A WOMAN spilled her coffee all over herself on the train next to me yesterday. There I was, like a shot, offering up my extensive armoury of mopping up paraphernalia.

Tissues, baby wipes, antibacterial gel, even antibacterial hand wipes. You name it, I have it.

Granted, I am a bit of a germaphobe, but since becoming a parent I rarely leave the house without half the products from the household aisle in my bag.

You would think now my child is seven, I would no longer feel the need to pack baby wipes, but believe me those things can remove the most stubborn of stains.

I have been known to whip them out in a restaurant at the slightest hint of a spag bol splash on my husband’s shirt, or the flick of olive oil on my jeans.

The truth of the matter is, becoming a parent is like becoming a whole new person in many ways.

I now do many things that would never have even occurred to me before March 2012.

In retrospect, I do not think I even really liked kids that much before I had one of my own, especially strangers’ kids.

I was marginally more interested in my friends’ children and did visit each one as they arrived and enjoyed a short cuddle with the newborn, before swiftly lobbing it back to the parents in case it puked or something untoward leaked out of its nappy. Shudder.

Then my first niece was born and there was a definite shift.

I leapt in the car on hearing she was on her way and, even though I did not even get to see her that day due to the birth being long and complicated, I did not want to be anywhere else.

By that time my second niece turned up, I was struggling to ignore the maternal pull I was feeling and finally, aged 36, I caved and accepted I wanted to be a mum.

We were very fortunate with our first, and only successful, pregnancy and my son duly arrived, as they tend to, nine months later.

I thought being pregnant was a rollercoaster, with my hormones on fire and all sorts of dramatic things happening to my body, but I was in no way prepared for the tidal wave of emotion that walloped me as soon as I had given birth.

It seems it does not ever go away either.

If I could pick the most stubborn from the huge array of emotions that come free with motherhood, I would go for fear, guilt and uncontrollable tearfulness.

In my case I was lucky enough to get the indescribable euphoria and overwhelming love bit too, but that is not always how it happens straight away for some, so it is important to be mindful of that.

Parenting fear is obviously one of the less fun parts of the job as you worry endlessly about every tiny little thing related to your child’s wellbeing and safety, and it is the same story with parenting guilt.

I have felt guilty about everything from having a wee with the door shut, to letting my son watch another episode of You’ve Been Framed when he really should be in bed.

That all makes sense though, right?

What is weirder is the inability to control myself when I am exposed to anything remotely tear-jerking, whether it is a sad scenario, a moment of happiness or even a cute kitten on YouTube.

I cry at everything and anything whether I like it or not.

Thought-provoking adverts, soap storylines, kids in school performances (not just my own kid), even nature documentaries set me off, especially when it involves a fluffy baby penguin separated from its mum.

As for charity appeal evenings on the telly, forget about it.

Depending on what kind of day I have had I sometimes just have to watch on catch up and skip through the terrible stories for fear of a total breakdown.

Fret not, I always donate anyway, I just cannot handle human suffering on any scale these days.

What I once considered “quite awful” now tears me to pieces since having a child of my own and worrying for his future.

In fact I hit a new low the other day while booking a family camping weekend online.

The campsite has a promo video on its homepage, so I clicked through and watched as children frolicked in pretty woodland, big grins on their faces, before snuggling down in cosy tents with their families.

About a minute in I was sobbing my little heart out with wistful joy, on my own in front of my laptop.

My 25-year-old self would be laughing her head off .

Now stop judging and pass me a tissue.