Family Life

Shannon McKernan

Occupation: Office Coordinator for Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys 
Husband: Gordon McKernan
Children: Riley, 26; Meredith, 24; Charlotte, 22; & John Gordon, 21
Hobbies: Traveling, spending time with family, taking walks

Shannon McKernan works as a part-time office coordinator for her husband, Gordon McKernan, though she considers her job as a mom of four children to be the best job. Her children are older now, and they’ve all moved out the house, but she sees her relationship with them now as a true joy. She’s also learned the value of time when it comes to raising children. Spending time with family is one of Shannon’s favorite things to do, and she makes sure to never take it for granted.

What does a normal day look like for you?
I spend a lot of time balancing family, house, and office matters. I try to have some quiet time in the morning with my coffee, then I make sure the house is in order before I leave to check in on our offices. I communicate with them to see who needs what, like a new desk chair, some artwork, or even a refrigerator. At some point in the day, I usually take a walk around the neighborhood or around LSU Lakes. But, the best job in the world is taking care of my kids and making sure they have what they need, wherever they are. 

What are some of the joys and challenges of raising your children?
I enjoy watching them pick something they love and excel in that. Whatever they were involved in, cheerleading, dance, or soccer, I love seeing them be successful in whatever they were doing and grow into who they are today. When they succeed, you get to see all the work you put into parenting pay off. I also enjoy spending time with them and getting to travel with them. Some challenges are all the obstacles that get in the way of their success, like social pressures or failures. In that case, I have to help them get up and remind them that it’s not about how you fall, but about how you get up. I encourage them to get up with grace and strength. 

How would you describe yourself as a mom? 
Unorganized, messy, but somehow productive.

What do you like to do as a family?
We really love to travel and go out on our family boat for what we call “Boat Days.” We also love good food and good wine.

What’s your favorite thing about being a mom?
I can see the beauty in all my hard work as a parent. Now that they’re older, it’s about the relationships I have with them as young adults. It’s hard work, and when they’re younger, you’re not really their friend, but it’s a sweet time right now.

What has parenthood taught you?
It’s taught me a lot about patience and sacrifices. I’ve also learned the time you have with your children is so precious. Don’t take family for granted.

What are some things you strived to teach your children?
“Kill them with kindness” was one of my biggest lessons for them. Gordon and I also taught them a lot about faith in God and about the importance of sticking up for your siblings.

What has been the biggest difference in being a mom during the pandemic?
We are thankful for remote work and virtual learning in many ways. Despite the circumstances, it allowed us to spend more time together. It brought Meredith home from New York for three months, and Charlotte and John Gordon came home because their classes moved online. So, the pandemic really brought us together in a sweet way.

What has been your biggest challenge for your job during the pandemic?
It’s been really hard to get supplies. Even if it’s just a rug, it might take three months to come in. Just now, it took six months for a chair to come in for one of our attorneys. We had to order a lot of things after the hurricane due to water damage, like rugs, desks, and chairs. The things I ordered for the new Monroe office wound up taking a long time to ship, which delayed the office from opening on time. It’s really taught us a lot about patience.

What do you do to relax?
I love to get in a good walk.

What personality trait of yours do your children also have?
Sadly, some of them got my lack of organizational skills, but we’re all pretty laid back. We don’t get stressed out about too many things around here.

What do you want to do that is still on your bucket list?
We really want to take the kids to South Africa.

What’s your dream travel spot?

Do you have any advice for other parents?
Try to soak it all in, and don’t rush it! I know it’s easy to get so busy, but the biggest gift we can give our children is our time. Go to their play, watch them cheer at the basketball game, take them to lunch, or ride your bike with them. Another gift you can give to your children is having a healthy, balanced marriage with your spouse, so don’t forget to go on date nights.

Before I go out, I always check to make sure I have…
my cell phone.
In my fridge, you will always find…Velveeta cheese slices.
My favorite dessert is…anything chocolate.
My favorite food is…cheeseburger with truffle fries.
My guilty pleasure is…watching Yellowstone
The first thing I do when I wake up is…say a prayer with a cup of coffee.
I’m always laughing at…my husband.

Newsletter Signup

Your Weekly guide to Baton Rouge family fun. BR Parents has a newsletter for every parent. Sign Up