The indiscriminate worries and ruminations that churn through the mind of Cheryl Downs McCoy are matters most working mothers have rifled through at some point: "I need to call that guy about fixing the car. I think I've run out my daughter's favorite snack. Should I change the batteries in the smoke alarm?"
These are entirely acceptable matters to ponder. But not at 3 in the morning. Yet that is when Ms. McCoy, a 45-year-old museum exhibit writer in Oakland, Calif., lies awake, debating and categorizing the details of working motherhood.