It's difficult isn't it. I'm just starting the process of applying for jobs after 18 years as a sahm. I did work fulltime for about 15 years up to the day before I had ds2 but my boss in my last job was my husband. And I'm the wrong side of 50 now so now sure about my chances.
Anyway, I've put on my cv "references can be supplied on request" and will decide who to ask at that point. My references will have to be personal ones but I do have friends who run companies, work for the NHS etc, so am planning to use them. If really necesary I am still in touch with my husbands business partner when I was working, so will ask him if I really need to.
I'm on the cusp of being offered something which fits so well round the kids. My last boss hasn't responded afaik. And the other referee hasn't either, even though I've chased. Meanwhile potential new boss man is sending me emails to chase. Gahh.