Get to Know Jennifer and Her Family

Get to know me

Who am I? I think this is going to be the hardest post I have to write! I hate getting my picture taken. I don’t like being in the spotlight. Thinking and writing about who I am makes me feel so exposed! But here goes . . . .

I am loyal to a fault. To people and products. I had three Toyotas in a row. This past spring we bought a Chevy, and I felt terribly guilty! When it comes to the people in my life, it takes a lot to disrupt this loyalty. I will jump to your defense before getting all the facts. Does this make me a better manager? I hope my teams know they are safe with me. But I do need to remind myself sometimes to slow down and get the facts first. Does this make me a better mom? My kids know I always have their backs. However, I cringe sometimes when I think back on the times I marched up my neighbor’s back deck in defense of my children. There’s a slight chance I wasn’t always right 🙂 .

I’m generally mild mannered and laid back. My husband says I’m stubborn. I like to think I know who I am and what I believe in; this is different than being stubborn. Present a valid argument and I’ll change my position. I’m giving and a people pleaser – probably too much of a “yes” person.

Get to know my family

I grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago, went to school here (DePaul and UIC) and now reside in the western suburbs. I’ve been here my entire life. My husband is in IT and an Air Force brat. He grew up living all over – in Germany, Japan a few times, and various US states. We therefore have different perspectives on roots and family ties. We have three children; two boys and a girl (our daughter is in the middle). We have two rescue dogs and will always have rescue pets – there may be a post or two about this family passion!

What you can expect me to write about

My writing style is dramatic and emotional. I’m not a humorous writer. In high school I was editor of my school newspaper and after writing a piece fighting the parents trying to close our school, I was invited to speak in front of the school board. In college and as a young adult I wrote dramatic emails to landlords, (ex-) roommates, companies that I felt wronged me or the environment. I’m more selective in my written rants now.

I have a son with food allergies. It terrifies me and makes me slightly paranoid. He’s 13 now so I plan to share all I’ve learned with other moms raising kids with life threatening allergies. I’m also a 20+ year vegetarian, married to someone who only eats meat. As a result, our kids are good eaters and have a varied diet. I’ll share tricks and tips for getting dinner together quickly while meeting different needs. Lastly, painting is my therapy! I love DIY projects that can be done in a weekend if possible. I can’t wait to engage with you as we work through projects together!

Where my mom game is on point

I asked my kids this question in a group text, as I was curious what they’d say. My daughter said “You are very nice and take good care of us no matter what.” My son replied, “Same.” (He’s a teen of few words.) My youngest said, “I love you cause you’re the best. You would do anything to help us.” I think I’m on point when I’m helping them but at the same time teaching them to be self-sufficient. At work we came up with our super powers and mine was empathy. This helps me be a good mom! Do I remember what it was like to be 13? Not really. But I can empathize and realize that a problem that seems small to me really means the world to my children.

Where I’m lacking

Time management! I’m always late! Not to the point where I miss the school concert or play, but I’m the mom running in as the lights are dimming. I also cram way too much in, especially on the weekends. By Sunday evening I’m exhausted and seldom get everything done that I intended to at the start of the weekend. I also know I can also do a better job letting go. But it’s so hard! It’s true what they say – the nights are long but the years are short. Honestly I’d be happy if my kids stayed with me forever. Joking/not joking. 

Why I’m excited about this project

Since we started this project we’ve already lifted and supported each other so much! None of us are alone in this journey. I learn so much when I’m with my mom friends. This is our chance to continue learning and growing together!



Jennifer Strilko

Jennifer is the Director of Operations at DI/LDM, keeping the train moving for several operational teams and helping them meet their goals. Jennifer believes that everything happens for a reason and that we don’t meet anyone by accident. She’s looking forward to meeting new people and widening her tribe through this blog project. In her spare time Jennifer enjoys DIY projects (upcycling curbside finds is her favorite past time). Her Mom Hustle includes being a dance and baseball mom, maneuvering teen drama, and preparing her kids for college. She lives in the western suburbs of Chicago with her husband, three teenagers and two dogs.