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If you can’t remember when you last went to watch a movie or you’ve always wanted to learn a foreign language, but just somehow never get round to it, then you need some me-time. Read on.

Here are some ideas for parents who are not getting the work-life balance right and who need to invest in some serious me-time.


Ask any parent what they would like to do right now and you can bet that the majority would sigh longingly and answer “read a good book”. What they don’t say is that they would like to read a good book, free from distractions, questions, demands and crises. If you’ve read everything on your bookshelf and can’t find a moment’s peace on your couch, then visit a bookshop where plush leather couches and armchairs, friendly staff and tea and cake await you, while you browse through their unique collection of old and new books. The Book Lounge in Cape Town is such a place. You could also start a book club. It’s a great way to spend some quality time with your friends (or make some new ones) while discussing your favourite books. See book clubs for some pointers.

Join the club

If you’ve been doing too much work and not enough play, then consider taking up one of these hobbies. Joining a club is a great way of ensuring you get some much-needed me-time.

  • Join a photographic society and take your photography beyond the point-and-shoot stage.
  • Join a flying club. Cape Town Flying Club, for example, offers training for beginners to the advanced pilot.
  • Join a dramatic society and show off your acting talent, build sets, or get involved in another aspect of theatre life.
  • Join a 4 x 4 offroad adventure club and explore the great outdoors.

Culinary finesse

If you’re tired of cooking the same meals week after week, then it may be time to try your hand at some speciality cooking classes. Take sushi classes and learn how to make your favourite sushi from maki and California rolls to nigiri and fashion sandwiches. Other fun cooking courses include bread making, sugar craft, organic cooking and homemade pasta. And how about specialised training for chocoholics? Lindt Chocolate Studio offers courses in truffle making, chocolate and confectionary, Lindt and brandy pairing evenings and more.

Let’s dance

Inside every one of us there is a dancer just waiting to learn the steps. Beyond the fact that you get a fantastic full-body workout, you also get to choose a dance style that best expresses who you are. From ballet, hip-hop and jazz to belly-dancing, flamenco and tap; you will be spoilt for choice. So grab a partner or a friend, or even go solo – it’s time to put on those dancing shoes.

Learn a new language

South Africa is rich in diversity and with eleven official languages everyone could do with learning another. Plus, if you’ve ever dreamed of singing along to your favourite Italian opera and actually understanding the words, then now is the time to finally go for it. Also consider learning sign language. And if you want to learn a new language at your own pace rather than attend classes, there are great online options.


Tarin Adams