Motherhood by Janine, Founder of The Female Business Network.

Updated: Nov 10, 2021

Please introduce yourself: Name, what do you do & how many children

you have.

Hi there, I’m Janine Friston. Originally from Cornwall, but now living in ‘sunny’ Manchester. I’m a self-employed Mum to 2 teenage boys, and gorgeous young Cockerpoo Arlo – so life is always a little hectic!

I’ve recently started the Female Business Network, after almost four years supporting local women in business with networking events, 121s and an online group. I knew there was more I could do to support female entrepreneurs to start or grow their business, and to have the work/life balance they desire. I also knew that many women feel intimidated, lacking in confidence or just don’t want to network in the larger, often more corporate setting – preferring to grow their audiences in smaller, more intimate groups.

This is what the Female Business Network is all about – a supportive community of female

entrepreneurs who understand the need to grow their audience and businesses, and who want to connect with other like-minded women. I started my first full-time business four years ago, after my eldest was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD. Life was (and continues to be) a challenge, and he needed me to be around more than my high-level employed role could offer. So, I took the chance and set up my business. And the rest, as they say, is history!

How do you manage to juggle work and life balance as a mother?

It can be tricky at times to make the juggle work. However, I work hard during the school

hours, have a break when they get home from school, and then start again after they’ve

gotten ‘bored’ with me and retreated to their bedrooms (being teenagers!).

I do also work some weekends when they are with their Dad, which gives me time to

catch up. Or, while they’re on their Ipad/ laptops doing their homework, I’ll fire mine up for an hour too. I think them seeing their Mum working hard to grow her business is motivating and a great role model for them as they grow up. They can see that in order to be successful

and to have the money for treats, you have to work hard.

What top tips would you give to any working mum?

1- Don’t be too hard on yourself. Do what you can, when you can.

2- Don’t put too much pressure on yourself with huge goals – take smaller steps at a

time if that’s what’s needed. You’ll get there, it may just take a little longer

3- Reward yourself when you’ve successfully achieved your goals. You deserve a treat!

4- Take time off and away from the business to recharge, reenergise and review things.

This isn’t always the easiest one to manage, but its imperative that you look after


5- Get yourself a positive support community around you – whether that’s friends,

family or other business owners. People who understand your drive and what you’re

looking to achieve.

What do you love most about Manchester? Do you have a favorite spot with your children?

I love that we live in a city environment, but that also within just a few miles we can be

in the countryside. There’s something for everyone. Plus, being so close to Manchester

Airport means that holidays and getaways are quicker and easier.

When my boys were younger we used to love visiting the Museum of Science and

Industry, the Manchester Christmas lights switch-on, PRIDE and the Chinese New Year

celebrations were always lovely events. As they’ve gotten older, getting them out of the

house can be trickier! However, walking Arlo our Cockerpoo along some of the great

walks, canal and River Mersey can be fun.

How do you define quality ‘me-time’?

This can change, depending on what’s going on at the time. It might be trying to get out

of the house, whether it be on my own (bliss!), friends or family, and either doing

something exhilarating (I love rollercoasters and the seaside), relaxing and fun. Not

thinking of work, daily stresses or keeping to timescales/ deadlines.

What is your favourite and least favorite thing about parenthood?

Hmm, my absolute favourite thing (from them being a baby to even now) is when I see

and hear them laugh and giggle uncontrollably. It is the best sound ever!

What can be frustrating as they’ve become teenagers, is when they just blank you out,

pretend they haven’t heard you – and you have to ask the same question about 10


What advice would you give a first time Mum?

This was a tough question! I think my answer would be similar to the one above about

being a working Mum. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, don’t be too hard on

yourself to be Super-Mum and keep up with anyone else, and make sure you take time

out for you – go for a walk, see some friends or have a pamper session.

Please go follow Janine at (1) Female Business Network - Inspire, Learn & Grow your business | Facebook

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