how can I create faces from a mesh that has gaps? without creating overlapping faces?

I am new to blender, I don't know how to describe what I am looking for. Basically, I have the following sets of edges and vertices, I am trying create a face out of the outer square, while leaving the 2 inner rectangles without a face. If I do 'f', I am getting a double face that is overlapping the square and the rectangles.

Go into edit mode, choose vertex edit, and select all 6 bottom vertices and press F. Same for the top. Then connect the left, center, and right.