THERE have been some pretty monumental changes in Lucy Porter’s life.

Not that long ago she was still single, self-employed and spending most of the year traipsing up and down the country on her own for her comedy gigs. Thankfully her Herculean touring schedule shows no signs of letting up, but otherwise it’s been pretty unfamiliar territory for the comedian.

“I lived such a solitary life back then,” she says. “Stand-up comedy is a very solitary pursuit – you never have to interact with other people in a meaningful way. But then suddenly I found myself with a husband and child and all the social complications that brings with it, like meeting other parents. I found there was much more conflict in my life.”

Lucy now has a son (John, six) and a daughter (Emily, eight). To all intents and purposes, child-rearing was the catalyst for her new show, Choose Your Battles, which pretty much does what it says on the tin. In a complex world, with major or trivial decisions to make every minute of the day, which matters should we take seriously and which aren’t worth worrying about?

Lucy poses this question in relation to wider political trends in her show, but the starting point was her domestic family life. The comedian kept reading advice from parenthood manuals about “not sweating the small stuff”, but that proved easier in theory than practice.

“With parenting you have to decide a lot of things,” she says. “Is it important that my children learn to use a knife and fork, for instance? That’s a big battle I seem to be having with them at the moment. There are non-negotiable things like that but then there are less important stuff where you think, ‘I don’t really care whether they speak Mandarin’. Ultimately, you don’t want your children to grow up unpleasant, but how do you go about that?”

Like any relatively new parent, Lucy often finds herself with more questions than answers as she navigates her middle-age life. Confusion seems to be a universal theme at the moment, with people scratching their heads about public votes or venting aimless spleen on social media. Lucy admits she has absolutely no talent for argument – far from it.

“I’m terrible at it,” she says. “If I’m in a position where I’m asked to stand up for something I believe in, I gibber and get very emotional and probably end up crying. Even as I’m doing it I know it’s not the right way, that you should be calm and rational. But it’s not something that comes naturally.”

To rub it in, her husband (actor Justin Edwards) is very good at it. She says people like him “don’t understand what it’s like” to go to pieces at the first sign of heated debate. Ironically, the comedian has no problem at all talking to her audience about the rare arguments she does have with her husband.

“I’m very happy to discuss that,” she laughs.

Indeed, there is a strange paradox to her supposed fear of confrontation. The topics she covers in her stand-up routines – especially the political material – can sometimes “stir up a hornet’s nest”, as she puts it. It’s not that Lucy is saying anything particularly controversial, just that there will always be one or two audience members that might disagree with her.

At points in Choose Your Battles, Lucy turns to the audience for solutions to her dilemmas. Participation isn’t obligatory but the comedian says she finds her crowd’s suggestions genuinely helpful.

“I’m interested in exploring my own bafflement at the world and hearing what other people think,” she says, and while she adds that she is just as lost as anyone else when it comes to analysing contemporary politics, she still gives it a good go.

“It’s difficult to know what to stand up for,” she continues. “Sometimes I think we’re sliding back towards fascism without realising it, but how do you fight that? It’s hard to know at what point you should stand up and draw the line when the world seems to becoming a more dangerous place all the time.”

Lucy Porter: Choose Your Battles is at the Colchester Arts Centre on February 16 from 8pm and then again at the Dixon Studio in Southend on March 8 at 8pm. Tickets for her Colchester gig are priced £14 and £12 for concessions, available on 01206 500900 and for the Southend date they are £16.50 and £14.50 from 01702 351135.