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How This Mom Makes Cleaning a Teachable Moment

How This Mom Turns Cleaning Up Into a Teachable Moment For Her Kids

We've partnered with Clorox to help you keep your home clean with a little help from its newest product, Clorox® Compostable Cleaning Wipes.

As a single mom, Jodenny Smith wants each of her actions to set a good example for her two children, Nylah and Idris. That's part of the reason she chose to raise her family in Brooklyn: "Brooklyn has been my home since I was 14. It's the place that has really molded me into the woman I am today," she said.

Even on an average weekday, Jodenny said she tries to be intentional about her choices and what they tell her children. For instance, the whole family usually eats breakfast together — even on busy days. While her daughter logs onto virtual school, Jodenny tidies up around the house and works on her blog and jewelry business.

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On weekends, Jodenny and her kids love going on mini adventures throughout New York City. "I love just packing up some snacks in our picnic basket, packing a cute blanket, some bubbles, and grabbing a quick lunch to enjoy outdoors as a family," she said. "I try to expose them to lots of different places and experiences, so they're always curious and wanting to learn more about other cultures and the world around them." Of course, the pandemic meant they spent a lot more time at home last year than usual. "From virtual birthdays to indoor Easter egg hunts, I'd like to say we've done a pretty good job at finding ways to cope with all this time inside," she said.

It hasn't all been sunshine and rainbows, but Jodenny said she's still thankful for the extra time together. "While there've been plenty of days when they drove me crazy, I've also had lots of moments when I've felt super grateful to have these two little people to ride out this lockdown with," she said.

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The past year has also reinforced the importance of self-care for Jodenny. "The moment kids come into your life we tend to start living our lives for them, and often put ourselves on the back burner," she explained. "I wish someone had told me that it's OK to make time for myself and it's OK to be a little selfish, and that I don't have to feel guilty for wanting to do so."

One way she takes care of herself and her family is by keeping her home clean and tidy. "Your mood is directly affected by how clean your house is," Jodenny said. "When I wake up to a clean home [or] come home to a clean space, I just feel in a good mood. I feel like I can take on anything."

Lately, Jodenny has been asking her kids to help her with the chores to teach them a sense of personal responsibility. "I've been having Idris get into a habit of cleaning up his tiles and toys when he's done before I let him move on to a different activity or have a snack break," she said. "Nylah lately has been asking me to let her help with the dishes, so I let her do that from time to time. I've also been making sure that they both clean up after themselves when they're done eating."

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When Jodenny needs to deep clean her home, she turns to Clorox® Compostable Cleaning Wipes. "Clorox products have been a staple in most homes for so many years," she said. Jodenny loves that Clorox® compostable wipes are made from plant-based materials and clean without harmful chemicals, so she can feel good about bringing them into her home.

Choosing cleaning products that are gentler on the planet is yet another way Jodenny instills her values in her kids. "While I can't control all of the choices society makes as a whole," she said, "I can certainly make little choices in my household to do my part in making a difference."

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Learn More About the Clorox® Compostable Cleaning Wipes Jodenny Trusts

Credits: Photography: Matthew Kelly; Art Direction: Samara Grossman; Production: Cassie Doyle; Prop Styling: Kristin St. Clair; Design: Mia Coleman

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