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When Moms Who Run Businesses Take Maternity Leave

When Moms Who Run Businesses Take Maternity Leave
Photograph by Fuse

Kristen McAlister has moved up hiring timelines, increased administrative support, and written reams of instructions for her nine employees at Cerius Interim Executive Solutions, the staffing company she co-owns. Despite all the preparation, she worries how the Irvine (Calif.) business will fare when she gives birth in late December.

“I will still need to look at the finances every week, look at payroll, and be on the phone for conference calls” while on maternity leave, says McAlister, who purchased Cerius 18 months ago and says it now handles more than 800 executives. While she can work from home, the expanding business requires her to travel frequently. “I’ve wanted this child more than anything, but I also wanted my business more than anything,” she says. “My biggest fear is that I’m going to have to choose between the two.”