May Brenner on Raising Children and Managing a Career
  May Brenner     Biography    
Recorded: 14 Jun 2005

It is tough. It is tough. I have to be not self-pitying, very truthful... I’m very independent and stubborn person. I was glad to be left to bring up four children. Not left, but left alone to do things my way. I would have fought and quarreled with someone who would say, oh, they don’t have to have their baths now or I don’t know why you’re getting that sofa or interfering in my work. I wouldn’t have liked it. I may have moaned and said, oh, he’s out again, but I wouldn’t have liked it if he had been around much. That suited both of us, and he never ever, ever stopped me working saying who is going to look after the children. I’ve got to go to the lab; I’ve got to go to here or there who is going to look after? Never ever and when I stopped or when a new baby and I was getting a little bit depressed sitting home he would say, go back to work. I’ll help you in the evening, you know. Or I will read the stories to the children and you can look after the baby. Even though sometimes he wasn’t there to read the stories, the intention was always there. I felt, that’s okay, we can manage that way. He never pushed me into having more children, staying home looking after them. I didn’t in fact stay home after each baby was two or three depending on the circumstances. I went back to work too.

May Brenner was married to Sydney Brenner from December 1952 until her death in January 2010. She was engaged in doing a Ph.D. in Psychology in London.