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The Daily Dish The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City

Lisa Barlow Opens Up About the Real Reason Her Son Isn’t Going to College

The RHOSLC cast member shared “the hardest part” about finding out Jack’s next move.

By Shannon Raphael

On The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City Season 3, John and Lisa Barlow’s teenage son Jack Barlow wasn’t sure that college would be the right next move for him once he graduated from high school.

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“Fudge college,” Jack told his mom on an episode of the show.

And though Jack initially wanted to shift his full-time focus to Fresh Wolf, the haircare brand he shares with his parents and his younger brother, Henry, after high school, he’s now taking on a different challenge entirely.

During the RHOSLC Season 4 premiere, which aired on September 5, Lisa revealed what Jack is doing next, and she shared why she was so shocked by his decision. 

Plus, on Episode 5, she chatted with Meredith Marks about why she could "cry every day" thinking about her son's next chapter.

Lisa Barlow gets emotional about Jack Barlow’s next step

While chatting with her husband in the car in between her Sundance Film Festival responsibilities on the Season 4 premiere, Lisa began to tear up about Jack’s next chapter. 

“This is Jack’s senior year, and I want to be super present with everything he has going on,” she said to John. “And I just know that this time with him is — I don’t want to cry — but we don’t have him for very long, and it’s just stressful.”

As Lisa explained, she had an argument with Jack about a month earlier, and he revealed that he was going “on a mission instead of college.”

“He sits down next to me and just starts bawling,” Lisa said in an episode interview about how the conversation went after she “got into it” with her son. “And I’m like, ‘What’s going on, Jack?!’ He’s like, ‘Mom, it’s gonna be OK because I decided to go on a mission.’”

In the car with John, Lisa noted that she’s “proud” of her son for making the commitment to the Mormon mission, even if it means he’ll be away from home for two years. 

“A mission is devoting two years of your life to serving others and teaching people about Jesus Christ,” she explained in an interview. “So Jack’s giving up two years of his life to basically help everyone but himself.”

Lisa Barlow and son Jack Barlow pose for a photo together.

Lisa Barlow reveals the “hardest part” about Jack Barlow’s decision

Though Lisa supported her son’s choice, she was still struggling to wrap her head around one major factor.

“When he told us, you know, I was crying because I haven’t been involved in the process,” she said to John. “I think I’m still dealing with the emotion that I had no idea and he’s been prepping for a year, and then it makes me think that, you know, maybe he does need more time with me, or maybe he just wants less.”

She added in an interview that “the hardest part is that Jack hid this from John and me for almost a year.”

When she asked her son why he kept his plan a secret for so long, he said, “‘Because you and Dad are different than me.’”

The secrecy had her questioning how well she knew her son. “It hurts, it hurts,” she said. “How could I miss this?”

Lisa Barlow and Meredith Marks talk about Jack Barlow's mission

Though Lisa was initially shocked by her son's decision, she's been wrapping her head around what his next chapter entails in the episodes that have followed. While getting a facial with Meredith on Episode 5, Lisa revealed why she's still so emotional about her son's future.

"You know what's going to be really hard?" she asked. "When Jack gets his mission call, he could literally be called anywhere. We can't go see him, and he can't come home. I cry every day. I'm like a baby."

See more from Lisa and the rest of the Barlow family by tuning in to new episodes of RHOSLC Season 4 on Tuesdays at 9/8c on Bravo.

Originally published Sep 5, 2023.

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