As a student of mass media in undergrad and grad school, I studied a term called, “Magic Bullet,” and now that I am a Mom, I see its place in Motherhood. This theory refers to a model of communication that suggests that whatever the intended message is, will be fully accepted by the intended audience if the message is constructed “well” enough. This model drew a lot of attention in the 1930’s.
Fast forward to today…..
It’s a common understanding that mothers have a lot of expectations on our shoulders. I mean, we are expected to “do it all” right? I realize we put these expectations on ourselves in part, but societal influences are not getting off the hook, here! Maybe some expectations stem from women’s liberation …Did my Grandma have the same expectations on her? Maybe it’s from the 1950’s picture perfect housewife model…Did my Mom have the same expectations on her?Or maybe it’s our lack of income equality in the corporate arena …Does my husband have the same expectations on him? –
I don’t know exactly where this heaping mountain of expectations that rest on my shoulders, actually come from at this point, but I do know this……….Moms tend to catch the brunt of the mother load of expectations. (Pun intended!)
And if we were following the Magic Bullet model, we would think that there is nothing we can do about it. We are getting pressure from every aspect of our life; work, spouse, kids, schools, in laws, ourselves, each other, society in general, and we are determined to just sit down and accept it. And honestly, that is how I am feeling lately…that I have no choice, that I have all these expectations placed on me and I begin to wonder if I will ever get out from underneath this pressure?
However, the Magic Bullet theory was debunked by mass media scholars 20 years after it began. More research found that human behavior will react quite differently to messaging and many variables are considered when an audience takes in any kind of messaging…and they hold the decision to accept or reject the message. MOMS! It’s our time to make the decision to reject the expectations unfairly placed on us! Society, family, friends, or work may place unfair expectations on us and it is our time to stand up to them.
What is ONE expectation this week that you can stand up to, reject and debunk? Think of an expectation placed on you, unfairly that you have just accepted, like the magic bullet. (taking days off for school meetings when your spouse can go…Cooking organic, healthy dinners every night… getting back into your size 6…or size 10 jeans….)
My Magic Bullet Expectation- getting the growing piles of laundry done while I am working from home! What is your Magic Bullet Expectation?