Shayna Easley Landry
Occupation: Senior Civil Designer and President of The Foster Village
Children: Linda, 25; Wyatt, 9; and Harper, 5
Hobbies: Working on the farm, solving genetic mysteries, and crafting
A day spent caring for peacocks, chickens, emu, goats, turkeys and a pony may sound like a lot of work to many, but for Shayna Easley Landry, it’s just one part of her day, and it’s something she never thought she would be experiencing a year ago. Right as the pandemic hit, Shayna and her family traded out city life for farm life. This move provided more space for the family of five to thrive and gave them all an opportunity to slow down and decompress together.
As a wife, mother, grandmother, civil designer, and founder of a local nonprofit, Shayna is no stranger to a full schedule. However, she always leaves plenty of room for fun with her kiddos, whether they’re playing pranks on one another or getting hands-on with science experiments.
What does a normal day look like for you?
SHAYNA: I work from home now, but it’s nice because I built this little office and I can get some work done but still enjoy the farm. I have tons of windows, and so every now and again, I go for a walk or I’ll see chickens passing by my window. My husband’s working from home as well, so we can take a break from our corporate life and walk out to the barn and kind of decompress with the animals. It’s a little bit of hardcore engineering work, and then a little bit of animal time during the day.
What’s something a lot of people don’t know about you?
SHAYNA: Most people don’t know that I’m a grandmother. Linda has two children. My girls share that they’re both adopted from foster care.
What are some of the joys and challenges of raising children?
SHAYNA: They’re just so different. It’s so cool to see how different they are, and I think the challenge is their differences as well. You can’t parent each child the same, so what works for one doesn’t work for the other. Harper is a testament to that. She is our strong-willed wild and free child. The other two, they just did not prepare me for her. My stepson is the total opposite. He is so quiet, down to earth, and laid back.
What led you to fostering?
SHAYNA: The times that I’ve adopted from foster care, both of the girls fell into my lap. I wasn’t a certified foster parent. I didn’t know anything about foster care. The first time I fostered, I was 23 and she was 14, so we were both learning and growing at the same time. It was one of the most amazing things that I’ve ever done. It was also one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. You know, she’s 25, but she’s my baby. After getting Harper, I knew that I couldn’t take any more. Both times, I was single, so that’s where The Foster Village came from, being able to help more children. I just have a huge heart for the kids.
What do you like to do as a family?
SHAYNA: We do a lot of outdoor things together. We go camping quite often. We try to get them out into nature as much as possible. My husband’s a marine biologist, so he’s really outdoorsy, and then of course, the farm. We’re teaching them to raise the animals and they love it.
What’s your favorite thing about being a mom?
SHAYNA: I love watching them connect the dots and learn, and then seeing them mimic something that I’ve done before. Just like with my work. I’m in civil engineering and people always ask why I chose that, and it’s because civil engineering is bridges, it’s sidewalks, it’s things that you can walk on and see, and have an impact in the world. It’s the same thing with the kids. I can teach something, and then it might not be today or tomorrow, but in six months, I see it come back. You’re planting the seeds for a prosperous future.
What has parenthood taught you?
SHAYNA: Patience. I can adapt a lot better than I thought I could. I’ve always been spontaneous. I’m one of those people who doesn’t look before they leap, but they keep me there in that childlike, spontaneous way.
What has been your biggest challenge in parenting during the pandemic?
SHAYNA: I’m definitely trying to balance work. Life with my children, especially when they’re home, is absolutely a huge challenge for us because, of course, I want to be out there with them the whole time, but I’m just trying to manage my time with them and making sure that everything is taken care of.
What’s your favorite date night with your husband?
SHAYNA: We do date boxes. One of them was like an escape room, where you logged online, and it came with popcorn you make on the stove and apple cider. One of them came with cards and you asked each other questions you probably wouldn’t think to ask otherwise.
What kind of mom would you describe yourself as?
SHAYNA: A fun mom. I’m pretty hands on. I like to do science experiments and things like that with the kids. We did the Mentos in the Coke bottles recently.
What’s a lesson you hope to teach your children?
SHAYNA: To think about others, to be kind and show kindness and empathy to others, and to treat others like you’d like to be treated and even better.
Any advice for other parents?
SHAYNA: Go with the flow and relax. Every child is different, don’t expect them all to be the same cookie cutter mold that you think they should be. Let them be themselves.
Before I go out, I always check to make sure I have…
In my fridge, you will always find…
Favorite movie growing up…
My guilty pleasure is…
Muffin tops. You could come to my house and find the bottoms of all the muffins.
I’m always laughing at…
My favorite television show is…
My favorite ice cream is…