I have been married for over 20 years and have been a stepparent for all of these years since my stepdaughter was just 3 years old.
My husband's ex-wife despises my husband and myself and has always taken every opportunity to say so, including always calling him just the sperm donor to everyone (stepdaughter told us what they call him and laughed at how funny it was) and for the most part pretending I do not exist at all.
He was not allowed to walk her down the aisle at her wedding, we were allowed to stand at the back of the ceremony but not allowed in any pictures. What her mother and grandmother say goes, and it has always been that way. When their baby was born we were not allowed to go to the hospital, so that her mom and grandmom wouldn't get mad.
She asked me to babysit when she went back to work and I thought it would great, and things would change and I could be grandma; but after watching her for a few months, now I found out my name is just the babysitter by her and all her family.
I honestly thought we had a great relationship and all this other stuff was just her not willing to stand up to her mom, but now I am just hurt and mad.
So do I keep up the free babysitting, knowing full well we will never be invited to a birthday or graduation or be allowed to be called grandparents even, just to be able to see our grandbaby some? Or do I tell her I cannot babysit and get attached to a child that will be taught to just use us for what she can get, like her mom was raised to do?