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Boyfriends and girlfriends come and go, but Mama is forever.

Caroline Rogers

This Valentine’s Day, celebrate the number one lady in your life. You know her as Mama. It’s true: All Southern mamas deserve a valentine. So get to crafting, stop by the greeting card aisle, or give her a call. February 14th will be here soon, and there is no better time to say, “I love you, Mom” (except for Mother's Day). Why should Mama always be first on your valentine card- and flower-sending list? We have 14 ideas.

  1. When you’re sick, she’s the first person you call.
  2. When you’re sick and you call her, she always asks, “Want me to drive over to take care of you?”
  3. When you’re sick and you call her and she shows up at your front door, she’s holding a pot of that soup you love.
  4. She taught you everything you know in the kitchen—and in life.
  5. She helped unteach you anything unsavory that you picked up at school.
  6. She’s still teaching you things. How to file taxes, how to make hard decisions, how to peel garlic…the list is endless.
  7. She always has your back—plus the best stories (and pimiento cheese recipe) ever.
  8. Mama loves a good card, and she loves you. The Valentine’s Day card you send her will be displayed on her refrigerator all year, guaranteed.
  9. She loves flowers even more than cards—just don’t send Mama carnations. She’s a roses-and-lilies type of lady.
  10. She would never ask for it, but Mama loves a nostalgia-inducing red heart filled with chocolates. She’ll complain if you give her a Whitman’s Sampler (“No more chocolate! I’ll just eat all of it!”), but she secretly loves it.
  11. 18+ years of raising you demands some recognition. A valentine is a good place to start.
  12. There was that teenage phase you’d both rather forget. Just bringing it up makes you want to head to the post office, doesn’t it?
  13. Mama keeps you in line. She’s not afraid to let you know when you misstep, so you’d better not forget her valentine this year. If you do, chances are you'll still be hearing about it at Thanksgiving.
  14. Why send Mama a valentine? Because you love her, of course. Because you don’t know where you’d be without her.

For more Southern Living Valentine’s Day ideas, check out these weekend trips, delicious desserts, and gifts for the whole family. Whether you're looking to get out of town with someoone special, spend a night with something sweet, or looking to surprise someone with the perfect gift, this Valentine's Day will be a hit.