If you're on this website, it's highly likely you're a woman aged between 40 & 65, who's staring down the barrel of the rest of her life, uncertain as to what the hell to do with it.
Welcome to the MAWS of life.
'Maws' in the dictionary means 'jaws' or 'mouth'. In this case, it's my acronym for 'Middle Aged Women's Stuff', although originally I had it down as 'Middle Aged Woman Syndrome'. It's that point we get to where we've been doing everything for our family, the kids are leaving home/have left, we're looking at an empty nest, and the rest of our lives, and we find ourselves a bit lost. What on earth are we supposed to do now? We can't even remember what it is we used to want for our lives, and we certainly can't remember how to put ourselves first, right?
So, the question gets asked, "What are you going to do with the rest of your life?" and it's usually asked by some moron who, unbeknown to most people, has a very short life expectancy which is often reduced even further when they then say, "So, what next, then? You must be so excited about your future!".
And the worst of it is, people ask us those questions and then look at us like they expect an answer! Seriously, how on earth am I supposed to know what I want to do next? Give me a clue because I've got no bloody idea! Swear to god, there have been a few people who came this close to being throttled for asking stupid bloody questions. I feel like telling them to and Google it, because they might get a decent answer, they're certainly not going to get one from me, that's for sure. Let's face facts here: I've spent decades putting myself second, then third, till no matter how many people were there, I always put myself last. EVERYONE else's needs came first, and then suddenly, I could begin to put myself first for the first time in a long time and people expected me to instantly know exactly what I now wanted to do with my life! They didn't realise that it was actually quite a terrifying experience, something totally unknown and unfamiliar. And it felt so wrong. It just didn't feel right to do what I wanted to do and to put myself first.
Eventually... eventually, though, I did manage to kind of figure out what I want to do (the first thing that comes to mind is not put other people first, closely followed by giving myself the freedom to enjoy a quiet five minutes, happily visualising myself strangling all the bloody idiots who ask me stupid questions while chanting "auhhhhmmmmm").
So, I decided to create some fun for myself, talk about this, shout it from the rooftops, share my experiences and have some fun. Starting with the names for my website. MAWS can stand for Middle Aged Woman's Syndrome or Menopause & Women's Stuff or Many Adult Women Shop or Multiple Adventures With S... (fill in the blank) or Much Adrenaline Worry & Stress...
What does MAWS stand for for you? I'd love to hear, so leave me a comment below!
Hi! I’m Karen O’Connor, hormonally-challenged, menopausal writer, blogger, self-confessed sarcasm enthusiast, mother of 4, wife of 30 years, destroyer of souls... no, wait, that's just in the mornings...