Daybreak resident wants women to connect and thriveJan 05, 2024 12:55PM ● By Peri Kinder
Daybreak resident Jennifer Banks hosts the “A is for Adversity” podcast where she offers support and resources for women who experience loneliness and disconnection. (Photo courtesy of Banks)
Jennifer Banks loves inspirational quotes. One of her favorites is “Drink as you pour.” It’s a reminder to her that in order to help others, she needs to continually replenish her own pitcher. This became more clear when she had her first child five years ago.
When she was pregnant, she encountered many women who felt they’d lost their identities when they became mothers. They experienced discouragement and disconnection, and felt they’d given up a part of themselves. They weren’t sure how to get it back.
Banks decided she was not going to let that happen to her. She promised herself she would help other mothers return to their personal goals, desires and passions.
“As women we are such givers, we’re such nurturers, we’re so selfless, but taking time to keep ourselves in the equation has greater dividends at the end,” she said. “You’re able to show up better, you’re able to be happier and more present and just feel like yourself within your motherhood, instead of giving whatever is left over.”
This concept sparked the idea for her podcast “A is for Adversity.” Banks started the podcast three years ago, but her show gained traction once she moved to the Daybreak community two years ago.
On her podcast, she talks about how to deal with the hard times that cause a breakdown in identity and how to reach out for help. Each season is an A-Z tutorial on how to deal with everyday challenges.
Banks believes loneliness is rampant in women’s lives. In addition to her podcast, she created The Sunshine Community to address the disconnection. She wants it to be a way for women to rely on each other and tap into each other’s strengths.
“As humans, we’re craving that. We’re social beings and so we need a place to find that,” she said. “We live in this community that’s full of thousands of people, but what we need is a more tight-knit support system where we really know who to call. It’s really connecting the helper with the person seeking help.”
Her goal is to have a brick-and-mortar venue for The Sunshine Community group, a place women can come for informal gatherings like workshops, book clubs, luncheons or art classes. Banks said there are lots of big venues for events like weddings and receptions, but nothing small, intimate and affordable where people can get together and connect with each other.
She worries that mothers invest so much time and energy in their children, taking them to sports activities, music lessons, art classes, but women don’t often invest in their own self-improvement, development or continuing education.
“I found that a lot of women were saying that they lost themselves and that once they were empty nesters, they had no clue what to do with their lives,” Banks said. “I made a pact with myself that I wasn’t going to lose my identity throughout motherhood. It’s the purpose of my podcast [and The Sunshine Community] to help other women maintain their identity through motherhood.”
Banks has a background in education. She taught second grade while her husband finished law school and she currently teaches preschool in her home. She would like to include a preschool or daycare with The Sunshine Community venue to relieve some stress when it comes to childcare.
Her podcasts are posted every Thursday on a variety of streaming platforms, including Spotify and Apple. She continues to create a community that supports women through all the stages of their lives and continues to move toward building a venue for connection.
“In the Daybreak community, we have the community center, but it feels like a kind of sterile environment, you know, the vibe isn’t quite there,” she said. “So there’s a need to gather in a place where we can relax and truly let down our walls and connect with one another.”λ