Pictures and Videos are a treasure you can't afford to not have.

There is always something about the coming of the New Year that brings on nostalgia of years past. I find this especially true as we all get older. I spent much of the vacation week looking back at pictures and videos of my children growing up. From 2002 to 2017 we have well tracked vidoes of the kids growing up.

After spending several days moving back in time to when our kids were younger, several things strike me. All are cliche', most are sappy, so beware and stop now if you're not into that stuff. The first is that I am very blessed to have three happy healthy children. My two girls and my son aren't perfect by any stretch, but they have grown up "normal" kids so far. Ours is mainly a happy specialty, but there are some extremely sad moments. My heart goes out to those parents at those times. I also know that expressing this is one of my weaknesses. I'm normally a very light-hearted and laid back girl and dealing with losses is tough for me. All families deal loss over the years, but the loss of a child is especially heartbreaking.

Having children young and close together is a blessing and a curse. I loved watching our kids grow up, but there was a point when our home resembled a poorly managed zoo more than a harmonious home. I worked about 90 hours a week,much of that time on evenings and weekends. Thankfully I was blessed with both a mother and a mother in law who would drop everything to make my children their priority.

It was hard on me missing things like birthdays and school plays. As I look at the old videos, we were busy, but happy. I think it's true that the more you have, the more you want. I have to keep reminding myself that the important part of life is the here and now. How much "stuff" we have doesn't matter. Enjoy your children, heck enjoy your life, while you're living it. Kids grow up too fast. Before you know it, they're off to school, getting friends, others to play with, and they don't need you as much anymore. That is what we as parents are supposed to do, but it's still hard. I have a hard time letting go of the little ones, remembering how young and innocent they were.

I overheard one of the most important sayings the other day in the doctors' lounge. Someone said, "when you look back at your life, you're never going to say, 'I wish I would have worked more.'" That is something to live by. Especially lately, the rat race catches you up, making you think that you need to work harder, longer, in order to get ahead. I pose this: no one is going to be on their deathbed believing they should have worked more and spent less time with their families. I love my work, I love what I do, but I think everyone in the office will tell you that you must strike a balance between work and home for a productive life.

If you have older children, go back and watch those old movies. If your children are young, start making movies now. You won't be disappointed. I wasn't.

Dr. Anu Chakraborty MD
Women’s Health Alliance of New Jersey
732 842 8400