Well, I have swatted my kids-- I'm not proud of it, but I've done it. I'd never describe myself as "the most gentle mama", but I'm doing the best I can.
I guess I think parenting is a task where you get up everyday and do your best, and as much as I'd love to be perfect, we're all raised by mere mortals, and most of us are ok.
I do wonder why it is that grown-ups feel comfortable hitting children. Aside from the handful of times I've lost it and swatted my kids on the tush, I have not struck another person since I was a kid. I can't imagine hitting an adult. I recently heard a radio show that says apparently some of our most ingrained moral feelings are hard-wired into our brains and something we share with other apes. I have also heard that for some people the strong urge to hit and throw when angry is genetic. I don't have a strong urge to throw and hit when angry, though one of my kids does (got it from dh-- he resists the urge as an adult), and it's interesting to see how she reacts differently from her sister. I really wonder if I have something in me that resists hitting peers and babies, but not children.
These are things I think about to help myself remember I need keep control of my temper.