Repeated interviews were conducted with 11 Canadian mothers recruited from a local needle ex-change program. They regularly injected cocaine and/or heroin. All had custody of children for at least 1 year. Grounded theory analysis revealed a number of themes in the data. The core category, “Creating a Better Life,” emerged. Women tried to create a bet-ter life for children than the women had experienced themselves. Mothers' abusive childhood experiences and adverse role modeling by their own parents in-fluenced strategies mothers took in rearing children. Women viewed their children as an important, and sometimes the only, source of love and support in their lives. They spent much time protecting children from their habit and violence in their lives. Food, clothing, love, and a safe place to live were cited as priorities for children. Women expressed pride about children and hoped for a better future for them. Caring for children helped women control and regulate their drug use. Traumatic life events often resulted in a loss of control over drugs, loss of child custody, and a further escalation of drug use. Women generally lacked sources of emotional support, mistrusted social service and health care professionals, and lacked skills in dealing with them. Results of this study will be used to develop a supportive intervention program for mothers and children in a Canadian population.