California law allows parents to use corporal punishment, as long as the force is reasonable. Depending on the circumstances, your mother might also be able to physically restrain you -- again, as long as the force is reasonable.
However, your response would also have to be reasonable in light of the circumstances of your mother's "putting her hands on you."
It all depends on the age of the child, her/his reaction, and the reasonablness of the punishment. You cannot use a pad to hit a 5 years old kid for him kicking your dog.
Sean Donrad, Esq.