Mum still shares a bed with her two kids – 10 and 12 – and says it’s not weird at all
“They can stop when they want and have their own room, but have always preferred to sleep with me.”
Bernie Watkins with her children Frankie and Caden. Image: Bernie Watkins/SWNS
A Liverpool mum still shares a bed with her two pre-teen children and says it’s not weird at all – it’s actually why they share such a close bond.
Bernie Watkins, 49, has slept with her children since she was born – and still does 10 and 12 years later. The single mom said Frankie, 10, and Caden, 12, both have their own rooms and beds but have always chosen to share their king-size bed.
Bernie, who lives in Grenada, Spain but is originally from Childwall, Liverpool, says it’s not weird at all – it’s “completely natural” and the kids never wanted to stop with it. In fact, Bernie said bedtime is the best part of their day — because they can all snuggle up and chat before falling asleep side by side.
The freelance copywriter says, “We’ve always slept in one bed together, even when we were newborns, and I didn’t want to leave her alone in another room. They can stop when they want and have their own room, but have always preferred to sleep with me.
“We’re a very close cuddly family so it’s perfect for us – and going to bed at night is a lovely part of our day. We don’t usually share mealtimes, so bedtime is our time to all be together and cuddle and talk about everything.
“People told me that if we continued to share, they would become clingy and dependent, but they are the complete opposite.”
Bernie shared a bed with her children as soon as they were born to facilitate breastfeeding. Despite warnings, it can lead to accidental choking in newborns, she “never worried about it.”
She said: “I’m a light sleeper so I always knew where they were in bed – as soon as they stirred I woke up. To me it felt wrong to take a tiny baby and leave him alone in another room. I was set up to sleep together from birth.”
Growing up, the kids just never left—and used their cozy bedtimes as an opportunity to spend quality time together. Bernie said they light candles, play relaxing music and have open-ended discussions.
The setup sees them all on a king bed frame, but with two mattresses and duvets – a double bed for Bernie and Frankie and a single bed for Caden because he moves around a lot at night.
Allowing her kids to share a bed with her at night will make Bernie “never want to give up.” She said: “I think it’s important to have that contact. It’s really an understatement, but it means a lot to us.”
Bernie doesn’t care what others think about it — and says while others might find it unusual, it works well for her. “I can understand why people say it’s weird because it’s not the norm in England,” she said. “I think everyone is entitled to their own opinion.”
She said even if her children bickered all day, all their problems are resolved by night when everyone goes to sleep – meaning the bond between the siblings is very strong.
Bernie also thinks this has enabled her to maintain such a close bond with her children.
She said: “It’s the most normal thing in the world for us and none of us want to stop. I wish other people wouldn’t comment or put up barriers around co-sleeping – people judge automatically. That’s why we have such a close bond.”