Mother Of 11 Is Headed To Harvard


Here’s a tale guaranteed to inspire you (or perhaps just make you feel lazy): Allyson Reneau left the University of Oklahoma in 1981 to get married and start a family. She told herself that she’d go back to finish her degree when her baby was five, but that didn’t happen until 2009. After having 11 children, spending 20 years as a stay-at-home mom, then opening a successful gymnastics school, Reneau was finally able to return to school. For the past few years, this is what her schedule looked like:

Reneau has gone straight from classes at OU to work. When she got home in the evenings, she would feed her family and spend time with them before starting homework. Often that meant waiting until 8 or 9 p.m. and studying late into the night. Then she would wake up about 5:30 a.m. to read the Bible and run before her children woke up.

She’s nearly done with her undergraduate work and has been admitted to Harvard to pursue a graduate degree in international relations. Starting tomorrow she’ll be flying to Massachusetts on Monday, taking classes on Monday night, and flying home on Tuesday. Reneau has already been asked to speak to women in several other countries, and you can probably expect to see a Julia Roberts film based on her life in a few years.

Image via Jorge Salcedo/Shutterstock.

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