Hi, I'm Tricia.

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Jenna

I feel that it's probably more of a result of our society being firmly planted in the "Information Age" (also sometimes known as the "Digital Age"). Just like this post is a result of my phenomenal ability to procrastinate. Anyway, we are bombarded by news in every medium 24-7. We're bombarded with images, with round-the-clock radio hosts and pundits, magazines and newspapers. We want the latest information, and we want it now - especially when it comes to raising our children. That's not to say that we're less self-assured about how to raise our children than mothers in the past. I just think it's much easier in this day and age to get materials out on the market than that it was in the past. As the numbers above show, we can literally find a book to support or refute anything we think about child-rearing, where in the recent past (i.e. say, 50 years or so) there was really only a few "authorities" a la Dr. Spock, etc. Now there are a thousand "authorities".
Again, I don't think it's because we're any less confident. I think it mostly has to do with money and trends. It's supply and demand at its most basic. Because there are always people having children, and because we have now been groomed to expect up-to-the-minute news and facts about everything, there is a resulting enormous supply to cater to us.

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