Is there an equivalent of "workaholic" (a person who feels compelled to work excessively) to describe a person who feels compelled to identify with raising a family in a similarly excessive fashion?

Note the emphasis on the word excessively, which means this word tends to have--just has workholic does--a connotation of disapproval.

The word doesn't have to be widely-used. I'm just looking for something precise.

To elaborate further, consider this conversation:

PETER (to an online community of software developers): What has been your most rewarding job or project and why? I've been looking to make a change away from typical enterprise development as it's not just about the paycheck any more [...]

BOB: Raising my son. Playing music with my friends. Building a home and relationships with my partners. [...]

DRETA (replying to Bob): How is any of this relevant to Peter's question?

SRID (supporting Dreta): I am with you. Comments like this (from BOB) indicate nothing but a demonstration of the ad hockery defense of familialism (Editor's note: is there a more accurate alternative word here?), which is increasingly becoming common here in this community for some reason.

KIRO (supporting SRID): I've noticed the same trend. As someone who never wants a family it's extremely tiring that the family-first norm is pushed so hard here. It's the last place I would expect it so I'm really curious why that is.

In fact, this is a real conversation from the thread I linked in the comments!

The word I'm looking for is an adjective that describes BOB, and the connotation of disapproval (inherent to the meaning of this word) comes from DRETA, SRID and KIRO.

BOB is such a ______.

The ______s have hijacked our programming topic, and began pushing their agenda again!

  • For context, it was the comment by user "scarecrowbob" in news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16931145 that lead me to look up a word for this. Commented Apr 26, 2018 at 19:33
  • The fact that no such word apparently exists is very telling of humanity :-P Commented Apr 27, 2018 at 12:02
  • someone who places greater emphasis and dedicates every waking moment (excessively) to their family is, by nature, someone who is not a workaholic. You can't be career-driven and be looking after the nest and brood 24/7 , despite what trendy magazines told us back in the 1990s.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Apr 27, 2018 at 18:19
  • @Mari-LouA You have somewhat misunderstood the question. To be as simplistic as possible, what I'm asking is if there is a legitimate word in English to the effect of, to invent a word for sake of communication, "familyholic". Commented Apr 27, 2018 at 19:02
  • 1
    Wow. I wouldn’t have said that Bob’s comments were excessively family friendly. I work in software development, and even in that environment Dreta, Srid and Kiro comments would be in the minority. Maybe the word you are looking for is neurotypical?
    – JonLarby
    Commented Apr 27, 2018 at 21:05

6 Answers 6


If I had to come up with a term for being excessively devoted to one's family, it would be


by analogy with https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=health%20nut

I think it would be understood by native speakers:

BOB is such a family nut.

The family nuts have hijacked our programming topic, and began pushing their agenda again!

Having looked at the OP's examples, I'm guessing that he wanted to use the term


but it was not disdainful enough. The appropriate word, in fact, exists:


slang term used by some childfree people for one who has a child...



We were having our monthly Haskell user group meeting, but then this breeder showed up and started talking about his kid. Does he even understand the genius of functional programming?

  • 1
    I downvoted this because it is of no use as I'm requesting for an existing word, not asking people to invent a new one! Commented Apr 26, 2018 at 19:21
  • @Sridhar "Breeders," meaning heterosexual couples who intentionally had children, was once a commonly used term among communities advocating non-procreative sex.
    – Zan700
    Commented Dec 11, 2018 at 22:39
  • I changed my mind. Coming back to this after more a year, I think this is an acceptable answer, compared to others. However, it is not an ideal answer, and I hope a better word comes along in our lifetime. Until then, I'll go with the childfree community's "breeder" :-) Commented Dec 5, 2019 at 18:58

Is there a more suitable word than this?


Familialism or familism is an ideology that puts priority to family. [...] The term familism relates more to family values. This can manifest as prioritizing the needs of the family higher than that of individuals. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Familialism

  • 1
    Familialism is apparently a (political) ideology, and being a workaholic is a character trait. Also, I don't think "familialism" is actually widely used (not in MW)
    – MWB
    Commented Apr 26, 2018 at 18:50
  • Yes, although there is always a commonality (and relationship) between a society-level ideological trait and a personal-level character trait. I'm thinking of (potential) phrases like "That is such a familistic lifestyle you are living". Commented Apr 26, 2018 at 19:30

helicoptering parent(s) or helicopter parent wikipedia & Oxford English

the hovering behavior of a helicopter parent

and this article: WSJ - Stop Helicoptering

  • Sorry, this is not the same. See emphasized parts of the question. The person I'm looking to describe is obsessed with finding excessive meaning and value in raising a family (and they may not necessarily helicoper their kids; in fact they may be raising them in a better way) ... to the point they won't hesitate hijacking other domains and shaming people who don't carry the same values (For an example, see the link posted as a comment in the question). Commented Apr 27, 2018 at 0:02

Generally, the opposite of a workaholic is someone with a good work/life balance. The post the OP used in the comments as an example certainly seems to have a good work/life balance, prioritising his personal development and relationships over his day job.

It's impossible to describe a balanced life as excessive, but it is possible to find a word that is slightly derogatory. One of the Google definitions of domesticated best illustrates this use:


(especially of a man) fond of home life and housework.

"he is thoroughly domesticated"

"That is such a domesticated lifestyle you are living"

  • It seems that you have completely misread the question; it is not at all talking about the opposite of a workaholic, rather the equivalent of it! Commented Apr 27, 2018 at 18:03
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    The humorous definition of domesticated implies [the man] is excessively fond of home/family life, which is what your question appears to be asking for. I’m not sure why you think this is equivalent to a workaholic when it’s effectively the exact opposite.
    – JonLarby
    Commented Apr 27, 2018 at 20:40
  • 1
    The OP having a work/life balance (or not) is actually irrelevant here. He has identified so strongly (hence excessive) with the family way of living that he doesn't hesitate to barge in a programming community, hijack genuine programming topics, and start telling people to 'raise a family' (which is totally out of topic!). His identification (which borders on ideology) is not unlike a workholic's identification with work, and needing to work in all contexts. Commented Apr 27, 2018 at 20:52

Conditioned, mechanical, irrepressible, uncontrollable, compulsive. All synonyms of Driven: caused by or suggestive of an irresistible urge, merriam-webster.

  • Sorry, none of this is even in the context of raising a familly. Commented Apr 26, 2018 at 19:23
  • True. 'doting' is the only familial word I can think of that denotes excessive compulsions. doting - extravagantly or foolishly loving and indulgent; "adoring grandparents"; "deceiving her preoccupied and doting husband with a young captain"; "hopelessly spoiled by a fond mother" Commented Apr 26, 2018 at 19:28

Collins defines supermom as:

an extremely capable and busy mother

But Oxford has the contrasting supermum:

An exemplary or exceptional mother, especially one who successfully manages a home and brings up children while also having a full-time job

So some might understand a supermom/supermum to have multiple concerns, rather than being hyper-focused on the family. But it's still a person who manages to do a lot with the family.

Google NGrams shows that the term appeared in the 1960s and peaked in the late 1980s, but it still used today.

  • Why is it contrasting?
    – Jim
    Commented Apr 26, 2018 at 20:56
  • See my comment to lbf's answer below as to why this is not an appropriate answer. Commented Apr 26, 2018 at 23:59

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