Few studies have been conducted that focus on incarcerated women. The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experience of the incarcerated woman as a mother. The incarcerated mother identifies caring, hurting, addiction, hurtful past, and faith as essential themes. The incarcerated mothers experience hurting related to separation from their children. They maintain a sense of caring for their children,which is supported by their faith in God. The incarcerated mother identifies experiencing a hurtful past and reports experiencing current and/or past addictions. A tension exists between caring and addiction,whereby the mothers know they have an addiction that is overshadowing the way they demonstrate caring to their child. This study has generated a new description of the incarcerated mother may assist nurses in best formulating nursing interventions and providing appropriate nursing care. Nurses should use this knowledge, along with the knowledge that what the women experienced may have impacted past behaviors that possibly led to incarceration to help them make appropriate plans for their future.