Everything we know, we learned from her.

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Every year, Mother’s Day comes around, and we shower our moms with flowers, gifts, and cards. We often write out our sappily expressed feelings of gratitude for her love, support, and guidance in our lives—and maybe thank her for her presence in our children’s lives. It’s all true, and we know she appreciates the thought, but this year, we thought we’d give you some more...specific reasons to thank your Southern Mama for all she does—and has done—that you maybe haven’t thought to thank her for before. Below, eight real notes of gratitude to the smartest, sassiest, proudest, most stylish women we know.

Mom, thank you for...

Insisting we wear sunscreen.

It might have been annoying as little kids when we had to wait to jump in the pool until after you’d lathered us up (and it dried!), or as teenagers when you yelled after us to put sunblock on as we hit up the concession stand with our friends, but our skin couldn’t be more grateful.

Teaching us how to DIY it and save a little money.

From clothes to furniture, all Southern women with great taste know it can’t be bought—and that sometimes the newest hot thing isn’t worth the pricetag.

Letting us write down the secret family recipe.

We know it was supposed to remain the stuff of family lore, but we would never have been able to host Thanksgiving without it.

Telling us to not wear that makeup.

We probably rolled our eyes when you raised your eyebrows at our heavy eyeliner, maroon lipstick, or black nail polish. And though we know Southern women tend to be averse to dark makeup in the first place, we weren’t anywhere close to tasteful with our heavy-handed attempts in high school, so we’re glad you intervened.

Not letting us go to that wild high school party.

Were we devastated? Yes. Did our reputation suffer? Briefly. Were we jealous when that whole group of friends got in trouble without us? Absolutely not.

Making us do our summer reading assignments.

Southern summers can seem wasted spent inside reading Faulkner and Conroy when you’re 16. But that southern literature has followed our bookshelves around since—and we’re grateful we started young.

Embarrassing us when we didn’t say “ma’am” or “sir” to your friends.

Have you seen us with our own children? We clearly are in favor of carrying on this tradition, ma’am.

Making coordinating clothes for us.

Whether we were matching our siblings, you, or our dolls, we probably had mixed opinions on the homemade outfits that were so often documented with large printed photos. A little cheesy to us, “So darlin’” to everyone else who saw us—and if we’re being honest now, it’s extremely touching that you would take the time to make something with your own hands for us to wear.

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Here’s to you, Southern Mamas. We’re grateful for much more than your kind words of encouragement and support—though we always appreciate those too. Happy Mother’s Day!