As an influential voice in the body confidence space, Sarah Nicole Landry (aka The Birds Papaya) brings people together by sharing honestly about her journey of divorce, self-worth, living beyond your body and love. We caught up with the super-popular influencer to ask 25 rapid-fire questions about her career, parenting, her role models and more.
What is your idea of the perfect day?
This is where the ambivert (both extrovert and introvert) in me comes out, because I’d love to spend half the day with family and friends doing something where you can dress up and enjoy fancy cocktails..and then the other half of the day, I would like to sit with nothing but a book and a clear schedule!
Why did you choose your career?
I chose a passion project that turned into a side hustle. The idea of it ever being a career felt incredibly far away, especially a decade into it. But, I loved it and I kept doing it, and as it grew and I was able to support myself more, it took encouragement from a fellow woman entrepreneur to get me to really take it seriously and go for it, for real!
What do you love most about what you do in your job?
The people. I started [The Birds Papaya] because I was seeking community and was struggling within my own mental health and motherhood and wanted to feel like I was a part of something, I belonged. So now I just like to show up as the person that creates a community where we all belong, can enjoy the bits of life we do, the triumphs and the trials and a LOT of laughter. The people and the community are my why.
What has been the hardest part of building your career?
Combining what I wanted to do with the people pleasing tendencies I had, and the opinions of others that would follow me every step of the way. We’re all used to performance reviews in the workspace. I have to face them every day, without losing who I am in the process.
Who was/is your mentor?
I’ve had many mentors throughout my life. Besides my own mother, as a teen I had a mentor named Debi who walked through a lot of those transformative years with me. In my career, while not officially my mentor, Joanna Griffiths of Knix has been a believer of my work and has repeatedly pushed me into better work ethics, taking chances and showing up as my best self.
Who is your favourite Canadian?
Shania. I saw her once in real life and she was majestic. I also want to say the Ryans (Gosling and Reynolds) but come on, Shania!
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Like.” I say it so much, it bothers me endlessly when I listen back on my own stories or conversations.
Which words or phrases do you dislike when other people overuse?
I hate feeling like I’m judging others, but I really have grown to dislike things like “girl boss” because we don’t say that of men, they’re not “boy boss” so I’ve really just gotten a distaste for it. But, if someone else loves it, that’s fine!
Who or what is the greatest love of your life?
When and where were you happiest?
The birth of my last child this last January. It was such a complete moment. After divorce and remarriage, three kids and this finality to our family when I birthed her and looked up at all my most precious humans… It was just the biggest and greatest joy. I like to bring up her birth a lot, because it really was a huge moment for us all.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I would love to be talented at video! It’s such an amazing skill, I hope to learn more.
Who are your heroes in real life?
My mom, she’s just so inspiring and so kind. My aunt is one of the most amazing entrepreneurs I’ve ever met. I’ll also say Jillian Harris because that woman does SO much for so many, including myself. People don’t realize that she will just drop things to have a phone chat with me as someone who “gets it”.
What is your motto?
I don’t know what I’m doing but I’m doing it anyway.
What do you always have in your fridge?
About 100 condiments. That sounds like an exaggeration, it’s not.
How would you describe yourself as a parent?
Descriptors for parents are often “free range” or “helicopter” or “bulldozer” and I’m just a survivalist parent. What can we do to get through this day, to the best of our ability, with the capacities we all have, and have fun while we do?
What is your parenting superpower?
Perspective. I can’t be the driver of their own journey, but I can share a perspective of my own to help guide them. This has really empowered them to ask for support, instead of asking me to fix things.
What is your favourite memory of your own parents?
My parents (more specifically my mom) would theme each week so we learned something new. I felt this was normal, until I grew up and realized not everybody has “butterfly week” or “space week”.
What is a tradition from your childhood that you’ve carried on with your own kids?
A love of all things Disney!
What do you love most about being a parent, and what do you dislike most?
I love that kids bring out the kid in you. You just get to experience everything again with that child-like wonder. I love how funny and entertaining just regular things can be. A dinner together is so chaotic and so hilarious, I love it. I don’t love when they fight. I don’t love when I feel like I’m at capacity and they’re getting the end bits of me. I don’t like that my house hasn’t been clean since 2006.
What has surprised you most about being a parent that you weren’t expecting?
I think since I struggled to love babysitting I worried that parenthood wouldn’t come naturally to me. At times, it hasn’t. But the overall feeling was relief. Joy. Learning.
Favourite family vacation and why?
As a family now, we haven’t taken a big one yet. We’ve done Blue Mountain and once went to Frankenmuth, MI, to the big Christmas town! We’ve booked a trip to Disney that’s been postponed til 2022, but we can’t wait!
What one trait or value are you most trying to instil in your children?
A willingness to be wrong. You cannot succeed in anything if you’re not willing to fail, and admit failure and see failure as a path to learning.
What one trait are you hoping to avoid?
Anger and resentment. They will eat away at you. I hope they learn to have feelings of anger and frustration, but don’t live there. It’s like when it’s cold outside and someone says how cold it is… it doesn’t solve the problem but now everybody is recognizing that cold a little bit more.
Favourite family summer activity?
Evening walks, we try to do them every night (that they’re with me). It always feels a bit like a hard reset on our connections.
Favourite family winter activity?
EVERYTHING HOLIDAY AND CHRISTMAS!