The latest episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey shows a lighter, brighter Teresa Giudice

By Dave Quinn
July 24, 2016 09:00 PM

The early weeks of Teresa Giudice‘s post-prison life continued to unfold on Sunday’s Real Housewives of New Jersey as the 44-year-old mother of four faced the sacrifices of her probationary prison release.

“You always need to get permission to leave the house when you’re on home confinement,” Teresa told viewers, explaining that her ankle bracelet prohibited from leaving the house without previous approval – not even to take her daughters to the school bus each morning at the end of her driveway.

“I can’t walk the girls to the school bus,” she said. “I’m still being monitored, and I’m still wearing an ankle bracelet. It’s hard to be monitored all the time.”

Despite 10-year-old Milania’s insistence that she drive them, Teresa encouraged her children to do the trip without her, saying, “You girls are going to walk up the driveway all by yourself!” Though she needed husband Joe‘s help when her dog Frankie ran out of the house – and almost into the street.

“It’s good to get back into the routine of things, but I am tired,” she admitted. “It has been like a whirlwind.”

That whirlwind has consisted of Teresa cooking the kids breakfast, getting them ready for school, helping them with their homework and cleaning the house. “I think while I was away, Joe … tried,” she said, “but he’s not me.”

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She’s also taken a more hands-on approach to her household’s income and bills. “Joe and I have a very old school marriage,” Teresa explained. “Once I married Joe, he took care of everything – all finances. I really didn’t pay attention to anything. But I did get in a little trouble for that .”

“Little trouble? Lot of trouble,” she clarified, referencing the 15-month prison conviction she recieved for mail, wire and bankruptcy fraud.

“After my sentencing, I was angry,” she confessed. “I think any other woman probably would have left him. Now I’m standing on top of anything that has my name on it.

She met with Joe, looking at a bill addressed to her that he kept receiving and always threw out because “I don’t know what it is and it doesn’t make any sense.”

“Before my John Hancock goes on anything else ever again, it’s going to be right or I’m not doing it,” she said.

Jacqueline Laurita (left) and Teresa Guidice
Getty (2)

The other big change in Teresa’s life appears to be how she’s handling her friendships. Having reconciled with sister-in-law Melissa Gorga, Teresa finally met with former best friend Jacqueline Laurita – explaining that she had written Laurita the now-infamous note shown in the season’s premiere “from the heart.”

Her newfound attitude is something she learned while at “camp” – Teresa’s code word for prison. “I used to not be able to forgive,” she told Laurita. “It was hard for me. But since I was at camp I prayed a lot and I read a lot of books and the Bible, and they say you’re supposed to forgive.”

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“I said new beginnings – that means building a friendship,” she added as the two hugged.

“Life’s hard enough, friendship should be easy,” she later said in an interview. “It’s a new year – new beginnings.”

Gorga put it best: “Things are changing in Jersey.”

The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.