Skip to content

Growing Up Stuller Part II

This Mother's Day, Alex shares advice she's learned from her mom

alexmomBack in October, I gave you all a little insight to what it’s like growing up Stuller. The response was amazing and heartwarming, validating all of the wonderful things I know to be true about my Dad.

But that was only part of the story.

It’s hard to pinpoint my first true memory of my mother. My mom is the only person that has truly been with me since day one, for 25 years, through every experience both good and bad. That’s BIG. So while I can’t pinpoint an exact memory (I think I’ve blocked out a lot of the outfits she made me wear – see side image for evidence), I can highlight a few.

Here are, in no particular order, are the five most important things my mother has taught me (so far):

It’s the Little Things

alexmom2It’s the cooking classes and the notes in my lunchboxes. It’s the surprise new shade of lipstick in my purse or the morning phone calls “just because.” I could go on for ages describing all the ways that my mother has shown me love over the past 25 years, but as I rewind through my memories it’s truly the small, thoughtful things that stick out the most. Like how during every Shark Week she gets me a little shark-themed surprise. Or how, when I was sick a few weeks ago, she bought out the entire pharmacy and soup aisle and delivered it to work. Will I ever be too old for my Mom to take care of me? Hopefully not.

Forgiveness Does Not Equal Weakness

My mom is without question the strongest person I know. She is also the most forgiving. I think the hardest thing about forgiving someone, for something small or large, is pride. I certainly struggle with that. When someone has wronged me or hurt me, I occasionally have the urge, despite apologies, to withhold forgiveness because I want that person to feel what I’ve felt: hurt, disappointment, anxiety, whatever. Depending on the circumstances, sometimes forgiveness seems truly impossible. My mom, however, has taught me that this simply is not true. Forgiveness is the only way to move forward.

Being a Woman Isn’t Just About Being Strong

Like mother like daughter. We love diving!

We hear it all the time. I even said it in the above point. “Women are strong.” “Be strong.” A few months ago I was scrolling through Tumblr and I came across a quote about women in literature that really spoke to me.

“[Forget] writing ‘strong’ women. Write interesting women. Write well-rounded women. Write complicated women. Write a woman who kicks butt, write a woman who cowers in a corner. Write a woman who’s desperate for a husband. Write a woman who doesn’t need a man. Write women who cry, women who rant, women who are shy, women who need validation and women who don’t care what anybody thinks. THEY ARE ALL OKAY, and all those things could exist in THE SAME WOMAN. Women shouldn’t be valued because we are strong, or kick-butt, but because we are people. So don’t focus on writing characters who are strong. Write characters who are people.”[1]

I love this because this is exactly what my Mom has taught me. Don’t be “simple.” Because women aren’t simply one thing, are we? Not even simply “strong.” We’re a million different things, sometimes in the same minute. She has taught me to embrace the unique, messy combination it takes to be me.

Elton John Is the Best Artist of All Time

Does this really need an explanation? My Mom and I share a love of many things (Old-Fashioned cocktails, Chris Hemsworth, baby animal videos, spa days) but Elton John is at the top of the list. Together, we’ve attended three of his concerts, but if you add up all of concerts together, I think we’re at 10. Crocodile Rock, baby!

Follow Your Day Dreams

Okay, so, “follow your dreams” is sort of cliché, but I’m talking about day dreams here. Everyone has big dreams – you know: go to college, get that new job, get that raise, buy a house, have kids, yadda yadda.

alexmom3I’m not knocking those. But it’s harder to follow your day dreams – because those change more often and are usually more scary or risky. I’ve been a follower of day dreams my entire life. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing, who knows. But my Mom has always supported them. Growing up, I took every kind of lesson there was: basketball, chess, karate, horse-back riding, soccer, painting, singing, violin, piano, flute, scuba diving, writing, acting, magic (yes, really) … the list goes on and on. I didn’t stick with many of them, but they were all day dreams, and they all helped shape the person that I am today.

Would I still be wondering if I’d be a karate master if my Mom had said no to taking classes? Probably not. But I’ll never have to. Because, even today, she supports my curiosity for the world. I want to go to Honduras to teach scuba? I want to cage dive with Great Whites? I want to spend a week in Venice, Italy, alone? I want to throw a shark-themed 24th birthday party? Despite her own parental fears or hesitations, she always has my back, making my day dreams come true. What more could I possibly ask for?

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I love you with every piece of me that comes from you – which, of course, is everything.




Alex Stuller

Senior Director of Bridal

I've been with Stuller since 2012 • Still waiting for my acceptance letter from Hogwarts • If it involves wine, chocolate, or Leonardo DiCaprio, my answer is yes • Use the princess emoticon more than is socially acceptable • Horror movie junkie • When in doubt, hand me a coffee.