First I think you are very brave, knowing peoples opinions these days on just spanking, and all these "perfect" parents, to flat out admit that you do this, and I think that if nothing else, you should write that down as step 1, that not only do you want to change, but you don't care what other people think or say to you to put you down for your mistakes if it means you can find help. I know it doesn't make it better (but maybe makes you feel you are not the absolute WORST mom, which I know is how it feels) but I have done the same things. that is why I am online now at 3:47am, trying to find help. I have 3 rowdy sons, all very loving boys, especially to me, and I know they love each other and would never let someone else touch them, but boys are boys and they FIGHT. They do not stop when I ask them, then I yell, then they still fight and talk back and finally I lose it, cuss them out and whoop their asses. I beg them, why can't you just listen to me, I don't want to hit you but you won't listen" but I know I am wrong, I am the mother, and I have apologized and hugged them, kissed them, tell them I love them hundreds of times a day. I know why its happening, I am seriously depressed, no end of personal problems from seperation from husband of 13 yrs (im 32) to foreclosure, no money, no car, so I don't eat, I'm not healthy, I don't have time/money for myself... all the things all the websites I have read said to do, but who has time and money for counseling (I am on antidepressants) I have thought about suicide a lot, but I cannot think of anyone I would want raising my kids and I know it would break their hearts. I love them so much and I am so ashamed of the way I act. I cry because I think of how they are going to remember me when they are grown and I worry if its too late to reverse the damage I have done. But I recently saw a show about children of past drug addicts being reunited with their parents and although they remember and are hurt by what their parents did, they all said they loved their moms so much and they are trying so hard they are proud, so I dont think it is ever too late. I am going through the web with a notebook writing down things I can do, tips that can be done right now without taking a class or finding a counselor, when you are already overwhelmed these tasks feel impossible and honestly will never get done. So far, the taking care of yourself first has been the biggest thing every site says, your health, eat, sleep, exercise, etc. even pamper a little, try a little makeover, declutter your house, and make some goals/dreams of your own, think of things you wanted to do before you had kids (i cant even remember, I have no interests at all anymore except sleep). Then of course reconnect with your kids, lots of sites tell tips to do this, listen to them, enjoy them and their personalities, have a little time for fun with them set aside each day. Also 1 thing I am going to try is make a list of all the things you do right for your kids, if you are affectionate, tell them you love them every day, have their back, etc., then a little list of the few things you need to change, make sure its not as long as the list of good things, and work on them one at a time. I'm also reading help books, they are calming and inspiring (at least while you're reading) and want to meditate, but its hard to do to. Sorry for so long post, I just have a lot of feelings about it because your post is exactly why I am online right now. Bottom line, a book I read said, live in the moment. Yeah, we screwed up, but its in the past, acknowledge it, learn from it, and put it behind you. I know first hand beating yourself up over your mistakes will drive you to despair and then you will treat your kids worse. We made mistakes, but we are trying to fix them and thats the first step, so do what we need to learn to do with the kids, praise yourself for that, and move on. However much you yell or hit them, hug and kiss them and tell them you love them 10x more. I hope this helped some, it helped me to know I am not alone.