Hello! I’m Laura. I’m a writer; a mum; a late-30-something. I like indie music and pizza and swimming outdoors, and pondering life’s big questions, such as whether it’s possible to write one of these intros without it sounding like a dating profile.
I started writing this blog, Only Teethin’, in January 2018.
Like the twit-who-used-to-work-in-public-relations that I am, I’ve thought about ‘branding’ it a million different ways since then.
A site for mums who want to launch a business? A site for mums to marvel at motherhood and share stories of the sh*t days?
A site where I recommend things that have helped me not lose the plot as I bring up my son Ted, born May 2017, and prepare for Baby 2’s arrival in summer 2019?
So far, so clichéd.
All of the ‘how to build a blog’ info out there tells you you need to brand your blog in this sort of way otherwise no-one will read it.
They might have a point, but sod it.
Only Teethin’ is essentially my diary. It’s where I tell everyday stories in the hope that they might resonate with someone like you. (I’ll try not to burst into song.)
I used to write a diary column in my local newspaper, the Hull Daily Mail.
It was called Seven Day O’Diary, because my surname is O’Donnell, and the features editor thought this was v witty.
‘O’Diary’ was meant to be about my life as a girl-about-town after I’d swapped Bondi Beach in Sydney, where I lived for three years, for my slightly-less-glamorous hometown of Hull, East Yorkshire. I think the aim was to demonstrate how Hull could give Sydney a run for its money in the hip ‘n’ happening stakes.
This turned out to be a bit of an ask. And my favourite bits of the column to write were not about the events I’d attended but the mundane yet amusing stories from everyday life. (I found them amusing anyway.)
The conversations I overheard at taxi ranks, or the time I had to share a lane in my local swimming pool with Roland Gift from the Fine Young Cannibals.
(If you’re under 35, ask your dad. Roland is one of the few local celebrities we have here in Hull, and even then he was born in Birmingham.)
(And nothing much at all happened when I saw him in the pool, other than I stressed about having mascara down my face while marvelling at how he was once one of People magazine’s Most Beautiful People – a big deal in America, in 1990.)
(But the non-event of the occasion is sort of the point: how there can be comedy and shared experience in everything, like the horror – if you’re a vain sod like me – of being in a swimming pool looking like crap and seeing someone you know, or someone who was once on the cover of People magazine.)
I write about what I know. For the most part, at the moment, that is motherhood. (Although of course for the majority of the time I feel like I know nowt much about that at all.)
Before Ted came along, I ran my own PR and copywriting consultancy, so I also write about things I learned about business.
And before that I lived in Sydney and before that London, working my arse off in PR agencies and drinking too much. So sometimes I write about those chapters of fun and excess and burnout, and what I’ve learned about wellbeing & positivity too.
I probably sound like a prize twit here, but….I haven’t forgotten (yet) who I was pre-kids, nor who I still am and who I want to be. So I aim to write relatable, sometimes informative and positive features for awesome women who feel the same way.
The site is named after a song by The Charlatans – one of my favourite bands; I am an overgrown 90s indie kid – which features the lyrics:
“It’s alright, we’re only teethin’, only young.”
With a nip of artistic licence, I’ve interpreted that as: we shouldn’t be afraid to try new things and go after what we want; we shouldn’t be afraid of failing.
In other words, it’s (usually) no big deal if you do something and eff it up – whether that something is parenting-related or work-related or something else entirely.
You still have time to start again, try again.
I’m aiming to live by it right now, as I attempt to grow this blog and write more.
I’m currently ‘pivoting’ in my career, as they say – moving away from my PR work and aiming to write for a living. It often feels easy to fall into a big hole of self-doubt, and I like to write mostly positive articles on here to remind myself that anything’s possible. Amen. (I currently write a monthly column for Britmums among other things, if you fancy a read.)
So if you’re on a similar ‘journey’ – excuse the cliché – I’m right there with you.
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Hello, I'm Laura. I write about parenting, life, style, building a business and finding success on your own terms.
You'll find plenty here to get your teeth into. (Useless pun very much intended...) X