Facing the music

Remember the famous line Jack Nicholson barked in A Few Good Men: “You can’t handle the truth!”

That’s how I’m feeling about my credit card bills: “I can’t handle the debt!”

The child-related financial stuff just keep slamming me.

The latest cheery one from my daughter’s high school informed me: “Your daughter’s Music Ensembles membership fee is currently unpaid. The fee for this year is $700.”

I’d somehow missed that one, which now joins the panic pile along with the $500 in school fees I still owe.

And this is a public school.

Last week, I finally paid the first term music tuition fees for both kids (after being threatened with late fees). That was $750. By the end of this month I’ll be faced with the same bill again for second term tuition fees.

I love that my kids play music instruments (and go to school) – it’s awesome. But the fees are daunting. Don’t get me started on the associated costs for band camp, hiring/buying instruments, cleaning instruments, buying trolleys because the instruments are so freaking huge.

My situation also reminds me of being in labour with the eldest. After 24 hours of contractions, I was jabbed with a second epidural as they prepared to rush me to surgery for an emergency casearean. As the anaesthetist pumped me full of drugs, they told me I just had to make it through two more contractions and the pain would be gone.

I can remember thinking: “I CAN’T make it through two more contractions.” Then: “But you HAVE to Alana, you don’t have a choice.”

It feels like I don’t have a choice when it comes to the music-related debt either, I just have to grit my teeth and breathe through the pain.

Sure, I could cut the music from my kids’ lives and (some of) the financial pain would be gone.

Sure, it would be sensible to pull them both out of their school bands and lessons.

But they both love their music and I don’t want them give it up.

So I’ll have to find another way to make it work. I love a plan … Perhaps this will be an upside to my overthinking.

P.S. Of course, not all the debt is kid-related. Like making the babies, I had an awful lot of fun creating a fair slash of it myself  … poor jet-setting single mum … I was a total GOOSE not to think about the consequences.

Song of the day: Donna Summer “She works hard for the money”

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