I've read the catechism on this subject, but when it comes to applying it to very specific situations, it gets confusing for me.
For example, the furnace went out in our house yesterday. The house is currently at 58 degrees. Someone can come out today to fix it, but he said it would be between 10 and 2 that he would be out here, so I will be sitting around today waiting for him. The only Masses within an hour of here are 10, noon, and 2. Is waiting for a furnace repair man a valid reason to miss Mass?
The other weekend, we were painting the kids' bedroom. My mother had the kids for the weekend (I have twin two year olds). I was worried we wouldn't get it finished in time for their return on Sunday afternoon, so we kept on painting rather than go to Mass. Was that a valid reason?
For New Year's Day, I assumed there would be a 7 pm Mass, as there is on all of the other Holy Days. Around 6 pm, I started to think 'Uh, since everyone had today off today, what if they moved the Mass to the morning?' I checked the website and indeed Mass had been at 9 in the morning. Had I been a little more on the ball, I wouldn't have missed. Was that a valid reason for missing Mass?
Some days my kids are just plain crabby, usually due to lack of sleep. I'm a little crabby on those days, too. The idea of taking my crabby children to Mass is terrible, so on those days, I just stay home. Is that a valid reason?
I'm not looking for excuses to miss Mass, by the way. I love love love Mass. But, it's also hard for me to get to confession (all the confessions are on Saturday at 3, the line is an hour long, and of course I've got the twins with me, and it's really difficult to maintain a reverent environment while trying to contain the kids) and of course if I miss Mass and don't make it to confession, that means no Eucharist, so, unfortunately, MOST of the time when I go to Mass, I don't take communion and I really would like to (not to mention not living in mortal sin would be nice, too :))
Anyway, I just don't want to be overly scrupulous in this matter so some charitable advice would be appreciated. Thank you!