She admitted to being "chronically disorganized," and not knowing what to do to keep the girls in order. She did not have any structure to the day or know what to do to keep the girls occupied. She didn't feel that she enjoyed her children.
Jo taught her how to build structure into her day with a family routine, so that the girls were involved in stimulating activities and not seeking Barbara's attention through misbehavior. Jo also taught Barbara how to use her tone of voice to wield authority and give praise, and thus better manage her children.
She and Jo were very tearful and emotional at the end of this episode. Barbara was grateful that Jo showed her how she could empower herself as a parent and in doing so, be more like her old self and enjoy time with her children.
She was 43 years old at the time and is now 57 in 2016.