Katie Stauffer's four-year-old twin daughters, Emma and Mila, are YouTube stars with nearly 4 million Instagram followers. They also have their own kids' clothing line at Target and—full disclosure—they're the cover stars of Parents' November issue. But the Arizona mom of five is still surprised when the girls are recognized in public. Stauffer says the road to influencer fame for her littlest ones has "been great, but it was a shock. It was like, 'Oh wow, I guess people really see our stuff.'"
Known for their cheeky, precocious monologues about everything from working out to being single scripted by their almost 17-year-old sister Kaitlin, Mila and Emma are beloved all over the internet. It's not hard to see why: The girls are innately hilarious, adorable, and natural-born entertainers.
"Mila will mispronounce something, like she means to say 'spaceship' but accidentally pronounces it 'spaceshit,'" Stauffer explains. "We leave it in because it just makes the video cuter."
Of course, YouTube fame comes with its downside: grouchy trolls. "The only challenging thing is the negative comments," Stauffer says. "There aren’t that many, but they’re there." She doesn't understand how people can "actually find something to complain about" when her girls are just making cute commentary.
She recalls a recent, eyebrow-raising example: "When we did the Will Smith video where the girls saw him and were yelling his name, people were like, 'I can’t believe they’re saying Will, and they’re not calling him Mr. Smith!' and 'those kids are so disrespectful,' and I’m like, 'Really? They just hear people calling him Will, and so that’s what they were saying.' It's funny, weird stuff like that."
And like all moms, Stauffer, who recently partnered with Vicks Children's Cough & Congestion, faces the challenges that come with cold and flu season. "Everybody’s been sick in our family," she shares. "We all got it at the same time. All the kids got it and my sisters got it."
But, in typical Stauffer family style, the girls made the best of it, shooting a video, sponsored by Vicks, about the pros and cons of sick days. One major con: "You can't hug your best friend." A pro: "You get to skip school."
The video shoot illustrates Stauffer's sick day philosophy. "Luckily, they're pretty easygoing kids," she says. But if they're feeling miserable, Stauffer believes in "letting them do what they want within reason." "It’s cheesy, but catering to them makes them feel good and babying them, giving them a lot of extra attention," she explains. "They like that."
Catering to them usually means letting them watch Sofia the First and Power Rangers—in other words, an activity just about any four-year-old would enjoy. Clearly, from their favorite TV shows to their Halloween costume picks (Mila wants to be Sofia, Emma wants to be Owlette from PJ Masks), the Stauffers' family life is actually quite relatable. That is, apart from one undeniable fact: No matter what Stauffer's charismatic twins post to the internet, it's sure to go viral.
Of Mila and Emma's growing fame, Stauffer reveals, "The girls love it. They handle it well." For that, they no doubt have their influencer mom to thank.