"The idea of being pregnant horrifies me."

'The sad reason I'm breaking up with my boyfriend'

Last night my boyfriend showed me some videos of babies playing with dogs on his feed. It was funny and cute and all the things. But then it was a bit sad.

Then awkward. And this was perhaps just on my part, but it was there. Because if he stays with me, he will never get to have a baby.

I'm nearly 41 and he is 31. I have two kids and a mortgage. He has no kids and a rented bachelor pad.

This is not to say he is immature. In many ways he is more mature than me. We are in a serious, committed relationship. He's smart, funny and kind. He loves my kids. And he cooks!

But I have to break up with him and it sucks. We have had the conversation about my lack of desire to have a baby. I've had two babies. That is enough for me. Firstly, I worry about the impact on them. And they come first with everything, forever.

Also, the idea of being pregnant and going through all that again horrifies me. I think babies are adorable, but I did the hard yards. My kids are at that age where they're just heaven now, and I have a career again.

And I can have a martini whenever I want (which I know shouldn't be an influencing factor, but it is. And my boyfriend makes a killer martini).

But perhaps most importantly, I'm not sure my body can even make babies anymore. And I don't really want to test it. I like the idea that I can defy my forties. I don't want to be reminded that despite Botox, eating greens and having a good skincare regime, my body is most likely no longer able to procreate and this is science.

Not being able to reproduce makes me feel mortal. Life is very short and this reminder makes me feel sad about having such little time on this planet with people I love. (This is clearly a 3am spiral.)

So, we have had the conversation. But it's generally been after a few martinis. And it ends up with us both saying we love each other and our love is all that matters. And maybe it does.

But will that be the case in a few years?
He tells me he is an adult and can make his own decisions. And yes, he can. But what if he wakes up in 10 years, I'm going through menopause, my kids are moody teenagers and he has an overwhelming feeling that I stole his thirties from him?

That he didn't get to buy his first home with someone. That he didn't get to marry someone who is new to the game, who isn't cynical about the idea of marriage.

That he didn't get to see the birth of his very own baby.

Then there is part of me wondering if this is all a clever trick my brain is cooking up to keep him at arm's length. To prevent getting close to someone because I am hesitant, scared, damaged.

And, shamefully, my own vanity. That I can't bear the idea of being older than my partner, and a Dorian Grey style breakdown is imminent.

Then, why am I subscribing to some view that women have less worth as they get older? That at 50, I will have expired. Where does this crap come from?

Part of my issue is that I don't know anyone in the same position as me. A 10 year age gap isn't really a big deal, and obviously for a younger woman/older man situation it's not even worth a discussion, but this is unchartered territory in my family and group of friends.

So if I want it to work I need to carve out a new normal and that means facing a few truths.

Can I handle that? Can I cope with the judgement?

People raise their eyebrows conspiratorially (real or imagined) or congratulate me on snagging a youthful man. And I have to admit, at first, I kind of liked this. It was validating. I liked having a toy boy. It made me feel attractive enough to be able to pick up someone younger than me. This thought doesn't make me feel proud, but as I'm pulling all of this apart, some ugly stuff is bound to emerge. But now things are serious between us and he deserves better than that, and really, so do I.

He cares about me for many reasons, one of them being that he finds me attractive, and I'm pretty sure this has nothing to do with how many years I have been on this planet.

I don't need to protect him. If he wants something different, he will let me know. I need to trust him and I don't need to shield him from potential mistakes he could make in the future, namely, me.

His parents like me. I think they lament the fact that we are together and rue the day he ever met this older, divorced mother of two from the wrong side of the tracks (getting a little West Side Story). Even though they are very kind to my kids and me and make us feel welcome and have never made an issue about our age gap. They like me. They are not pretending to.

My ex husband will judge me but he always will anyway. The irony that his own new partner is 10 years his junior will definitely escape him and he will find a way to put my situation down. But this is nothing new and his opinion no longer matters.

All of the issues get thrown into a big blender and turns into an anxiety smoothie. But they are all my issues and nothing to do with him and how he feels.

When I verbal diarrhoea him with all of these potential issues, he asks me one question: Are you happy with me right now? The answer is yes. Then he says, so why don't we just do this until something changes? And if it never does, then great. If it does, we will deal with it then.

It makes me remember what a special human he is. How dating him has made me live in the moment. And that's what I love about him.

This originally appeared on Kidspot and has been republished with permission.