Hey I’m Jillian. Health and wellness, minimalism, and my new found love for plant-based living are a few of my passions. I am also passionate about learning, listening, and exploring diversity. The outdoors, weightlifting, running, and yoga are some of the things I love. Early childhood development enchants me. I am seen in the neighborhood as some type of fairy godmother of fun through my work with Tinkergarten. I enjoy going to church with my family and living by the word of Christ.
The Who, The What, The Why
I thrive when I take the time to think, analyze, and plan. What brings me the most joy is being able to help other moms and families around me. I wouldn’t say I’m a people pleaser. Rather, I’m a person who likes to make others smile. I’m straight forward but know how to read the room and can carry on a conversation with anyone. I am most interested in learning about others and the significance of our differences and how they shape the world.
I believe in range and feel my breadth will make the world a better place. Leading exercise classes in my backyard for other neighborhood moms and running outdoor learning classes for toddlers is something I do. I make myself available to the working parents in my neighborhood, and consider myself generally good at anything I put my mind to. I try to have a variety of hobbies I actively keep in a harmonious balance, but still find time to fine tune the skills that define me best, like mommy-ing and writing on my blog, Mom’s Variety.
With all that brings me joy, I sometimes struggle setting limits for myself. So, when I reel myself back in, I realize each moment has an end so being too overwhelmed to live in the moment is no good for me and my family.
I worked in the business end of a popular non-profit for 11 years. I made my way to the executive level and never saw myself working outside of the business platform I grew to love. Unfortunately, motherhood and the corporate world do not mix merrily. My boys came within 15 months of each other, and I refused to work during my approved leave, so they crafted a story against me and let me go the day I returned to work.
Dealing with unexpectedly becoming a stay-at-home mom put me in a terrible state of mind. I eventually checked myself in for some help. I have started to overcome the loss of my job and depression and have been able to embrace the ups and downs of motherhood despite its disparities. My newest drive and purpose has been making myself, my experiences, and the light that shines within me a guide for others to find what brings them joy.
I’ve always known I would enjoy being a mother. As the oldest girl in a single parent household with five children, I learned a lot at a young age and discovered my passion for teaching and leading caring for my younger siblings. Later in life, I knew motherhood would be my greatest teaching opportunity.
I am blessed to have two strong-willed boys that challenge my sanity regularly. Jack Danger came into the world almost a year after I married my match. He was the easiest baby; strong, smart, and inquisitive. These are still some of his best traits. His brother Maxwell Walker came 15 months later. He was the opposite of an easy baby to say the least. He is super smart and hypersensitive. I, in turn, am his number one pupil.
They have taught me so much about resilience, empathy, and compassion. They have forever changed who I am and continue to influence my drive to make the world a better place. Jack made me a mom, Maxwell made me a supermom. I’ve been a working mom, a depressed mom, a mom with mental health issues. A happy mom, a frightful mom, a damaged mom, a sad mom, a passionate mom. But with these two, they keep me an eager and optimistic mom.
I’ve lived in Metro Detroit my entire life. I developed a love for the city at a young age following my mom into court and sitting under her desk in her Corrections office. I love learning culture through food and arts through the theatre. The many personalities and qualities of the city have always amazed me.
Following the death of my father when I was seven years old, we moved to Grosse Pointe. I struggled with identity issues there but also learned a lot about the importance of understanding diversity.
For the majority of my previous career, I traveled and worked throughout all of southeast Michigan. I am familiar with many towns and favorable locations, as well as the less-traveled unique spots this side of the state has to offer.
Currently, I live in the west end of Dearborn. I love my neighborhood, although I see the challenges my children will face fitting in with affluence on a lower middle class dime. That is where I am eager to make change and create understanding. What I love about Dearborn is there is a park or playground around every corner, we are immersed in culture, and we are 30 minutes away from all the best attractions.
I am most excited to share the Jillian Lankford perspective with other Detroit Moms and be captivated by their stories as well. I look forward to immersing myself in a variety of topics and truly delving deep into my experiences to provide meaningful, inspiring content that followers will feel and love. I look forward most to learning about what it takes to write for a large audience and maintain an intrigued fan base.