Nicole Kidman Says Being an Older Mom Is 'A Painful Love'

Nicole Kidman Says Being an Older Mom Is 'A Painful Love'

10/06/2008 AT 04:00 PM EDT

Becoming a mother at a later age has been rewarding for Nicole Kidman, but it's also bittersweet.

"At 41, it's a more painful love," she tells November's Elle about the July birth of her daughter, Sunday Rose. "It's almost like my heart is stretching; I'm feeling all these muscles stretch with emotion. It's a beautiful love but there's a lot of fear and pain for her life, and for Bella's and Connor's life."

One person who helps Kidman deal with the pain is husband Keith Urban, with whom Kidman says she shares a "profound" love. "I didn't foresee it," she says,"that you can meet someone who you have a deep and more profound love with. You move into a stage where you're able to be a more fuller person in your relationship."

But former husband Tom Cruise shouldn't take Kidman's comment as a slight. "I don't want to take away from 11 years with that man that were really important," she says. "Really, for our kids – they were amidst a lot of love. It wasn't bad."

And Kidman wishes nothing but happiness for Cruise and his wife, Katie Holmes. "I would hope that he has the same thing – I know he has the same thing with Katie."

Kidman tells Elle that she doesn't regret marrying Cruise when she was only 22 years old. "Would I want my kids to get married at that age? No!" Kidman says. "But that was an extraordinary thing for me. [Tom] taught me an enormous amount – as a girl into a woman. Absolutely, I would do it again."

Now that Kidman is in a happy place, she tells the magazine that she will protect her family at all costs. "When it comes to my kids, I'm just like a lioness," Kidman says. "I'm like, 'No one gets near my babies! That's why we chose not to sell photos of her. We just want to have our little cocoon."

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