Jo heads off to Tallahassee, Florida to help out single mom Blythe Newsome (38) who has six children: 13-year-old daughter Loughlin, 12-year-old daughter Aidan, 9-year-old son Daly, 8-year-old daughter Moira, 5-year-old daughter Elspeth and 3-year-old son Finn.
Blythe was married to Roger for nearly 13 years and lived in a huge suburban house with plenty of space all the warmth and the amenities it had: the kids had their own bedrooms, there was even a master bedroom, and a playroom for her kids' entertainment, and it was four houses away from her own parents' house when they lived close. Due to financial reasons, the house was foreclosed, but she emotionally insists on retrieving it for that house was her life, plus the kids also felt the same way she did. Later, Blythe's marriage fell apart, which made her take full custody of the kids and file for divorce. Jo comments that it's time for Blythe to grow up let go of the past move forward to the life she has now, and accept that she can't reclaim her former house.
Now, Blythe lives a tiny and house and has lost control of her kids. She is also grieving from the loss of her close family friend, Nana to breast cancer. Blythe doesn't even have her own bedroom and sleeps on the couch in the living room (which she uses as a substitute for a master bedroom) and is suffering from insomnia with only four hours of rest. The kids now share bedrooms in three pairs due to the house being tiny: Loughlin and Moira (the older girls' room), Daly and Finn (the boys' room), and Moira and Elspeth (the younger girls' room). Because the house they now moved into lacks the amenities their former house had, the cramped space and everything has taken out all the fun and joy for the family, making their present home a cold and unpleasant experience for Blythe.
Since the divorce, the kids have become disrespectful and have started back-talking. Blythe ends up giving in to her kids out of guilt for not being able to give them the life that they used to have. Blythe herself too is disrespectful just as much as her kids are to her, since she allows her nostalgic mind to control her life and wants to regain her old house despite the foreclosure and believes in reciving deceased like Nana, despite that none of them are possible becasue she wants them to happen.
Can Jo help this family?
During Jo's observation with the family, she notices that the kids do whatever they want. At one point, Daly locks himself in the upstairs closet and Blythe has to take the doorknob off with a screwdriver to get him out.
The kids lives have changed after the loss of their nanny, Nana, who recently died of cancer. It is shown that Blythe is having a hard time moving on from her past.
Even though Finn is three years old, he still drinks from a bottle and refuses to give it up. When Jo looks under the couch cushions, she finds junk food and crumbs. Blythe does all the housework and none of the kids have chores.
The kids have no respect for their home and Elspeth gets her own way by throwing a fit. During dinner, Blythe is ordered around by her kids as they criticize the quality of the food they're eating. While Blythe seats the kids like a hostess, Elspeth is supposed to sit on the side of the table next to Moira who has already taken the seat at the end of the table. But Elspeth throws a huge fit and wants to sit where Moira is already sitting, so then Elspeth pulls Moira's arm to yank her off the chair, but then Blythe intervenes to break Elspeth's grasp on Moira. Adding insult to injury, Elspeth becomes more manipulative by screaming and trying to get her way, and then she grabs Moira's hair in another attempts to kick her off the chair she has already taken, which Moira immediately calls for her mom to break up the altercation again, which Blythe does once again. Then Blythe suggests to Elspeth to sit in any other open chairs, but Elspeth still rejects and continues with her tantrums, and then Blythe ends up giving in to Elspeths protestations and orders Moira to move so Elspeth can sit at the end of the table and consider it her only eating spot. Reluctantly, Moira moved due to Elspeth's manipulative behavior. Jo comments in an interview about what just happened at dinnertime during observation and why it was uncalled for Blythe to give in to Elspeth being manipulative over where to sit.
During the parent meeting, Blythe tells Jo, "I can’t do it all! I can’t follow through." Jo feels that Blythe doesn't have pride in herself or her home. Jo is disgusted with Blythe for allowing her youngest son Finn who is three years old to still drink from baby bottles like a three-week-old baby, and that any toddler should be capable of ditching the bottle and drink from a cup like a growing kid would. She then confronts Blythe for wanting to retrieve her old but larger house that had already been foreclosed, and that she already has enough memories of it that it's time for her to let go of the house she and her ex-husband sold over a year ago and be happy with the home she's in until she can eventually afford a bigger house later in her life. Jo then criticizes Blythe for using the couch in her living room as a substitute for a bed, which Blythe admitted before that it's impacting her sleep cycle. Jo also points out that Blythe's home is a pig-pen and that the kids litter food everywhere, including the living room, and when the mom gets asked about cleaning, she claims they are having trouble finding the vacuum, but Jo believes neither the mom nor the kids are being serious about cleaning the house. Not long after, the two women start getting into a verbal altercation.
Then, Blythe is unable to handle it anymore and leaves the house in tears. Jo then follows her outside the house as a result. It's raining outside and Blythe continued to get emotional as the altercation ensues. Jo points out that Blythe herself is not responsible for her ex-husband getting laid off and for Nana dying from cancer. Jo is able to convince her to come back inside and to finish the meeting. So Blythe calms down and agrees to accept Jo's commitment to move forward and go through the teaching.
Jo Begins Teaching
Jo makes Blythe drive to her old house where Blythe relives memories and says farewell to the house. After that, Blythe joins Daly to talk about how their family is going to help each other out.
When Blythe gets rid of Finn's bottles and throws them in the trash, he throws a tantrum. Blythe says that she can't stand her son's crying, and wants to give in. After 45 minutes, Finn stops crying and Jo reminds Blythe that he may cry again tonight, and if he does, that she'll have to deal with it. But Finn will get used to drinking from a big kid cup. Jo also notices that there are all sorts of garbage underneath the couch.
When Blythe assigns the kids chores, they complain about doing them, but eventually work together and clean the bathroom. Also, Jo buys a bed for Blythe and puts in the older girls' bedroom so Blythe won't be sleeping on the living room couch anymore. As Blythe moves into her older daughters' room, the girls' beds become bunk beds to make way for Blythe's new bed so that she can get the sleep she needs.
After Jo leaves Blythe on her own for a few days, she shows Blythe DVD footage of how she did while Jo was away.
Finn is drinking from his new cup, but has developed a habit of peeing outside in the yard instead of in the toilet. Blythe steps in to bring him in the house to do his business either in the toilet or on the potty, but not outside in the yard, but Finn continued with the habit.
The kids fight over doing their chores, but they get them done. When it comes to dealing with the teenage and tweenage children, Blythe just argues with them.
Jo gives Blythe a book for her to keep track of Daly's behavior. She is also able to convince the family to participate in a breast cancer walk in memory of Nana.
Then, Jo leaves the family for good.
- Blythe Newsome, 38
- Loughlin, 13
- Aidan, 12
- Daly, 9
- Moira, 8
- Elspeth, 5
- Finn, 3
- Roger (Shown only in wedding photo from Submission Reel)
- Nana (Dorothy Lee Miller Williams (October 12, 1955 - June 19, 2008))
Behind the scenes
This episode was filmed in August 2008, two months before its original airdate as seen in the 100th Episode Special.
Supernanny was ranked 8 in the ratings with 4,118,000 views at the time of this episode's broadcast.
As of 2015, Blythe is communications manager at Covenant Hospice in Tallahassee.
- Full Newsome Family episode on Vimeo
- Parenting articles by Blythe on modernmom.com. They touch upon her divorce and Nana's death.
- Blythe's Facebook page
- Dave Ramsey Fan blog post - 8/18/2010 - Says that Blythe called into Dave Ramsey's radio show, and "was stretching to make ends meet when she approached a local radio station to become co-host of their morning radio show. She continues to work at the station doing other things after the station changed syndication, but that only opened another door for her."
- Hospice staff, friends grant veteran one more fishing trip - Tallahassee Democrat, 11/24/2015 - Explains that Blythe is communications manager at Covenant Hospice, and helped arrange the veteran's fishing trip
- Community responds to Headland 8-year-old's last wish - Dothan Eagle, 09/13/2015 - Blythe again mentioned, this time as spokesperson for Covenant Hospice
- One Little Boy’s Final Wish- a Lemonade Stand to Give to Others - WTVY.com, 9/1/2015 - Blythe again mentioned as Covenant Hospice communications manager
- Nana's obituary - The obituary states her full name was Dorothy Lee Miller Williams.
- When You’re Left Behind: The Impact Of Breast Cancer On A Family - Blythe's ModernMom blog containing her birthday.
- A Journal of One Family’s Loss to Breast Cancer - Blythe's ModernMom blog. It states that Nana had been Blythe's childhood nanny since she was a little girl, and came to care for Blythe's children after she divorced and went back to work.
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