This morning DD (who is almost 6) was extra clingy and refusing to go to the bathroom. I finally get her in there but the usual method "I'll race you!" but once in she immediately jumped into my chest and wound up yanking my hair pretty hard (by accident). This was maybe the 3rd or 4th behavior of this type this morning and i just snapped, saying "GET OFF!" "MY HAIR!!" and swatting her behind twice until she let go. She started at me for about 5 seconds and then she started to cry.
I immediately and profusely apologized. I do not think it's ok to hit a child ever, but I will admit this does happen from time to time and it's always in response to her physically hurting me accidentally after a few warnings. It's like a knee-jerk reaction on my part and I'm not fully aware it's happening until it's over.
I feel terrible, I mean terrible about it. My #1 priority in the world is keeping this kid emotionally secure and I feel like I'm failing her when this happens. My mom went through a period where she hit/kicked me quite a bit (during my tween years when I'm sure I had a terrible attitude). My mom and I were close when I was DD's age, and DD and I are SUPER close now. My mom and I were not close as I grew up. I'm so worried I'm following in my mom's footsteps.