and daughter.  What are the differences that you see in raising both of them ?

V.B. : I am happy to have been blessed to have one of each. What I am learning about raising both a boy and girl is that my son looks to me for reassurance and validation and my daughter has an outgoing independent personality and looks to me to make sure she doesn’t get caught doing something she shouldn’t be doing. My son want to please me and my daughter wants to be like me.

P.F.M. : What do you enjoy most about being a mother?

V.B. : I enjoy doing my best to make sure that my children have a childhood that they can look back on and be proud of. I enjoy looking at their faces when they come home from school and they don’t have a worry in the world. That means the world to me. 

P.F.M. : What was the best mother advice giving to you?

V.B. : The best mother advise that was given to me was that I don’t have to do it all by myself, don’t put pressure on myself to be supermom. Oh, and some nights will be PB & J.

P.F.M. : What are some tips for working mothers with young kids in balancing career, family, self care, and in reaching their personal goals?

V.B. : My tips for moms trying to balance it all is to do one thing at a time, take time for yourself daily, always have new goals, watch videos and  read books that keep you motivated Lastly, decide what type of mother you want to be and commit to being just that. I am an entrepreneurial mom who decides to structure my day so that my focus can be on one thing at a time.  My kids are enrolled in school which frees me up during the day to focus on my business and business goals but when they come home I am committed to being attentive and involved in every aspect of their life. I help with HW, I cook dinner, and play games with them. When they go to bed, back to business for an hour or two. This structure works for me and allows me to keep my focus and sanity.

P.F.M. :  Thanks so much for joining me for our interview. I really enjoyed it. You are a wealth of knowledge and inspiration. Finally , are there any new projects that we can expect to see from you in the near future?

V.B. :  Yes, I am currently finishing my touches on my book. I am so excited to share my experience in empowering youth especially young girls. I have also been busy with many speaking engagements for which I am always grateful in sharing. Thanks so much for inviting me as well.

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