Mom and Dad of The Month- Andrew And Shannon from We The Taylors!
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We are so excited for our Mom and Dad of the month! Shannon and Andrew from We The Taylors are a joy with their two little girls. This family is fun, witty and keep it real with some of the most honest product reviews out there. Fall in love with this family just as we have!
We The Taylors: How did you two meet? Tell us your love story.
Andrew and I met when we were in high school. You can say high school sweethearts even though we went to different schools. It was called MySpace, remember that website? Haha, the good old days. Also a lot of chatting on MSN! I miss that [email protected]! Andrew decided to ask me out on my birthday which happens to be the same month as his too. So what can I say…May has always been the busiest time of year for us. Birthdays and anniversary! This was love at first sight, literally. We started out as a young teen couple in love in the year 2007. After 5 years of dating, we decided to move in together in the city of Burlington. We had our first baby girl Ava in 2015 then little Miss Maisey in 2018. After being together for 12 years, Andrew finally decided to pop the question on Christmas Day 2018! That was a surprisingly good, but also funny moment because it was freezing outside and I was trying to cry but it was just frozen tears! Other than that, it was so special because our girls were there and it was also being photographed as it was happening.
This is us, the Taylors, this is our story.
Tell us why you decided to start this beautiful lifestyle blog with your two kids Ava and Maisey.
Everything started a couple years ago when Andrew converted his personal Instagram page and his love of cars into a dad page. From there he grew and started working with brands and producing content on his own. From there we decided to create a separate family page so that we can talk about our real life family experiences and journey of parenthood. We are raising two beautiful smart girls and it’s not always sunshine and lollypops when you’re a parent. We wanted to create a space where we can both share the point of view of parenthood from both a fathers and mothers side while also incorporating our daughters and having fun along the way.
Tell us about Ava’s and Maisey. What is it like being a family of girls?
Ava and Maisey, two sisters that are COMPLETE opposites. We have Ava, our first born, who is loud, crazy and very outgoing. Ava is the sponge of our family, she lets everything soak in, and then the questions start. She loves to memorize her daily events and then asks us questions about everything she can remember; she’s quite the interested character. Then there is Maisey, kid number two. She is calm, cool and collective; she is the zen of our family. As she grows her personality is too, at first she was always shy, and she is finally coming out of her shell. But let me tell you this, you put both of these girls together in a room and oh man, CHAOS begins. They feed off of each other and it seems they compete to who can be the loudest.
As for being a family of girls, well….Andrew is definitely outnumbered, but hey! At least our cat is a boy. Being a mom of two girls is quite a handful. It is pretty much looking at me when I was a kid, crazy and calm; I love every minute of it though. I love being a girl mom, dressing them up all girly, doing each other’s hair, watching girl movies etc. I have 3 sisters and 1 brother so my sisters and I have always been so close. We have a bond like no other. So with that, I knew having daughters it would be a blessing because now Ava and Maisey are sisters and they’re relationship just brings back memories of my childhood. When it’s just the 3 of us at home while Andrew is at work it is pretty wild with all the estrogen running around the house. From a dad point of view it is quite interesting, I was an only child growing up until my brother was born when I was 13. So for me I have always been around guys, and been doing guy things, you know being young and reckless. Being in a house full of women is different…very different, and it’s not different in a bad way. I love my girls and they are my pride and joy. Being a dad to two girls has opened my eyes to a lot more issues in life that I never thought I would be faced with. All I can say is the future is going to be a story for the ages, and it’s going to be a wild ride.
We really do love and appreciate your “Products We Trust”. Why is it very important to your family to promote products that you have tried and are committed to?
As parents it’s always been important to us to use products we know and that we can trust. Since we started this journey we have worked with brands that produce products for men women and our kids. We choose the brands we work with based off of personal experience and trust, and love to share those products with our followers. Working with brands that we actually use in our everyday life gives us real life stories to share and allows us to be fully transparent with everyone and can produce real life content. It’s easy to share a picture or a video on social media about a product or a brand but if the real life story to go along with that brand isn’t there then why promote something fake. For us the Products We Trust part of our blog is there to show the brands we use in out household every day and to share those brands with people in case they are looking for a certain product or brand to use in their house that they may not have thought of using before.
Tell us about Just Dad Bloggin…
JustDadbloggin was created literally one day when we were sitting on the couch enjoying a couple drinks and Shannon brought up how there is so many moms talking about their life and sharing their moments but only a handful of dads were doing the same. I decided to look around and found some awesome dad blogs, and dad social media that were doing an amazing job sharing their journey. From there Just Dad Bloggin was created.
I created Just Dad Bloggin based off of: when you have a house full of women and run out of home repairs, cleaning cars, watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones or finally finish that season mode in Madden what’s next to do ? While how about a blog start and name it:
“Just Dad Blogging”
A place where I can post pictures and videos of my family, talk about “dad problems,” tell “dad jokes” or maybe just rant about being surrounded by a whole lot of estrogen 24/7. You never know what types of stories or rants you’ll come across. This is just a place for me to talk about being surrounded in a home of women and maybe talk about the latest car, movie or gadget.
You two keep parenting real! Why is it important to give parents the insights on the real sides of parenthood?
Growing up as kids and young adults our parents always said, once you have kids everything changes, having kids is hard, kids are expensive blah blah blah. Growing up the stereotype of parenting is hard, challenging and costly but in all honesty it’s not. We’re not saying its easy cause it’s not but when we started the blog we wanted to be real as real as we could be.
For the parents to be or the parents that are just starting out, if they happen to come across any of our pages we want them to see that there is beautiful moments that you will never forget and moments when you just want to pull your hair out. For the parents that are in the same situations as us, dealing with toddlers and babies it is something they can relate to.
To the parents that have children older than ours, they may have teenagers or may have kids in their late twenties, they have something to look back on if they stumble across our page and remember the times when they used to hold their son or daughter in their arms, tucked them into bed and read them a story. Every parent has something they can relate to with another parent no matter what the age is of their child is.
So for us showing all the real moments whether it’s Ava cutting her own hair, or Maisey smacking her face of the table, shit happens and there is things you cannot control. You have to learn to go with the flow, try and set boundaries and teach you kid’s right from wrong. At the end of the day no parent is perfect and if there is parents stressing out there because of certain situations they are facing, we want them to know you’re not alone, there is other parents out there with the same challenges and if we can even just make one person’s day to make their situation better that is a win in our minds.
Give us your best Dad Joke!
Due to the quarantine
I’ll only be telling inside jokes
Shannon, tell us about your typical day being a stay at home Mom to two wonderful girls!
Being a stay a home mom for 5 years now has definitely been a lifestyle change! It does have its ups and downs, but I wouldn’t change this ever. I try and stick to a routine for both of my girls to keep them occupied. It can get pretty loud and chaotic at the house which can drive me crazy! When it’s just us three while Andrew is at work, it’s always a different vibe. The “can I have a snack” every 5 minutes or “mommy mommy mommy” for everything all day every day, the questions never stop. I can tell you that I am use to all of this, but when Andrew does come home I’m like thank god, finally a break! My day is most likely the same everyday nothing really changes and our schedule stays fairly the same. Now that Ava is in school it has been a little different with only Maisey home. The summer is the best time, that’s when we can do so much more together when I’m home with both of the girls. That’s why I like to call it motherhood unfiltered because it is the real raw moments that will always love to remember.
You both are our favorite family from Burlington, Canada. What makes Burlington a special place to raise children?
Burlington, Ontario, Canada was literally never a thought in a million years for any of us. Andrew was born and raised in Scarborough and I was raised in Pickering. For us Burlington was never a thought until Andrews work decided to offer him a promotion which lead us to moving to Burlington. When we first moved here it was very different for Andrew, he has a hard time adjusting to the environment and me well, I loved it. We moved into an apartment on lakeshore by Spencer Smith Park and I fell in love with all the vibes. The first thing we noticed was how quiet it was and how everyone was so polite and cheerful. The downtown side of Burlington had a small town feel to it with all the local business and the village square that is so cute! After living here for just over a year, seeing how great the city was and all it has to offer we decided that we should start a family. Burlington to us was the perfect place to start a family. Burlington is a big city but it is a has a small town feeling to it, it’s a tight knit community with amazing parks, shops, schools and festivals, We knew they would be a safe environment to raise our kids and by creating a family here it would give our kids a place to call home.
Describe parenting in 2020…
All I can say is it’s been the usual same routine, going to school, cleaning the house, this and that until March came and BOOM it was like someone started to play the game of Jumanji. This year has been quite different than all the others, from Ava stating school and Maisey growing so quickly it feels like time is flying by. As a parent I feel I always have to adapt to the changes in the house and in the world itself.
This year has been the most difficulty on us as family due to the Covid19 virus. We have had to make changes in everything we do, we can’t go to parks or events together, I’m home again with two kids now that schools are closed, and even the simple things like grocery shopping isn’t so simple anymore. We have both had to take the time to explain to Ava what’s going on in the world and why were stuck inside so much more. This has given both of us insight to the smaller things in life, the things you take for granted pretty much our freedom.
Parenting right now is something you have to adapt to, it’s a different challenge then the years before, we have to make the changes not only for us but for the people in our community and country, it’s a time when parents are working together to keep both ourselves and our kids sane.
Right now we are dealing with the coronavirus all over the world. Do you have any personal advice and tips for parents to keep good mental health during this time? Any tips to keep young children feeling safe during these times?
Coronavirus has for sure taken over everything right now which has been super hard. We are all in this together. For our mental health, I try to think on the positive side and to just keep things going day by day. I try to get fresh air in my backyard or go for a family walk. Just to get out the house for an hour while social distancing yourself helps. I have a routine for Ava since she’s the one out of school now. I have some educational books, crafts, colouring, and games for her to do.
Maisey On the other hand she’s a baby so she pretty much has no idea what’s going on except for eating all day long. To keep your children feeling safe at home you just have to try and explain what’s going on in the world and reassure them everything will be okay. You have to stay happy and put a smile on your face for them to act the same as well. I think telling them “wash your hands” is a good way of them to learn even better after this virus has passed on for themselves to stay clean too. Give them those hugs and kisses! Make up your own activities in the house for them! They will pretty much love anything DIY.
What are your plans in the next year for WE THE TAYLOR’S?
Our plans for We the Taylor’s for the next year is to mainly grow our blog itself. We just started this part of the journey a couple months back so there is a big learning curve. We are leaning as we grow, learning what type of content people are interested in reading, what types of stories and media they want to see. We hope that within the year to have more products in the products we trust section and also get Andrew more telling more of his point of view of being a girl dad while also sharing some dad jokes along the way. We both have goals for where we want to see our parenting blog in a year from now and past that, but our main focus right now is learning the culture and producing real life content.