I get the feeling that some of you have no idea what it is like to be repeatedly attacked by your child, on a daily basis. And if you think its because of your perfect parenting, then my hat is off to you. My dd has been a spitfire since day one, so I have no idea what it is like to raise a child who listens.
So before you give condescending advice to a mama who is struggling with a difficult situation, let me give you all a little insight.
My dd is very physical, very strong, and has some mild sensory issues. (Seeks excessive stimulation). She has strong emotions and a high pain tolerance herself. I get attacked almost every single day. She has hit me, kicked, me bit, headbutted me, scratched me, etc. She once started scraping at a scab I had yelling "Ow ow ow." In other words, she was trying to hurt me where I was weak. She will sometimes bite my nipple if I suggest nursie time is over - I've learned to put a finger in before I say anything.
She isn't scared of my disaproval. Getting angry at her amps her up, and she fights harder.
Yes, I walk away. And I walk away. And occasionally I put her in her room so I can cool off. But when I've been attacked for the fifth time in 20 minutes, at the end of a long day, the urge to defend myself
rages. It is in these moments I want to spank.
I've never spanked, I will be heartbroken if I ever do. But I under what the OP meant when she said her protective instinct kicked in. Bad choice, yes. But it wasn't punishment, at least not in intent. It wasn't "You've made me mad so I'm going to hurt you." It was "IhavetogethertostophurtingmeNOW."
There *is* a slippery slope, as the OP experienced the next time she spanked. Because you do want to defend yourself.
So no, spanking is not an effective discipline tool. Hitting can be effective during a moment of self-defense, but I'd rather keep looking for ways to avoid the need to protect myself through physical violence, especially with my precious child. She may be a wolverine cub, but I love her to pieces.